How To Combine Offline And Online Marketing Channels

A lot of businesses still keep their offline and online marketing channels separate. However, combining the two enables you to reach an audience that you would otherwise miss.

There is certainly no reason to avoid using either offline or online marketing, but the most effective campaigns are those that blend marketing campaigns into a single omnichannel marketing strategy. 

It also allows you to further enhance your brand exposure, because your target market will start to see your brand in their social media feeds, in the newspapers they read, and dropping through their letterbox. 

Use Digital CTAs In Print Advertising

You have to provide print advertising readers with some idea of what they should do next. You can, of course, direct them to your physical store. You can encourage them to call you. There is no reason you can’t direct them to your website or online store, but it is likely to prove more effective if you direct your target market to an optimised and targeted landing page. 

Provide the URL for your website and include links to your main social media profiles. You can also add QR codes. Not all readers will have a QR code reader on their phone. For those that do, however, providing a code makes it quick and easy to visit your website. Providing a QR code is especially important if you have a long URL that is difficult to remember or type. 

You can also encourage users to search your brand name, but you need to ensure that you appear at the top of organic search results, Google ads, and should even appear near the top of Google Places results. 

Incorporate Online Vouchers Into Your Direct Mail

Direct mail is still one of the most effective forms of marketing a business. Your marketing materials have a greater chance of being read than direct emails. They can enjoy an excellent open rate and positive return on investment, but you do need to ensure that you have high quality marketing materials as well as an exceptional offer. One of the reasons that a lot of direct mail campaigns fail is because of a lack of a good quality and appealing offer.

Voucher and discount books are always popular with recipients. By offering exclusive discounts to your direct mail recipients, you can encourage them to visit your website. This is especially useful if you are sending out catalogues to recipients that have requested them. Ensure that the codes are time sensitive, offer value added benefits such as free postage, and use your landing page as a capture form as well.

Build Your Email List At Seminars And Expos

Seminars and expos are another form of physical marketing that can be highly effective. A lot of people are deterred from taking part because of the perceived cost, but also the amount of effort and investment required, but consider that most booths are fairly standard sizes, so once you have a booth display, it will be good for the next exhibition too. You can also have branded clothing printed, and exhibitions and expos are another great opportunity to use your printed marketing material.

Ensure that your booth attendants are friendly, amiable, and knowledgeable, to ensure that passers by are willing to stop and chat and ask questions. Have forms available to gather details and start building an email list of your physical connections. While some people will keep hold of paperwork like brochures and flyers, most attendees will be inundated by the time they leave. Sending a follow up email is a great way to ensure that your booth sticks in the memory.

Create A Physical Event For Your Social Media Followers

You don’t have to attend events that have been organised by other people or groups, either. If you have a group of engaged and loyal followers online, you can arrange a meetup or special event for them.

If you have a shop, consider opening the doors especially for your online followers, provide a discount on all purchases made, and invite all of your Facebook and other followers. You can arrange an exhibition or display of your products, an educational talk on the services you sell, or offer free food and drinks to all that attend. Arrange the event at a time that would otherwise be quiet, to avoid crowds that are too large, and send out invitations to those that you would like to attend. 

Use Your Social Media Posts To Drive Your Next Physical Campaign

You can also use your social media accounts to help develop your next direct mail or newspaper advertising campaign. Take a look at engagement levels on your posts, see which images and which headlines grab the most attention, or even directly ask your followers which image and which campaign you should use. By involving your existing followers, you can increase the chances of starting an effective campaign.

Live Tweet Your Event

Another way to combine offline and online marketing is to live Tweet an event. This has become very popular at tech shows, but it can be equally effective at corporate meetings and any expo or exhibition. Use a unique hashtag, have posters printed with the hashtag details and encourage your attendees to tweet the event. Put up large screens and have a rolling display of the latest tweets, or have somebody manually check tweets before they are displayed.

Plan this in advance and ensure that you release details of the event and the hashtag that will be used before the event starts, and this not only adds a dynamic element to the physical event, but it can be used to attract online followers too. People that are unable to attend will still be able to experience some portions of the day.

To Be Continued…

Start a story offline and continue it online, or vice versa. This is a great way to encourage your users to get involved in the whole journey. In your newspaper ads, magazine pages, or in your direct mailers, start a story about a client and how your products helped them, or about a relevant and interesting news story, and then encourage them to visit your website, your blog, or your social media account where they will be able to find out the rest of the information.

There are many forms and types of advertising, both online and in the real world. Offline and online marketing are certainly not mutually exclusive, and by seamlessly and effectively combining the two channels you can enhance the overall results of your marketing campaign. Don’t throw in links or QR codes for the sake of it, ensure that you are offering value in doing so, and you may even encourage your target market to help spread the word on your behalf. 

About the Author

Washington Direct Mail (WDM) is a UK based mailing house offering full service direct mail campaigns. They can design and print your marketing materials, develop powerful lists, and fulfil envelope stuffing and mail delivery services. Visit their website today to see how WDM can help improve your business marketing results.