Online marketing has practically become the main way people advertise their products and services. Just think about it for a second – how much time do you spend, per day, browsing the web, and how much time watching TV? Just compare and contrast YouTube and Facebook ads, SEO, pop-ups, banners… with TV commercials and real, physical banners. In fact, it seems any and all IRL marketing is falling to the wayside. We, however, would argue something a bit different.
Namely, the very fact that offline marketing has become less popular in the past several years means it has become something of an untapped market. While the online marketing market is becoming oversaturated, offline can give you some room to manoeuvre, and to actually enhance your online marketing efforts.
Utilize AR and VR
Saying that technology is progressing rapidly is pretty much a cliché at this point. Still, that doesn’t make it any less true. And one of the best and most evident points where this can be seen is tied to AR and VR functionality.
Augmented and virtual reality sets and elements have slowly but surely been carving themselves a piece of the advertisement and marketing pie. Namely, companies like IKEA, for example, have developed apps that tie their products with AR. Here is how they work. You get the appropriate app, or access a feature on their website, with your phone. Then, the product you want to buy, let’s say, a couch, will be superimposed over your phone’s screen, while your actual phone will be directed at your living room. You can then see how the piece of furniture will fit in your room, understanding its shape and size, as well as its colour.
And there is good reason why this is happening. First of all, AR and VR is just fun. The possibilities are limitless, and just being in another world (or augmenting your own world) is exciting. Couple that with a bit of shopping or original marketing, and you got a recipe for success. Not to mention the fact that this is still new and unique tech that will still advance and move forward greatly.
Offer consultations and demos
You should go out there, and offer some samples, or live consultations. So, if you, for example, own a bakery, going around town and offering samples is a great way to get people to become familiar with your brand and your work. If you, on the other hand, own a small accounting firm, handing out free advice and consultation (by setting up a booth in a high-traffic area) can serve as a unique and effective way of getting potential buyers.
Make an event of it all if you can, let the word go out you are handing out free stuff and professional advice. Getting good event banners and setting them up around town, or contacting the local newspaper, will surely get the ball rolling.
Try out guerrilla marketing
Guerrilla marketing is a special type of marketing, relying solely on originality and on your creativity. It is based on unconventional methods that are very cheap, but that can give you great results. It’s all about going out in public and creating a unique experience in the minds of potential consumers. Guerrilla marketing is only limited by your imagination. Still, searching for some inspiration can help push you into the right direction. One of the things you can do is set up scavenger hunts, set up a flash mob, making interesting flyers and stickers, and distributing them around your city…
You should network as much as possible. In fact, learning how to network may be one of the most important things you can do if you want to stay in business. Now, we are not saying you should schmooze and flatter people you don’t like. What we are saying, however, is that you should actually get to know people who are tied to your line of work. You can make business contacts, partners, as well as get quality advice. But, more importantly it will let people know you exist.
Creating contacts can lead to anything from a simple recommendation, to a full-blown goods and services contract that can keep you in the black for some time. People will learn that you are not just an abstraction, a simple brand and a company, but actually a person behind an enterprise.
Seek out conferences and trade shows, get a booth (or even a speaking deal) arranged. You can promote your goods and services, and get to know some people. Often potential clients attend these things, and this may prove to be the perfect opportunity to make an impression on a lot of people. However, keep in mind that you will most likely need to pay for this booth, and that the speaking opportunity will most likely be free. Think of these things as marketing investments, which they, for all intents and purposes, actually are.
Offline marketing can help boost all your marketing efforts and strategies. It’s a segment many companies nowadays sacrifice in order to invest more resources into online advertisement. However, you can see amazing results with things like the uniqueness of guerrilla marketing and the newest AR and VR technology. Networking with people, handing out samples, actually showing that you exist in the real world, all of this can help you stand out and get your name and brand out there.