5 Ways for Local Retailers to Make the Most of Offline Marketing
Marketers have more options to reach consumers than ever before. With so much focus on new technology and digital trends, it can be easy to forget about offline marketing and the positive impact it can have on your bottom line. In fact, a recent survey by FedEx Office found that 80 percent of small business owners say printed materials help them stand out from their competitors. The same study revealed that 90 percent of consumers feel there will always be a need for printed assets.
That doesn’t mean you can jump right in with a printed marketing campaign and see immediate results. Like any other marketing effort, you need a strategy, plan, goals and more to ensure you’re placing your time, efforts and money in the right place. Use these tips to jump-start your offline marketing strategy the right way.
1. Identify your goals and steps.
You should never do anything for the sake of doing it, or simply because your competitors are. Before you begin your print marketing campaign — or any marketing campaign — you need to determine your goals for the campaign in question, whether that’s a flyer, an event or radio ad.
If you don’t already have a goal process in place, consider a simple framework that can apply to every retailer:
- What's the overarching business or revenue goal?
- How will this offline marketing tactic help you reach that goal (e.g., brand awareness, more sales, etc.)?
- What do you need to complete the campaign successfully (e.g., total number of sales, followers, shares, etc.)?
- What specific steps do you need to make that happen (e.g., better direct mail targeting, updated printed assets, etc.)?
- How will you track your efforts (custom URL or landing page, total followers gained over a period of time, etc.)?
Use this as a starting place for identifying goals and the steps you need to take to reach them.
2. Narrow your target audience.
Business owners and marketers want to reach as many people as possible, but quality over quantity is always a better strategy. If you haven’t niched down yet, now is the time to do so. Determine your ideal demographic and learn about their wants and needs. Use this as your foundation for distributing printed content, booking talks, or appearing at events that allow you to reach this audience. Check out this guide from Shopolo for finding your niche audience.
With print materials, remember that segmenting your audience is also more cost effective. You’ll be printing less and targeting people who are more likely to respond or take an action based on your efforts. You can use EDDM by USPS for better direct mail targeting, for example. Don’t forget to revamp your marketing materials for each event, allowing you to share the information most relevant to that audience.
3. Design impactful printed assets.
Print can be a valuable tool for building brand recognition and driving sales. “Unlike website content or email newsletters, printed marketing materials are tangible — meaning customers are more likely to revisit the content if they have a physical copy in hand. While business cards and leaflets allow businesses to strike up conversations, monthly magazines and regular flyers help to strengthen those relationships,” suggests a SMB CEO.
However, the offline world is as crowded as the online world, and your printed materials need to stand out in order to be noticed. Digital marketers run into the same problem here, but they have the benefit of using animated images and videos to capture their audience’s attention. Print marketing needs to be more creative, ensuring your words and images jump off a static page.
To make an impact with your printed assets, remember a few simple rules of thumb:
- Include a clear headline.
- Use only one call to action (CTA), and make it clear.
- Keep copy short and concise.
- Use a compelling, high-quality product photo or other relevant images.
Note that choosing the right photo or graphic is important. Nearly a third of marketers say a visual image is the most important form of content for their business. Ultimately, less is more, so don’t overcrowd your assets with too many images or too much copy.
4. Focus on a clear and strong CTA.
Even the most compelling mailer will be wasted if there isn’t a clear and strong CTA. The element should move recipients further along the sales funnel by offering them something that’s relevant and beneficial to them, like a promo deal or exclusive offer.
However, you don’t always need to push your audience to make a transaction. Here are a few CTA types to consider as you plan your offline marketing campaigns:
- Follow us on [insert social media platform].
- Download our free [insert digital product].
- Sign up for our mailing list.
- Tag us in your Instagram post using [insert hashtag].
- Join us at [insert event name].
5. Track your offline efforts.
It doesn’t matter if your marketing campaigns are online or offline, you need track how the end results compare to the goals you established. “Metrics are critical to the success of any marketing effort, including print marketing," says Jason Frueh, founder and co-owner of MyCreativeShop. "Without them, you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, blindly spending money without optimizing along the way.”
Frueh shares two important ways for tracking offline marketing efforts:
- shortened/custom URLs or QR codes on print materials — you can even mention a custom URL in a radio ad; and
- custom offer codes, which drive customers to buy while also allowing you to track purchases directly from your efforts.
Make the Most of Offline Marketing
The standard best practices for digital marketing campaigns are similar to those for offline marketing campaigns. Develop your strategy with goals and audience in mind before you create eye-catching material with a clear and compelling CTA. In the end, back up your time and money spent by understanding how well your campaign improved. Use these tips to make your offline marketing efforts successful every time.
Jessica Thiefels is an organic content marketing consultant. She has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and spent the last six years in marketing.
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Jessica Thiefels is an organic content marketing consultant. She has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and spent the last six years in marketing. She stepped down from a senior marketing position to focus on growing her own startup and consulting for small businesses. She's been featured on Forbes and has written for sites such as Lifehack, Inman, Manta, StartupNation and more. When she's not working, she's enjoying sunny San Diego with her husband and friends or traveling somewhere new. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect on LinkedIn.