Why you need both, how to link them and why they are important for any local business
We all know it’s a busy place out there. The Internet is crammed full of websites – https://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/ estimate that by the end of 2014, there will be 1 billion ‘live’ websites. Somewhere in the Internet soup is your website.
Add to this, the dizzying swirl of the high street. Is it dying? Do we need another celebrity to revive it?
Some businesses offer their services locally; they may not need the reach of the website to stretch to Japan and the far out post of Humpybong, Queensland, Australia (it exists! Check it out…) so, the question is “why bother?”
A technological age
If you haven’t noticed, we live in an exciting, yet terrifying technological age. We have people attempting to hack our bank accounts, and yet we can talk to friends and relatives in a different time zone.
We have a business, which we need to thrive in order for us to flourish. Regardless of whether you only offer your products and services to a local community, or whether you want to send your business into the global stratosphere, you really do need an online and offline marketing strategy.
Without it, your website is quite useless and underutilised; neither will the locality flock to your doorstep or call your number.
The world has changed. Catch up.
Virtually everyone has a smart phone, a table, a PC, a laptop a super-duper TV that can guess what we like to watch and directs us there; we can connect wirelessly and remotely to the stereo in the car and we can make payments to people by ‘bumping’ our phones together.
When people want to buy something or need a service, from gardening to cleaning, to window cleaning to wedding dress alterations, they turn to the Internet. Better still, they take to Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms and check out what people say about you.
This is how the modern day, 21st century potential consumer of your product or service makes the decision of whether to trust you (or not).
And so, you have to reach these consumers and you do this with the new fandangled way (online) and the ‘old-fashioned-but-still-valid-way’ (offline). Read on, and be an expert within minutes…
|Online Marketing||Offline Marketing|
|Definition||Anything that requires tools on the Internet; the use of content, for example, engages ‘algorithms’, making your online presence more visible to search engines||Tools and activities that are not Internet based|
|Activities and tools||
|What do you do in each category for your business?(left blank – you fill it in!)|
Separate but dove-tailing
Now you know what is what, and in which ‘category’ it falls, you need to do something else: pull it all together. Just when you thought it was simple…
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Just as we can debate this for hours on end, we can argue about whether online is more important than offline activities, and which one supports which but at the end of the busy work day, as long as they support each other, you marketing should be working at its best.
And here’s how you get the supporting scaffolding encompassing both…
- Consistent branding (*a whole separate post…) – is you have a logo, a slogan, a tone of voice, a colour theme, a key message etc. use them consistently across ALL marketing activities, from the header on your website to the leaflet you push through people’s doors. This way, your brand becomes more recognisable
- Interplay – you can use your website to drive people to your shop (if you have one), and the foot traffic in your shop/stand/stall/pop-up event to your website. Your online website is NOT a separate entity – your physical presence and your online presence are all part of the same business.
- Targets! – your customers are essentially the same for both your physical presence and your online presence too. You need to ensure that ALL marketing tools and activities are hitting these ‘targets’.
- The right social media platform – Most people are on Facebook, some are on Twitter, the odd one or two thousand might enjoy the delights of Pinterest… are you getting the drift? Just because you are permanently on Facebook doesn’t mean your ‘target’ customer or audience is. Do your research and find out where they are hanging out…
- Measure the results – this is the bit many local businesses forget to do, finding out which of their strategies is working. If nothing else, just ask customers ‘how did you hear about me/us?’ Or put special offers or coupons on leaflets… on ads in newspapers… competitions on social platforms… signing up to newsletters for 10% off… but now we are teaching Grandma to suck eggs.
How are you dove-tailing your online and offline marketing activities? Is your strategy working? (Do you even have a strategy?)
There’s load of help out there for creating a marketing plan but it does take some time and effort; start with this https://www.huffingtonpost.com/roger-bryan/5-simple-digital-marketin_b_4816425.html a well written piece that takes in the basics.