If your business predominantly operates online, you will no doubt have invested in web-based advertising. However, overlooking offline marketing altogether would be a mistake.
Many businesses now operate largely or even solely online, meaning that web-based advertising in all its forms is an important way to raise your profile. However, there are clients you will simply never reach this way for one reason or another. Although offline advertising can be expensive, there are ways of engaging people in the real world that are easy, cheap and effective. These include:
- Business cards
- Stationary and emails
- QR codes
These are an excellent way to network and leave your details with interested parties. They are cheap to produce, thanks to the rise of digital printing, and come in almost infinite variety – don’t feel you have to restrict yourself to the traditional white rectangle. Just make sure you create a strong, clear design, and opt for good quality card and printing. If you need some ideas, simply look at other people’s cards or search the web for some inspiration.
Stationary and emails
Even if you do operate online, you will still likely use snail mail for deliveries and other functions. Even if you don’t, you will almost certainly send emails. Each of these communications offers a chance to reinforce your branding and message. Make sure your correspondence contains your contact details, logo, tagline and website, as applicable. These can go in an html email too. Once you have set these up with letterheads or email templates, they cost nothing to continue using by are a constant reminder to clients and suppliers.
QR codes (quick response codes) are a kind of 2-dimensional barcode that are rapidly gaining popularity amongst smartphone users. They can be created using free software available on the web and store information which is accessed when they are snapped by a phone’s camera. This may take several forms, but one of the most popular is simply a link which is opened automatically. This significantly reduces the divide between online and offline, allowing advertising on physical surfaces – whether a poster, flyer, shop front, business card or letter – to act as a signpost to a far greater amount of information.
There are plenty of other ways to advertise your website by offline means, but if you are a small business these options will be of interest because they are cheap and easy to implement, therefore offering the possibility of an encouraging return-on-investment for the time and money spent on them.