Online marketing is all the rage, thanks to the Internet making it so simple for anyone to start a business. However, the ease at which you can start can also be a bad thing, because many new entrepreneurs have little to no experience in marketing. In addition, the online marketing space is so crowded with everyone trying to get their message across that it can be very difficult to get your business noticed, especially if you only have a small budget.
If you’ve been struggling with marketing your business online, why not try OFFline? Here are 6 tips for getting started successfully without spending a lot of time or money.
Make sure your website and business are ready for prime time
Before you start promoting your site offline, be sure that all your efforts will bear fruit by driving new customers to an impressive site that is so compelling they will be eager to stay and look around. Your home page and landing pages should be the gateway to an interesting user experience for anyone who visits.
Use postcard marketing
Postcard marketing is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to promote your business offline. They can be mailed, of course, but with stamp prices increasing all the time, you might not have the budget for this. However, there are many other ways to use postcards, such as putting them in mailboxes by hand, using as a larger-format business card, or as a giveaway at conferences and trade shows. Keep them in the hands of your target audience through facts, figures, quizzes and more.
Create inexpensive promotional that include your URL/logo
There are a number of reputable companies that produce promotional items ranging in price from pennies per item to ten or more dollars. Pens, pencils and plastic travel mugs are always useful. Baseball caps and t-shirts can be great marketing pieces, but will be more expensive.
If you do not yet have a logo, go to Fiverr.com to get one designed. Check to make sure your URL is spelled correctly before going into mass production. T-shirts are also handy for you and any staff members, so you can become walking billboards for your brand wherever you go.
Create great press releases with broad appeal
Press releases are effective both on and offline. Press release sites will give you a link back to your site. They might also be a source for print media promotions, because reporters are always looking for news and what are termed human interest stories, or tie-ins with special dates (such as the holidays or breast cancer awareness month). Make your story relevant to both journalists and regular readers. Add a full http:// link to your site at least once and you should soon see various new streams of traffic to your site.
Offer a workshop or evening class at your local college or community groups
This is another opportunity to showcase all that you know, and why you and your company are worth doing business with. If they like you, you could get offers for new business, and even new clients and consulting fees.
Use QR codes wherever you can
QR codes are those cute little space-aged looking boxes that have been popping up all over, from business cards and posters, to food packages and newspaper ads. You can create QR codes free online at sites like QRstuff.com, and then use them on everything you wish – including your free promotional items you plan to give away. When creating your QR codes, decide which are the best pages to send offline visitors to, such as special pages for each new promotion you run.
Offline marketing can seem like an impossible task when you already have such a tight budget and so much to do. The good news is that most of the methods we have discussed are free or cheap, and can really boost your business in a very short period of time.