No matter how successful your online marketing efforts are, however, you probably won’t give up your more traditional marketing methods anytime soon. But because these strategies are two sides of the same coin, it’s important that you integrate your offline marketing efforts with your internet campaigns.
Why Integrate Your Marketing Efforts?
Whether offline or online, your marketing efforts share several common purposes.
You market your business to build brand recognition and to increase your bottom line. Within these overarching objectives, you probably also hope to increase engagement with your prospects and customers, and encourage them to share your information with their friends, family and wider spheres of influence.
Other reasons for marketing may be to establish your company as an expert resource, to enhance your reputation or to build public awareness about your industry.
Integrating all of your efforts on whatever platforms you may use creates synergy and ensures that the overall efforts are greater than the sum of their parts. It expands your reach and helps to eliminate any potential confusion.
Begin with a Cohesive and All-Encompassing Marketing Plan
If you aren’t using a marketing plan to guide your activities, you may want to reexamine your strategy. Even the smallest of businesses will benefit from a comprehensive — and frequently updated — marketing plan.
Having (and following) a plan ensures that your marketing efforts align, both with each other and with your business objectives. It also keeps your budget on track. Most important, having a marketing plan integrates both your internet and offline campaigns and allows them to build on one another.
The Blending of Traditional and Online Marketing Continues
In today’s high-tech world, the lines between off- and online activities are blurring.
Look at word-of-mouth, for example. This is one of the most effective means of building any business. Your happy customers tell their friends and associates about their experience with your services or the great new product they recently purchased from you. They might even hand their friend one of your business cards or a marketing brochure.
But today, word-of-mouth is more commonly spread online, through social media posts, shares and content aggregation. More important than a business card or brochure, what you must provide your customers is a website, blog or social post they can share, your Twitter or Instagram handle or even a unique hashtag.
Whatever artifacts or techniques you use, they must be consistent and instantly identifiable with your brand.
The First Rule of Offline and Online Marketing Integration: Consistency
Before we explore specific integration strategies, we must take discuss consistency.
Whether you use them in an offline or online marketing context, your company logo, business tagline, colors, fonts and graphics must be consistent. So too, your website URL, business name, address and phone number (NAP) must be current, accurate and set in a standard format.
Even your keywords and key phrases should be standardized across all platforms. Keywords aren’t just for SEO purposes — they capture the essence of what your business does and how your prospects will find you.
Finally, ensure that both your internet marketing and offline marketing artifacts have the same look and feel — and most important of all — that they send a cohesive message about your brand and your products and services.
Use Online Marketing Strategies to Market Offline Events
Does your business conduct live events for your customers? Maybe you host seminars or informational presentations for your customers. What about product launches or open houses at your brick-and-mortar location?
If so, this presents an ideal way to merge your offline marketing efforts with your online platforms. Facebook offers live video streaming, or you could simply record the event and post it to your YouTube channel. If you’re active on social media, have someone from your company live Tweet from the event, or post snaps of the event on Snapchat or Instagram.
You can also create an event page on Facebook and LinkedIn, and market there to current customers as well as prospects.
Make Offline Marketing Pieces Available Online
If you’ve invested time and money in designing and printing marketing brochures, onesheets, catalogs or product manuals, make them available in digital format as well.
Simply scan your brochures to make PDFs and post them to one of the many free online publishing sites. That way, you can post live links to your materials on your website, social media sites and in emails.
If you publish a company newsletter or marketing flyers for special events, these are perfect for uploading online. Not only are these online publications searchable, but you can refer potential clients to the links to establish your expertise, history and brand.
Cross-Post Your Offline and Online Marketing
If you plan to run a print ad in a local newspaper or magazine, post digital versions of it on your social media feeds. Write a blog post that highlights the products or events in your ad, and include an image of the ad in your post.
If you buy radio or TV spots, ask the media outlet for digital copies, then post them on your YouTube channel, website and social sites. It may also make sense to ask your advertising rep if they offer print and online packages for marketing. Often, for only a little more money, media outlets will publish your print ads in electronic form on their websites as well.
Create digital business cards for your company and your staff, especially your sales associates. Integrate them into each employee’s email signature.
Your business model will dictate what you can do and how, but with a solid plan and a little creativity, you can successfully integrate virtually all of your offline and online marketing efforts.
Be Locally specializes in helping businesses establish a strong online foundation. Although internet marketing and advertising is our specialty, our marketing experts understand how to grow your business in multiple dimensions and across a variety of platforms.
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