Effective Offline Advertising Methods
Reach Your Target MarketIf you run a small business, the long-term success of your business is dependent on your ability to get your name and services out in front of your intended market. You can have the best product or service in your area, or even in the world for that matter, but if nobody knows about your business or what you have to offer, your business will not survive very long, let alone be profitable.
While the marketing methods for each business will differ to a point, we’ve listed some advertising tactics that can be used for nearly any business that will help you to spread the word about what you have to offer.
Offline AdvertisingJust because the internet is becoming more and more popular, this doesn’t mean that you should skip “offline” advertising, or advertising that you do in your local area. There are numerous people that can be reached through offline advertising methods, and obtaining word of mouth referrals can be, in most cases, be the most effective.
Word of MouthLargely undisputed in many circles, the most effective advertising method for any business is word of mouth advertising. When you provide a service or product that is worth talking about, people will talk about it and it’ll bring you more customers. In a direct sales based business, the customers that are referred to you through word of mouth referrals are called “hot leads”, in essence they’ve already been “sold” on your services and are prepared and even eager to obtain the services or products that you offer.
There are a couple of ways to obtain word of mouth referrals, and in some cases it’s as simple as asking for them. Depending on your business setup, you may be able to ask your customers to pass along your business name and contact information to their friends, or you can send out follow-up letters to your former customers (which is great customer service), thanking them for their business and subtly asking them to share what your business has done for them with their friends or family.
Door to Door PromotionAny person to person advertising will generally be more effective than an advertisement online, in your local newspaper or even in the yellow pages. People relate to people, people don’t often relate well to a few words of text written on a page. If you have the capital available and the proper business setup, you could hire a few people to go out and advertise your business door to door. If you’re not trying to sell anything at the door and your agents don’t come across as salespeople, this method is generally well received in most markets. In fact, if you use the door to door method in conjunction with a special offer or free gift, the results can be astounding; not only giving you a sudden surge of business initially, but building a long-term customer base undoubtedly that will grow through positive word of mouth referrals.
Create a BuzzPeople like free stuff, there’s no doubt about it. If you run a brick and mortar business or a local business out of your home, having a monthly or bi-monthly “customer appreciation day” where you give out door prizes or free food and beverages is a sure fire way to boost your business awareness in no time flat. Even if you don’t have a physical building where people can congregate, renting a spot at a local park will often suffice. Not all businesses can utilize this method, but those that do can see a significant boost in their customer base, provided they offer a service that people are looking for. Just be sure that you have plenty of advertising materials on hand so that people can go home with something that points out the benefits of what your business has to offer, not just the memory of free food and a good time.