Marketing online and offline strategies
Marketing online a brand never comes easy. It’s all about finding your target market and advertising where they browse, listen or watch televised programming. But what is the best marketing online strategy? Marketing online is effective and less expensive, but offline marketing has the potential to reach those in your audience that can’t reach the internet. Each of these strategies works well, but remember this: Marketing online is like hitting an out-of-the-park home run on opening day at the ballpark. While many strive to do it, their methods of achieving it are going to be trial and error. So if one idea doesn’t work, move on to the other.
First, let’s look at online marketing strategies.
First and foremost, if you don’t have a social media presence—get one. Being present and interactive on social media is the beating heart of your brand. This is where your customers are and where they will go to find out updates. They can purchase products from your page directly, tune into live chats or webinars, and interact with you or others directly on your page. There are 6 social networks which I consider to be the best: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Develop pages on all these sites. You don’t have to be on all of them all the time, but check in once or twice a week. If you want video social networks, check out Youtube, Busker or Periscope. But always interact with your fans. They want to hear from you and interacting with them shows your humanistic side.
Video marketing online is also an effective way to advertise. Authors usually create book trailers once they publish a new book. Likewise, movie companies release a movie trailer months before a movie hits theaters. Why? They want their product to be successful. If you go to Youtube, you’re going to be surprised at how many reviews there are about products. People discuss whether they are overjoyed or disgusted over a product. The message of these videos can be powerful. If the customer is overjoyed by a product, the sales of that product are likely to boost dramatically. Yet, if you encounter an unhappy customer, the sales are likely to reflect an avalanche.
Moreover, directory submissions is a way to advertise your website. This works well if your website is not getting a lot of traffic. All you have to do is submit your website information, such as your URL, site name, and a short description. Most unpaid directory submission sites submit your information to 20+ search engines. If you shell out some money, however, you can literally have your website in hundreds of search engines. This should get more traffic to your website and the sales of your products should increase.
Close range marketing (CRM) should also be considered as an online marketing strategy. Instead of advertising to customers via the internet, you’re advertising directly to their smartphones. Companies send promotional messages in the form of text messages, which reaches your target audience in a closer proximity. For instance, a company may send this: Save 50% all day long on our regular-priced lawn care items! If you’re in the market for these items, and this arrived over a text, you would more than likely head to that store. It’s essentially cutting out the middleman. You no longer have to go onto the internet to be sold to by companies; they have met customers where they always are…on their phones.
On the flip side, we have offline marketing.
A strong marketing online strategy is speaking engagements. Think about your brand and what it represents. What products do you have on the market? What digital products do you have? Do you have a podcast or online courses, for instance, or host a monthly paid webinar on your website? If your products revolve around teaching someone a new skill, this could be an excellent topic for a speaking engagement. You may teach them how to build their own website or run their business more effectively. Your speech may revolve around a demonstration of your products. For instance, each year Apple has a conference showcasing their new products and their features.
It’s also wise to think about print publications. Newspapers and magazines are the biggest contenders here. Get creative in pitching the reporter. Let’s say you’re a brand new online business. Maybe you’re a catering company, a craft company or a company that is centric to pet care. A reporter may write a profile piece on your company. This includes everything about your company—how it got started, what it’s about and the types of products you sell. They could do a photo story. They take several photos and group them together, telling the story of your company. Or, they may do a feature on one specific aspect of your company—its history, for example, or how you plan to service the community.
Trade shows are another fantastic way to market your product. Find a trade show that is unique to the product you sell. While at the trade show, walk around and visit the other booths. Network with representatives from the other companies. While doing this, you can pass out flyers and business cards to customers in attendance. Take a product with you and demonstrate it to the customer as you walk throughout the trade show. You may also want to take a clipboard to gather their e-mail address for your e-mail newsletter.
And finally, engage in guerrilla marketing strategies. Advertise your brand in the most unusual places. Post flyers of your brand all throughout your community. Purchase pens with your brand’s logo, leaving them randomly in banks or coffee shops. Advertise promotions using car paint, sidewalk chalk or even a chalkboard outside your business. Leave sticky notes in bookstores with your brand’s information. Sooner or later these gestures are going to get attention. You’re going to get more traffic to your website. You’re going to get more sales with your products. And, your brand is going to grow into a company. Keep up the good work!