The Key to Small Business Marketing Success
There are hundreds of business owners—from plumbers to hair stylists—who have a good handle on their craft. Unfortunately, they have no idea how to market their respective businesses.
In fact, as Entrepreneur points out, most of them are still using ancient marketing strategies, like advertising on billboards, along with a lot of wishful thinking. Many of these entrepreneurs think, “Since I’m the best at what I do, word will spread.” Needless to say, this kind of thinking doesn’t pay the bills.
“Every business needs an online strategy to thrive today,” says Entrepreneur. The problem is, most small business owners don’t have one and end up sticking with what they know.
That’s not to say that old school marketing methods are useless. On the one hand, offline advertising is difficult to measure, making it hard to tell how many people saw your ad and walked into your store because of it. On the other hand, offline marketing remains an excellent way to build brand awareness and cut through the noise online.
Online & Offline Marketing Achieve the Same Goal Using Different Channels
Marketing helps you convey the value of your business and reach the right people.
As you’re probably already aware, reaching the right people in the right way—and at the right time—can be a challenge. Rather than focusing solely on one marketing approach, it’s better to combine a few strategies that can create opportunities for the right circumstances to occur.
Online and offline marketing both lead to the same goals:
- Increasing awareness of your products and services
- Nurturing your relationship with current and potential customers
- Growing your business
The difference between them is the way in which they connect with your target audience. After all, online and offline marketing not only use different channels of communication, but they appeal to different mindsets, and perform in different contexts.
But where offline and online marketing differ in practice, they overlap in their benefits and support one another in your overall business goals. Thrive Hive offers 4 reasons why:
1. Consistency – Integrating your offline and online efforts leads to a consistent brand message—an essential part of any good marketing strategy.
While you may have different business goals and marketing techniques for achieving them, the central message concerning your brand, your business value, and the products or services you provide should always be consistent. Merging your offline and online marketing efforts will help customers view your brand’s communications as a single story that is aligned with your overall message.
2. Customer Experience – Blending offline and online marketing is a smart idea in today’s digital marketing landscape. With advances in Geodata and machine learning, preference and location-based services are more popular than ever.
Information is so prevalent that consumers now expect offers and deals from the businesses they engage with to find them instead of the other way around.
That means if you want to meet the expectations of your customers, you need to take an ominichannel approach and expand your offline efforts online. One way to accomplish this is to ramp up real-time marketing by using social media to inform people of promotions and events occurring in the offline world.
3. Strong Brand – The successful integration of offline and online marketing helps to strengthen your brand. Additionally, it allows customers to find what they’re looking for when they need it, thus helping to promote a positive brand experience and build trust.
In using one channel to promote the other, you’ll increase the effectiveness of both channels while providing a seamless experience for your target audience. This, in turn, will keep customers engaged longer with your brand which can lead to potential and repeat customers.
4. Broad Reach – By sharing messages online—through social media or an email blast, for example—you can broaden your reach beyond the people who shop at your store or live nearby.
Blending offline and online marketing increases the potential to attract people who are better suited for your business and are also more likely to become loyal customers and brand ambassadors.
Traditional offline marketing activities that have been effective in the past can lose traction if not strengthened by online techniques that boost their potency. By combining online and offline methods, you’ll be able to maximize the effectiveness of your overall marketing and grow your business.
It’s important to note that neither online or offline marketing practices are necessarily better than the other. While many consumers are increasingly online, it doesn’t mean they’re sitting at home at their computer. It’s simply that mobile technology gives people online access that can be used at the offline places they go and during the offline activities they engage in.
By integrating your online and offline marketing activities, you can reach more people, more often, and in more places, so you can increase engagement. Improved engagement means customers will interact with you longer and enjoy richer experiences with your brand.
A blend of online and offline marketing strategies is the key to your marketing success because it helps you give customers exactly what they want in the most convenient way possible.