Your business could use a bit of a boost. Your sales are lagging, and you’re so focused on online marketing strategies that you’ve forgotten all about the old-fashioned way to market yourself: offline. While offline strategies don’t seem as “hip” or “fresh” as online methods, they still work, and they can get your business out of a slump. Here are some of the better ways to get your company moving again.
Give away free samples
Send out a sample of your product to prospects. This is an excellent strategy if you work trade shows or you see people out in public or at social events. Hand someone a sample of your product and just tell them to try it out. When you hand out the sample, hand them your business card along with it.
Sponsorship, personalised clothing and branded accessories
If you’ve never tried sponsorship, give it a whirl sometime. It’s easy, and the money goes to a good cause. Sponsorship is when you sponsor a local sports team or a local charity event, and the organisation gives you advertising on clothing or a billboard. For example, you might sponsor a local basketball team, and the team will, in return, wear your logo on their jerseys.
At business expos and sporting events, set up booths and hand out promotional clothing and accessories like t-shirts and tote bags. Specialists like Dynamic Gift Australia can offer you a whole range of promotional options to get you started.
Hand out business cards
Business cards aren’t dead. Not yet. They’re one of the oldest, and best, ways to communicate your message. A business card is a short and sweet version of your sales message. So, you should make sure that you have a sales slogan or some kind of simple message on the card somewhere.
For example, if you’re a tax professional, you might put “We cut taxes” on your business card. If you’re an auto mechanic, you might say something like, “We specialise in fixing Hondas.” If you’re a lawyer, a good one might be, “We return your phone call.”
Create a press release
A press release is still the best way to get media coverage about your business. But, the trick to a good press release is having something newsworthy to say. You can’t just put out a fluff piece and expect a journalist to pick it up. Also, these days, journalists aren’t looking for boring stories about when your company was formed and who your corporate officers are. Come to think of it, customers don’t care about that stuff either.
If you want to grab someone with your release, include fresh content that’s newsworthy. Maybe you’ve come up with some new innovation in your industry. Maybe you’re releasing an upgrade to a product that will help save your customers 25 percent on their fuel costs. Whatever it is, it has to be both newsworthy and informative (content-based).
Business networking is an old method of marketing, but it’s not a bad one. Join local business groups, and meet and greet other businesses. If you’re a B2B company, you’ll be right where you want to be – in front of your prospective clients. Hand out a business card to everyone you shake hands with.
Flyers are another good way to promote your business. Just check with the local municipality about the laws concerning them. Some places won’t allow them because they’re considered litter. But, if your community is fine with them, post them wherever you can. Don’t stuff them under people’s’ windshields, though, that’s annoying!
This tends to work best when you already have a customer base, but it can also work well when you’re trying to wine and dine new prospects. The way you get people to sign up to your newsletter depends on your marketing strategy – a good way, though, is to use your flyers. Once prospects are signed up to your newsletter, you can entertain and inform them about your services. But, don’t just pitch them endlessly via email. Class it up a bit.
Tell stories, for example. People love case studies. They also love personal stories. If you have a personal story to tell about how your own product or service helped you, that’s going to go a lot farther with them than a sales message with bullet points.
Use direct mail
Direct mail never dies. There are companies out there that have been mailing flyers, postcards, and sales letters to people for the last 20 years. They’re still doing it today and for good reason. Even Google sends traditional direct mail to prospects, trying to get them to use Google Adwords. Burger King, Mead Johnson, Tylenol, and Botanic Choice are other examples of companies that haven’t given up on it. It works. Use it.
This post was written by Daisy Porter. Daisy is a virtual assistant who writes articles in her spare time. Whether she’s discussing business matters or parenting you’re sure to find her writing useful.