Sometimes, local businesses need to think out of the proverbial box when it comes to marketing strategies to drive sales and increase brand awareness. And while widely useful, online marketing isn’t always the answer to creating the connections that local businesses need in order to leverage sales and develop that all-important brand awareness in local communities.
In contrast, offline marketing can still attract new customers who will walk through the front door of your business tomorrow and buy your products and services.
In many ways, offline marketing has become an out-of-the-box way to increase brand awareness in a world where online marketing is the norm. Every local business can make use of online marketing, but offline strategies can be your “Ace in the Hole” solution that allows you to connect with new prospects and drive more sales.
There are quite a few offline marketing methods that are still very effective even in today’s online world, we’re going to be revealing 3 of our favorites.
- Spread Your Message Everywhere With EDDM
EDDM, also known as Every Door Direct Mail, is a unique way of thinking about direct mail marketing that benefits local businesses. With EDDM, a business can deliver mail directly to every door in a neighborhood without the need for any specific addresses or names.
Most businesses will scoff at direct mail marketing today, calling it ineffective and outdated. But when is the last time they actually tried it? People are far more inundated with pop ads, email subscriptions, and banner ad displays online than with physical ads, making physical ads an effective marketing strategy. EDDM works because it laser targets your local customer base.
The only thing your business needs to do is specify the carrier route and create eye-catching postcard to promote your business.
EDDM is also a fraction of the cost of other direct mail campaigns and is one of those simple but effective marking strategies that drive sales to your business without too much investment or effort to see significant results.
2. Partner with a local business
Reaching out to other local businesses that have a similar customer base and complementary services but not in direct competition with you to form a partnership is an excellent offline marketing strategy.
There are many benefits to be reaped from these strategic alliances that include strengthening both businesses’ brands, accomplishing mutual sales and marketing goals, and reaching all-new audiences.
This is an exciting strategy as you form an alliance with another business to create bigger and better solutions for your customers. Starting the process isn’t difficult and can be done by approaching another business in your local area to get the ball rolling.
Consider which business might be open to forming an alliance and expanding their own brands with an all-new marketing strategy. This could look like offering joint classes and workshops, working on new services together, developing a joint project, or simply offering unique perks like coupons and discounts. These alliances should always benefit both brands equally.
For any local business, pooling resources and reaching a wider audience while remaining independent is the perfect win-win opportunity.
Some examples of complementary services include…
Lawn Care Services and Home Cleaning Services
Flower Shop and Bakery (think wedding cakes)
Auto Detailing Service and Autobody Repair Service
Accounting Firm and Legal Office
Finding the right partnership is going to be key in the success of this campaign. But with some effort and creative collaboration both businesses will benefit by plugging into each other’s existing customer base and developing a plan for growth.
3. Try a little Guerrilla Marketing
Spending large amounts of money on marketing is not always a viable option for small businesses. That is where guerrilla marketing steps onto the scene. Low cost, effective, and easy to execute is just a few ways to describe guerrilla marketing tactics. It's all about connecting with customers through your business and providing a memorable brand experience.
Several guerrilla tactics will drive sales to your front door but creating a memorable experience for your business away from your storefront is the beauty of this marketing strategy.
- Give away free merchandise or services and ask for non-perishable food donations.
- Offer a seminar in your area of expertise for your local Chamber of Commerce
- Host a charity event and invite the local media.
- Start a treasure hunt that involves hiding clues that lead to prizes. Have participants pick up maps in-store.
- Sponsor a local youth sports team
Locally run businesses directly benefit from marketing strategies like this for several reasons like to get behind a cause they support, learn more about topic they find interesting, or simply to enjoy a coupon or a free product.
Offline marketing is not always a straightforward process, especially for local businesses that don't have the time and funds to run a large-scale marketing campaign. But the beauty of offline marketing is that you can draw customers in with a little out-of-the-box thinking to create a memorable experience that will bring customers right through your front door and keep them coming back for more.