The Costs of Giving up on Offline Marketing

With the rise of digital, brands are faced with a dilemma of whether or not to pursue their traditional, offline efforts in parallel with their essential online game? So much emphasis has been put on the world wide web that some of the older, extremely efficient strategies have been abandoned out of sheer fear that you’ll lose business if you don’t invest enough in the digital aspect of your marketing.

But the truth is, there would be no online had it not been for the offline, and when a business knows how to integrate them to work together, it can grow beyond those that only opt for one or the other. And no, offline marketing is not on its deathbed, on the contrary, this is a time of an offline renaissance that will help brands become more memorable and creative with their customer outreach than ever before.

Networking contacts

If you want your name to reverberate in the halls of an international conference where all the tech gurus cluster, then you should become a sponsor of such massive events and make your brand become a part of the story. Supporting like-minded individuals gives you exposure to the right audience, elevates your reputation and allows you a foot in the door that would otherwise remain closed.

Joining regular conferences, seminars and other events that are specific to your business can also serve as an entrance to a new clientele or partnership waiting to happen. But what do you need with you to make your brand remembered? A business card, of course. Carrying those is still an essential part of networking in Europe, but the rest of the world still cherishes this tradition as well. Craft such branded business cards that they’ll have to take another look.

Branding done right

People crave anything palpable, tangible and relatable in this day and age, especially because we’re so perpetually overwhelmed by the online noise and chatter that we yearn for something real. When all your digital imagery and language are spotless, people still need something to make your brand more personal. And what could better serve the purpose than branded merchandise, or branded gift cards?

If you make an effort to give people what they need or like, such as pens, t-shirts, notepads or flash drives with your logo, they are bound to remember you, make a connection with your brand and are much more likely to give your product/service a go. That’s why branded printing in Sydney is still a flourishing marketing approach that allows your customers to create a more personal connection to the brand. The physical products representing your brand are at least as important as your online presentation (freebies included), so making an effort will be worth your while to make your marketing truly omnichannel.

Offline content matters

Newspapers and magazines are not only popular in the waiting rooms of every dental office, but they are still one of the main sources of information and entertainment for the majority of the world. They are an experience in and of itself, one that is still sought-after despite the search engine frenzy that drives your online sales.

But it’s not just advertising in newspapers that’s still very powerful for reaching the right customer polls. Rest assured that publishing an article in a printed paper will also be an invaluable way to get in front of as many eyes as possible, although tracking it may be a tougher nut to crack. Financially speaking, it’s not such a pricey endeavor, but it can lead to plenty of exposure to your brand.

Pick up the phone

Gone are the days when cold calls were the main and sometimes only source of attaining new customers, but this somewhat aged technique is still an important part of the modern-day marketing chase. In fact, such conversations, when done properly, are appreciated by the customer, since most of the touchpoints for brands and customers involve digital and faceless interaction, that they are now eager for more up-close and personal communication.

Be mindful of the intricacies of cold-calling, however, since choosing the wrong approach can backfire gloriously. You need to be sure that your audience will enjoy this particular strategy. Is your language focused on what they need, and how they might benefit from the conversation? Is it timed not to interrupt their lunch and family time? All of these details matter in the eyes of the modern customer, since we’re all pressed for time.

Knowledge-sharing face to face

The most valuable form of a “freebie” that you can give to your customers is organizing a workshop or a lecture that will help them overcome some of their issues without imposing yourself as the solution.

Giving actual value in the form of knowledge and information means that you truly care for your potential customers, and the fact that you moved away from the digital realm only gives you a chance to follow their reactions, improve your attitude and presentation, and establish a more meaningful connection with your audience.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

3 Ways You Can Cut The Costs Of A Small Business Marketing Strategy

Having the right marketing strategy can help drive customers to your business. It will generate a buzz around your company, and promote your products or services. Many things factor into the perfect marketing strategy, one of which is the price.

Keeping the costs as low as possible – without compromising the results – is a tough task. However, it’s not impossible. There are ways you can do this, and it will help you create a marketing strategy that does everything you want, without costing too much.

smallbusmarket

Pexels

Do A Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Each Technique

No matter what marketing techniques you use, it’s crucial that you work out how much you’ll get out of your investment. If something costs money to implement, then you should run a cost-benefit analysis to predict how much you’ll benefit from it. This allows you to see which things are worth your time, and which things you should maybe forget about. There are sites like https://www.mindtools.com that have some useful resources to help you figure out how beneficial something is for the price. As a result of doing this analysis, you can save money by not spending loads of cash on techniques that won’t generate many benefits for your business.

Only Focus On Digital Marketing

There are loads of different marketing ideas out there for you to explore. You’ve got plenty of traditional ideas that many businesses are still using. This includes print advertising, commercials, billboards, attending trade shows, and so on. My gripe with traditional ideas is that they’re often expensive, and don’t bring in brilliant results. As you can see on www.Coforge.com, digital marketing strategies normally comprise of SEO, social media, and web design. All three of these things are inexpensive, yet highly effective. Modern consumers spend most of their time online, so it makes sense to focus all your efforts on digital marketing. It will save money, as you don’t have to pay for traditional ideas as well.

Get As Much Free Help As Possible

The best way to save money is to avoid spending any money in the first place. Obviously, it’s nigh on impossible to create a marketing strategy for nothing at all. However, you can attempt to get as much free help as possible. One idea that springs to mind is asking friends or customers to share your social media accounts online. This helps spread the reach of your content, and build up followers. Another idea is to encourage customers to leave reviews of your business. Good reviews are often the best way to market and promote your business as it shows people that you’re trustworthy and professional. Most consumers check reviews before buying something, so this makes a lot of sense to do. The best thing is, they don’t cost you a penny!

See, it’s definitely possible to create a great marketing strategy without overspending. One of the great business tips is to save money at every possibility. Reducing the cost of your marketing campaign is one way to lower overall expenses, and possibly widen profit margins.

7 Ways To Make Your Site More Exciting

If you’ve recently started to look at your website and think that it just seems so boring, then it may be time for a change. On the one hand, this may be because you’ve just gotten used to it. So you’re more bored with it than anything else. But, it may also be because the website itself is actually boring. And when that’s the case, you may have to worry. Because if you’re finding it boring, the what are your customers thinking? Either way, you don’t have to just leave your website as it is now – you can really change things around and make it so much more exciting.

Sometimes, you just have to get yourself into a position where you’re bored with your website to then be able to change it. Because you’re not always going to be able to see what’s wrong when you’re not looking at the same old things. But, even when you know that something isn’t quite right, you don’t always know what will make it better. And that’s where this post comes in. Even if you quite like your site as it is now, you may take something away from this that can take it to the next level. Because we’re going to walk through seven different ways that you can make your website more exciting.

Do A Complete Redesign

Of course, the very first option you’re always going to have is to do a complete redesign of your site. Because when you think that the site is boring, or it’s just not really giving you the results that you want, you need to shake things up. A great way to do this is to make sure that you’re taking your analytics and really honing in on the elements that need improving. When you do, you should find that the end result not only looks great, but it much more suitable to what your customers want functionality wise too.

Change Your Branding

Sometimes, you’re not going to have to go to such drastic measures to make your site more exciting. If you love the layout and the functionality is perfect, maybe it’s just the branding that needs to be changed. From your logo to the fonts and colors used, sometimes you just need to shake up the visuals you have to make them more suited to your brand identity.

Start A Blog

From here, you’re then going to want to think about starting a blog on site too. If you have a blog already, then maybe you need to refresh your content or start a new series – both can be incredibly influential to your customers and viewers. This should also become a huge part of your marketing too. It can be a lot of extra work, but if you put the effort it, it will pay off.

exciting2 https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-coffee-computer-desk-374006/

Launch An App

How are you doing on the mobile front? If you’re not optimized for mobile at all, then this should be your first change. Even if you don’t know an awful lot about it, you can work with the software companies that do. By launching an app, you’re going to be adding a new dimension to your offering and even be able to target a new segment of customers too.

Use Video

Next up, you should give video some thought too. A lot of customers prefer video to imagery or written content. It can often get information across in a much more engaging way. So definitely think about what you can do with YouTube or onsite content going forward.

Create A Members Area

If your feel like your site is just the same, and that it’s not really offering anything exciting to your customers, you’re going to want to up your game with a member’s area. Not only is this exciting for your customers, it gives off an air of exclusivity. It’s somewhere that you can engage your customers more, and interact with them more – which has a huge benefit to both parties.

Focus On Interaction

Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re interacting with your customers as well as possible too. And you can definitely use your website to do that. With a great live chat offering, you can often add to the customer experience and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your customers happy, and even improve your conversion rate too. It’s a great way to not only get feedback, but stop customers from dropping off through the sales funnel too.

Battle of the Marketing Strategies: Promotional Products vs. Traditional Advertising

Traditional forms of marketing have been around for a long period of time. As times changed, so have the methods of marketing, with digital marketing taking over the market. Now another new form of marketing that is gaining popularity is marketing using promotional products. 

Promotional giveaways through social media or at conferences are bringing in impressive business and thus are proving to be a better form of marketing than the traditional forms of marketing. Promotional items usually focus on your brand and do not distract the focus of customers. On top of that, it displays the brand logo and name clearly, etching its memory in the mind of your customers.

  • WHICH IS A BETTER INVESTMENT: PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS OR TRADITIONAL ADVERTISEMENT?

One of the most powerful terms in marketing is the ROI or Return On Investment. The modern age of communications is making the traditional forms of marketing something of a bygone era. Brands can now get associated with their customers first hand, which cannot be possible through traditional forms of marketing. Here are some pointers, which prove that promotional products are much better than traditional advertisement:

  1. Budget:

It does not matter how big your business is, but one thing common for all businesses is the budget. The budget will dictate in what type of marketing option you are considering to invest. Even if you are a huge business or brand, would it not be a good idea to invest less in advertisement and more in other sectors?

This would be possible with promotional products, as investment in promotional merchandise is much less than a minimal traditional advertisement. If your business is a start-up or a small one, then promotional items will definitely be the better marketing strategy.

  1. Length of Exposure:

Any advertisement, whether on a billboard or television and even the radio can hold the clients attention for a few minutes at the most. A promotional item, on the other hand will be able to hold the attention of your clients till the time they continue to use the merchandise and even after that.

Promotional products are usually daily use items that people will not throw away easily. As they continue using the merchandise with your brand logo and name, it will stay in their mind. It will also reach a larger group of people, as colleagues, friends and family get to see the promotional product and feel inclined to become associated with your brand.

It is basically a portable billboard that carries your brand name wherever it goes. This will offer continued exposure for your brand, which would not have been possible with traditional forms of marketing.

  1. Smaller, but Efficient Reach:

Using promotional items as part of your marketing strategy might not be able to reach a larger audience, as is the case for traditional marketing forms. Promotional items will, however, help you reach out to an audience that is interested in your brand and not the general mass who do not connect with the brand. This ultimately helps enhance the ROI, which can bring in monetary benefits for the business.

A traditional advertisement does not offer a face to face connection with the brand, which may alienate some customer towards the brand, whereas for promotional products the customers get a face to face interaction with you and your brand. This also plays an important role in targeting and achieving customer conversion as well as retention.

  • IS PROMOTIONAL MERCHANDISE TRULY WORTH YOUR RESOURCES AS AN EFFICIENT MARKETING STRATEGY?

As a business owner, you must have a simple goal: To let your brand reach millions.

This can be possible with all forms of marketing, but then come the other factors that help you take the decision like cost. Promotional products are of high quality, but do not cost too heavy on your pockets unlike traditional marketing.

Apart from that, promotional merchandise has a huge impact on a targeted audience, which converts into better ROI. Thus, investing in promotional items as your marketing strategy is definitely a brilliant and better idea. 

Author Bio : Jason possesses wealth of experience in the promotional merchandise industry as well as expertise to handle various aspects of the merchandising process, right from conceptualising branded merchandise to integrating them on global supply chains.

Save Time By Automating Your Online Marketing

Digital marketing is vital to your business, but if you find yourself living your life in reaction to social media notifications or emails, like Pavlov’s Dogs, jumping to attention each time you hear a “ding” from a notification… it’s time to take a step back and put things on autopilot.

In an ideal world, perhaps you could do with a virtual assistant in order to lighten your load, but if that’s not financially viable there are a number of ways you can automate your online marketing processes to lighten your load and free your time up for the important things… such as living your life!

The digitally connected world we live in, can be incredibly harmful to living a balanced life.  One of the best ways to lighten your load is to create a network of automated process, systems, and apps to automatically take care of marketing tasks such as following up on emails, posting to facebook, and so on.

This will not only free up physical time, it will give you peace of mind, and a sense of certainty that things are being taken care of – without you having to always be in an alert state of reaction.  Essentially, it will allow you the time you need to be calm, focused, and responsive rather than reactive.

If we think about a bricks and mortar business for a moment, a type of business that is less able to automate their processes – even a traditional store or restaurant will make use of a point of sale system in order to automate their accounting processes, and save time with tasks such as stock taking.

The point is, no matter what your business, there are ways to automate processes so that tasks are more streamlined and require less of your time.  The less time you are working in the business (i.e. on functional tasks like an employee) the more time you will have to work on the business (i.e. at a strategic level like a business leader).

Tim Ferris in his New York Times Bestselling Book, The Four Hour Workweek talks about the importance of automation in our work lives so that we can focus on managing our business in the sense of working ‘on’ the business rather than working ‘in’ the business.  Whilst Tim, along with several other millennial productivity experts urge us to go one step further and outsource our tasks to a virtual assistant; ideally someone living in India or Asia on the basis of cost – this article looks at automation as it relates to technological systems.

In this article we’re going to look at automating a number of the most time consuming digital marketing tasks the majority of business owners contend with; things such as being inundated by emails, following up on sales leads, and managing our social media presence.

  1. EMAIL MARKETING

There are plenty of time-starved business owners frantically sending out an email to a customer thanking them for their order and letting them know when it will be shipped.  The key point with automation is that it frees your time to be working ‘on’ the business at a strategic level rather than ‘in’ the business where you are wasting your time doing the same job as a low-level employee.  You could use something like mailchimp in order to start automating your emails at very low cost.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Managing your social media marketing campaigns can be extremely time consuming, particularly if you are personally responding to each comment, in order to keep the conversation alive.

Many business owners consider hiring a virtual assistant in order to manage this time consuming task though there there are several free apps such as hootsuite and buffer that can help you automate this task.

  1. MARKETING FUNNELS

Your marketing funnel is made up of several stages through which browsers (who will hopefully go on to become customers) move from initial awareness of your brand or website through to making a purchase.  They are often brought into the ‘funnel’ by a lead magnet (e.g. offer of a free trial, free course, or book giveaway) which leads to a specific landing page.

You can easily create landing pages using a drag and drop landing page builder which means you don’t need to fiddle with code – you can design everything visually and let the magical technology behind the scenes take care of functionality.

In summary, a marketing funnel is essentially the process of converting a visitor or browser into a paying customer; the sequence starts with an offer (lead magnet) that leads to a landing page or a squeeze page that gathers contact information – at which point, the user is automatically added to your email list and can receive targeted emails in perpetuity.