Many businesses often make the mistake of focusing solely on one marketing method. Some concentrate on SEO and online marketing while forgetting the appeal of traditional marketing. Others, meanwhile, refuse to acknowledge the marketing power and reach of the Internet.
If you want to attract more customers, generate more conversions, and earn bigger revenues, you should take a holistic approach to promoting your business and creating brand awareness. According to comScore, 82% of local searchers conduct an offline follow-up via an in-store visit. This simple fact underscores the importance of creating an integrated marketing campaign that utilises both online and offline strategies.
In an article on Search Engine Journal, AdLIft CEO Prashant Puri shared his experience with FedEx to illustrate the importance of taking a holistic approach to marketing. When he visited the forwarder’s California office in the US, he was given a customer feedback flyer with a QR code. Puri said scanning the QR code with your smart phone will take you to FedEx’s internal feedback system where you rate your experience. After giving a review, you’ll receive 10% to 25% off your next order.
While FedEx’s offline marketing strategy is quite impressive, Puri said it is missing one crucial element: nobody gets to see the review. Unless a customer takes the initiative to tell everyone onlinethat he got discounts for reviewing FedEx’s services by sending tweets or blogging about it, only few people will know about the forwarder’s review system.
A lack of good offline marketing initiatives despite having effective online marketing tactics can also produce a similar effect. Even if you have mastered the art of SEO and have made it easier for your customers to find you online, you won’t get far if you cannot followup when it comes to the real thing. Fortunately, there are simple ways to integrate your online and offline marketing strategies.
Smart Posters and Flyers
Using smart posters and flyers is perhaps one of the best ways to integrate your online and offline marketing initiatives. Instead of using ordinary flyers or posters, you should use those with a QR code or are compatible with NFC (near field communications) technology.
You can utilise FedEx’s marketing strategy mentioned above.But instead of redirecting your customers to an internal feedback system after they scan the QR code on the flyers, you should redirect your customers to a URL where they can post their reviews online or perhaps to the Fedex Facebook page which leverages the power of advocacy through social media. Not only can you obtain valuable customer feedback, you can also spread the word about your business on the Internet and get bigger and better online visibility.
Originally pioneered by Twitter, hashtags have taken the world by storm. They are a huge help to marketers and businesses because the hashtags enable the latter to identify who’s talking about their brand online.
One way to integrate hashtags to your offline marketing initiatives is to include your brand’s hashtag whenever you mention your social media accounts on banners, flyers, and other traditional advertising locations. Or if your business is organising an event, like a product launch for instance, encourage adoption by offering rewards to people who use the appropriate hashtag.
For example, you can run a contest and offer good prizes for the best photos taken at the event. But instead of participants sending you the photos, the rules could encourage participants to post them on Instagram or Twitter with the corresponding hashtag. This promotes your content via their social networks creating not only awareness for your brand but also social credibility.
Mobile check-ins at physical locations
Previous marketing studies have shown that people are more likely to buy a product or check out a new place after knowing that their friends or family have done the same. For this reason, mobile check-ins at physical locations has become an instant hit among marketers.
Pioneered by Foursquare and later implemented by Facebook and Yelp, this marketing strategy allows customers to broadcast online their physical interaction with your business. This helps increase engagement and encourages more people to take about your brand/business online.
So how do you take advantage of mobile check-ins to attract more customers? By simply rewarding prospects for checking in. Encourage customers to use mobile check-in apps whenever they visit your business by offering discounts, freebies, or other similar items for every check-in. Or if you want, you can offer “check-in specials” during the dead hours of your business to encourage more people to come.
As a business owner, you mustn’t show preference to one marketing strategy over the other. Because we live in an ever-changing world, you have to adjust your strategies and take advantage of all available resources to produce better results. Fortunately, with the availability of new technology, integrating online and offline marketing is no longer that difficult. Therefore, it is up to you to combine these two forces to attract more customers and generate a successfully and financially profitable company.