20 Best Offline Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
The Internet is a powerful tool many businesses have harnessed to get ahead.
For example, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchased goods online in 2018. E-retail and other forms of marketing have simply gone on to break a lot of records.
However, many businesses, especially small ones have found out ways to still market their goods offline.
Sure, online marketing does make the world seem smaller but the good old days where offline marketing ruled, are not over. At least, not at the moment.
To breakeven or stand out from the competition, you have to balance your marketing strategies.
There are fabulous ways to help you do that and stay ahead. As a small business, you probably exist within a local community.
As such, it’s all the more important to take control of that area with offline tactics you’re about to read about.
Also, keep in mind that a careful and correct implementation of these offline marketing ideas will boost your ROI.
Here are some of the best offline marketing ideas for your small business:
1. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
With business, there’s always someone to run into no matter how small your business is.
So what do you hope to achieve? Can you explain what your product is or what your services entail in a matter of seconds?
If your answer is delayed, then you need to work on your elevator pitch. Not that you have to use them in an actual elevator but it’s a summary of your business.
That will come in handy to win over potential customers or link up with partners.
Further, good elevator pitches show you’re a leading personality in the business in question.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to make your elevator pitch hit the right notes.
2. Go Big on Packaging
It’s a no-brainer really. Your packaging ought to stand out from the rest. What you want is something that instantly catches the eye of potential customers.
All you need is above average creativity to design cool packages. Whether that involves bags or boxes, put your mark on them when selling your products.
Creative, but with the Times
Think of it this way, your products might find their way to shelves where they sit with similar products.
As such, you’d want them to have the right packaging that gives you the advantage over others.
Even when you make more sales, constantly switch things up to stay ahead. The fact is your competitors will notice and probably try to match your efforts.
You can take things a step further by using materials that won’t build up organic waste.
Overall, let your logo sit proudly on the package you set up.
3. Engage Local Media
Every community has one sort of local media or the other. They include radio houses, TV stations, and bulletins.
Buy some ad time on the local media to get your goods out there. Guess what? Using the local media to advertise will cost you next to nothing.
That is because many businesses are more focused online.
Reports show that consumers around the world still spend an average of 463 minutes or over 7.5 hours per day with media.
Further, American consumers in that category average around 369 minutes per day with traditional media.
Connect with Local Teams
Chances are you have friends or family working with one local media or the other.
Get close to them in a bid to get a hold of the community marketing-wise.
Good relationships can lead to many other opportunities outside of simply buying ad time from them.
They can invite you to dinner or for a locally hosted event. That’s another chance to market your products.
4. Rent a Billboard Space
Another offline marketing idea that is always worth investing in is buying ad space on billboards.
You’ve probably come across several in your lifetime. You know, those big signs you see when driving across town or entering a new community.
They’re great for business, and if they’re big enough, everyone will notice.
Steps you can take include:
- Make sure they’re located in areas where high traffic is the norm in your local community.
- Get some catchy stuff from your products and showcase them. You don’t want something drab or out of touch.
- Ensure your message or ad is very visible, has both your contact information and business address.
While billboards aren’t as cheap anymore, they’re a sure way to increased ROI.
5. Rejig Your Storefront
What kind of picture do you want your potential customers to have in their minds when they look at your storefront?
Sure, it may seem like an odd marketing idea but there’s a saying that “first impressions matter.”
In line with that, image is everything when it comes to attracting new customers.
If you run a small business at a physical location, make sure that it looks fantastic.
Make sure that whatever signs you use to grab the attention of passers-by.
What’s the branding like inside your business establishment? Make sure your storefront captures that so that it has an appealing look.
Use bright colors to make it even more captivating. For example, if you run a restaurant or bar, your storefront should depict on the outside what you have on the inside.
You can even display some of your wares outside as long as the weather cooperates.
6. Connect with Your Community
Participating in community events will help you boost your brand’s popularity.
Everyone gets to notice when you invest in community sponsorship or towards a worthy cause.
Further, without funds available, you can show your support by being present when invited to such gatherings.
Little leagues and other small sporting events need sponsorship. The jerseys don’t cost as much and you get to have your business name across them.
With players getting their grove on, fans will notice the branded merchandise and key into them. That way, you generate more funds.
You could also host a fundraiser at your place of work and still hand out branded items to those who make it.
When you’re involved with a community, the human angle of your business takes shape. As such, potential customers get to match the face of the brand.
What’s more, it is time to interact and get familiar with the participants.
7. Hand Out Business Cards
Distribute your business cards to individuals you come across. It is still an effective way to connect and stay in touch with those you meet during networking.
It’s also cheap and doesn’t require an online presence.
Even if you don’t meet them personally, you can have tour cards attached to relevant items like bulletin boards and other public places.
It’s a versatile and cost-effective offline marketing tactic that will lead to good results.
8. Share Printed Materials
Printed materials still make a lost of sense even with multiple Internet platforms like Google ads.
In line with that, create flyers, pamphlets, and other print media and share them with people you meet.
Ensure that they’re catchy and easy on the eye. In fact, they’re a lot harder to ignore than computer-generated ads.
Let your Information Stick out
Be clear about your business name, address, and other contact information.
It’s a nice way to start the process of influencing a potential customer with hopes to eventually win them over.
9. Send direct mail
Social media, computers, smartphones, and a host of digital systems have taken over a vast variety of tasks. Emails are not left out. But the fact is direct mail still has a spot in the hearts is many individuals.
Besides, statistics show that direct mails require 21% less cognitive effort to process than emails.
Direct mails can also be highly targeted if you use data to direct campaigns. That way, you have more personalized content.
When you do it well, there’s high retention capacity and conversion rates.
10. Help Your Staff Develop
Having a staff that understands your business is key. No matter how small your business is, you can’t be present all the time.
As such, it helps to have someone who could effectively run things in your absence.
How? Get them involved and striving to be the best.
Teach them how to interact with customers with well-founded knowledge about your products and services.
Customers will generally be happy and impressed with knowledgeable and professional staff.
Conduct seminars and training sessions to help maximize their abilities, not just for your business, but also for their personal growth.
11. Cross-Promote with Partners
Many small businesses need all the help they can get. There are local personalities you can connect and partner with to give your business a boost.
Whether you get to meet them through local functions or networking, they can help spread the word about products.
This is one of the benefits of working with others. For example, you can launch a complementary product or organic joint workshops where each other’s products get the recognition they need.
What you get is an inexpensive way to massively increase your business’s visibility offline.
12. Trade Shows and Events
Organize trade shows and events that give you a chance to sell your products and basically get the word out about them.
Further, you also gain networking opportunities through such shows.
People may not buy all the time, but it’s a place to showcase and promote what you’ve got to sell.
You can make the show more interesting with videos, brochures, and images.
13. Take Photos of Everything
One way you can complement your online marketing campaign is by using photos of everything you do offline.
You can take photos of your team, special events you come up with, and other points of interest.
Images are an integral part of today’s culture with more people keen to see what you can do or have done, rather than read or hear about it.
It’s great to encourage user engagement.
Coupons are a great way for your potential customers to save what little money they have. You can use them to lure people to your business.
It is even more effective on people who have little idea about your business or products you deal with.
As such, a coupon makes them willing to give you a shot particularly at discounted prices.
You can mix this up with direct mails by including coupons in the mails.
Again, you can give them to your current customers and have them share it with others.
Including them in ads in the local media will also help you market your business offline.
15. Do Giveaways
Giveaways are great and they don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
In other words, you’re giving customers a sort of incentive for doing business with you. Some of the ideas you can implement include:
- Working with media outlets to cr at completions like quizzes about your products.
- Make a donation to a good cause on the condition that they buy a certain number of products from you.
- Do a ‘buy two and get one free’ type of marketing or add little accessories to some main products you sell.
Customers will appreciate these gestures and will no doubt search your small business out for patronage next time.
16. Grab Speaking Opportunities
There are multiple speaking opportunities through events and occasions that happen from time to time.
Depending on the scale or level, you may be asked to speak at such events. Don’t fret!
It’s an ideal opportunity to show you’re an industry leader and of course, chip in a thing or two about your business.
In most cases, you’re before a highly targeted audience that is interested in what you have to say.
As such, they’re primed and ready to pay attention. All you have to do is build up the courage and give your business some credibility by showing your knowledge of the business at hand.
That will give you a firm footing offline and extend your network.
17. Use Brand Ambassadors
If that were online, they would be referred to as influencers. However, brand ambassadors are just as effective.
They’re more like your walking and talking billboard. Such people won’t hesitate to talk positively about your business.
What’s more, you can get them to wear items like shirts and hats that carry your brand name or logo. It’s a nice step to market offline.
18. Sending Seasonal Cards
At first thought, this looks very old-fashioned but it still works. Seasonal cards sent every year can have the marketing impact you desire.
It’s a warm and beautiful gesture many people will appreciate.
Further, it builds up a healthy rapport between the giver (you) and the receiver (customer, potential customer).
It’s a touch of class and shows you remember and cherish them.
Seasonal cards don’t cost a lot too. You could also make them yourself by adding personalized touches to the cards.
Make this a tradition for your business even if it gets bigger over time. Think of it this way, your card just might be the only one in their mailbox!
19. Make Donations
One of the most important and potent offline marketing ideas is making donations. Hold your horses!
You don’t need to give out huge sums of money especially if you’re a small business trying to breakeven.
What you can do is find a need and volunteer to send over some of the products you have that can make a difference.
People are Always in Need
You’re not out to meet everybody’s needs. No. That will effectively put an end to your business.
What you can do is help those around you. An act of charity is never a waste of resources.
You get the chance to gain more visibility and at the same time, feel good about what you’ve done.
It’s a win-win situation and a cool offline marketing idea.
20. Cold Calls
Cold calls feel like a legend now. It seems out of touch considering many businesses don’t use it.
However, a small business can turn to them even if there are some challenges when talking to a stranger about your business.
You can take courage from the fact that no one else is going to do it for you. Besides, it works!
It remains one of the more traditional offline marketing ideas, and maybe one of the most difficult for a lot of business owners. Despite all that, it is still as effective as it used to be.
You can convert strangers into customers even with cold calls. No one is perfect so pick up the phone and get busy!
You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
Offline marketing existed before the advent of the Internet and online advertising. What does that tell you?
It still has its advantages and benefits. This article has pointed you to many ways you can adopt for your small business.
Many of them won’t cost you a dime while others require a little money and more effort. Either way, implementing them will see you gain more customers.