Ways to promote your small business offline in 2019
Is everyone telling you that you can’t promote your business offline? If you’re on a shoe-string budget these tried and true methods are still in play.
Online marketing is the norm… the go-to marketing tactic for small and large businesses.
So much so that conventional methods of marketing have been neglected and almost forgotten. However, for small startups on a shoe string budget, some tried and true traditional marketing tactics can still have impact.
For starters, not everyone depends on the internet for information. In fact, studies have shown that people are more likely to visit a new shop when recommended by friends and family rather than online advertisements.
And second, offline marketing may give you an edge over the competition. Anyone can publish their advertisements online, generating stiff competition and not much room to really set you apart. Through the alternative marketing options described here today, you could truly separate your business from the others.
If you’ve forgotten these simple traditional ways to promote your small business offline, it’s time to revisit them if you’re struggling in 2019.
Distribute business cards
Talk about going back to basics…
There was a time you couldn’t meet someone without them leaving a business card with you.
Of course, this was back in the day when people didn’t have smartphones and synced contacts, but that does not mean business cards are extinct. Imagine meeting someone at an airport, restaurant or even during a flight. In such situations, it is much more effective to hand them a business card than to refer them to your website.
Most importantly, it gives them the first impression of your business. This is why it is important to put a lot of thought into the design process. Fortunately, online business card printing can be affordable and still very well done. This way, you can print many business cards and keep them in your pocket handy. Another reason is that it shows that your business is serious, no matter how small. People still value the exchange of business cards as a precursor to an actual business deal as opposed to the exchange of phone numbers.
Another advantage to business cards is that they are so easily distributed. You can leave your business card in a hotel, bar, restaurant, etc. and someone may see it. Given their low price, it is possible to leave at least one card any place you visit and expect a callback. Moreover, business cards are passed around, meaning that a single card could potentially bring in multiple customers.
Business cards are still a great way to promote your small business.
Attend conferences, seminars, and trade shows
Nothing beats the direct approach in marketing.
Why? Because no one can promote your small business better than you in person!
While phone calls, emails, and online advertisements have a way of being very impersonal, a face-to-face meeting with your customers is the opposite. This becomes your chance to create a direct connection with potential customers, which is way superior to communicating online. Furthermore, it gives your customers a chance to have a feel for your products, especially if accompanied by a live demonstration.
Although this tool of offline promotion is very powerful, it still needs a lot of work behind the scenes.
The first step to success is to promote yourself online in order to create awareness about your brand. Your online viewers will then be more inclined to visit your booth during an event to interact with you. A lot of thought also has to go into the way you showcase your business and products. Reserving a booth is recommended, then make sure the branding is eye-catching and professionally done.
Not only do these events help you with customers, but also with other companies. This is where you get to meet the competition and your suppliers. You can learn about what your competition is offering and make some favorable deals with suppliers you probably had not met before.
Distribute branded products
Simple products that are used so often mean that you can get a lot of eyeballs looking at your company’s brand.
Have you ever wondered why pharmaceutical companies ensure they leave brochures, calendars, pens, etc. at doctors’ waiting rooms? Because every person in the room will look at these products and take note of the company or products thereof.
You too can use the same strategy to promote your company and products.
What’s important is choosing the right design and placement. Ensure your company logo and name is clearly seen even from afar so as to quickly catch people’s attention. Then consider where to place the actual ads. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to place a calendar featuring your furniture repair services at a doctor’s waiting room. Therefore, make sure that your products have some relation to the location where they are found.
Follow up using phone calls
This is perhaps one of the most powerful ways of promoting a small business.
When people have a question about a company’s products, they can very easily leave a comment on social media pages or send an email. For large corporations, their size limits them from personally reaching out to their customers, but you can. If you can follow up to your customers’ requests made online through a phone call, you could create that personal touch with them that builds trust. Customers like to feel valued, and nothing is greater than getting that phone call letting you know your question or comment was taken seriously.
Send mail through the post office
You may think that actual mail is dead, but it’s really not.
Just ask yourself how many emails you actually read as opposed to paper mail.
Research has shown that customers will open between 80% and 90% of letters, which is much more than the emails that get read.
Indeed, a lot of promotional emails go straight to the spam folder or are ignored. While you may still think that opening a letter doesn’t directly translate to a sale, consider it as an opportunity.
After all, that is all you need to grow your business. To make your mail more effective, include inside promotion offers, gift certificates, coupons, etc. All these will bring your readers to your business doorstep from where you can impress them. Remember that the key to growing your business is to actually get people to consider buying from you.
Everyone is constantly looking for the ‘new’ marketing trend to launch and grow their business. Sometimes, you just need to go back to basics. Don’t overlook these tried and true ways to promote your small business.