When first openning the doors to your small business, you know you have to tackle "online" some way or another. However, before this you may find your self searching for traditional offline advertising methods to marketing your small business. In this article you can read all the pros and cons for offline advertising, to help make the decision easier.
When you think of offline advertising, a more physical approach is what first comes to mind. Although, this is mostly correct, there are other forms of offline advertising which can still be used to reap in the rewards. Although, online advertising is almost certainly being used more often in recent years than offline adverting, this doesn't mean that you should rule out "offline" completly.
Let me explain:
Online advertising is on the whole a faceless operation, but there are many offline methods that can bring back that personal touch. Think grass roots campaigns such as flyering and leafleting, or good old door to door trails. If you are a friendly, polite and skilled sales person, nothing beats face to face contact and getting your point across directly.
Physical and tangible
Because of the explosion in online advertising, offline channels now offer the potential to make more of an impact. You may have noticed the reduced amount of direct mail advertising you now receive, in comparison to the streams of promotional emails that land in your inbox. That means that a well-designed, impactful pamphlet or letter can make all the difference.
Reach whole communities
If your aim is to spread your brand as far and wide as possible, irrespective of demographics, in many ways offline advertising holds the edge over online. Methods such as billboards and posters are indiscriminate; allowing you to shout from the rooftops about your brand to passersby of both sexes and all age groups. In a seemingly increasingly fragmented online world, offline offers a wide platform.
Let me tell you something you already know:
Hard to measure
You might feel offline campaigns such as flyers or direct mail are on the road to success, but how can you track them? There are methods such as promo codes that might give you a way of measuring response, but that adds another part to the customer journey that might complicate the process, and it seems unlikely every interested recipient will take the steps you intend them to.
a large share of the leaflets, brochures and letters we use for offline advertising are not made from renewable sources, and are likely to be dumped or thrown away irresponsibly by recipients. For SMEs that have an environmentally conscious element to their business and brand, many offline channels are not a 'guilt-free' option for reaching potential customers.
Over the past decade we have seen a shift in the readers of newspapers and magazines to online platforms, from the traditional print forms of publications. Some regular subscribers to publication now prefer to catch up on news and views via their tablet or smart phone, or jump online and read a website, rather than flick through the pages. For this reason, in many cases offline advertising does not reach the numbers it once did.
Lesson for today, is not to completly rule out all advertising methods based on popularity. But, at the same time be careful with offline advertising, because it is very difficult to track and notice if your investment was worth it. See what is best for small business and test it in small quantities before committing 100%
If you still feel stuck with the best advertising method, the Shore team will be happy to answer any of your questions.