Even though many marketers turned to online promotions because of their specificity to a particular audience, there are still many reasons to continue offline marketing strategies. The best plans include both online and offline efforts.
According to Meeting Professionals International (MPI), face-to-face meetings result in far more conversions than online efforts. The organization shares results across numerous studies, including information from the Harvard Business Review stating in-person sessions were 34 times more effective than non-face-to-face encounters.
However, there are some reasons why people turn to online strategies. There are challenges with offline promotions. Once you understand the potential pain points of offline lead generation, it is much easier to navigate them and turn problem areas into successful sales. Here are six pain points you can easily overcome to help your business thrive.
1. Fear of Meeting In-Person
We are living in unprecedented times. Offline lead generation often does require face-to-face meetings and networking. However, the opportunities for meeting others are intermittent at the moment. Many conferences aren’t happening right now. Potential clients might be scared to meet in public.
Think of ways to reach out to potential customers while still keeping distance. Give a seminar in your building and place participants 10 feet apart while requiring they wear masks. Serve individual no-contact lunch kits. Look for creative ways to get together outside or where there aren’t a lot of other people.
2. Lack of Reach
Marketers sometimes turn to online tactics because you can speak to a specific target audience. You can even narrow down those who see your ad to only a particular location. The problem with this method is that not everyone is on the same social media platform or uses it as frequently as others.
Offline ads may target a wider group of citizens and help you speak to those who aren’t online as much. Think of window and outdoor signs as a way to reach all who pass by your storefront. You can announce sales, new products and other exciting news.
3. Inability to Track Results
Another pain point for offline marketing is the difficulty in tracking how well a particular campaign did. With online advertising, the analytics are at your fingertips. You can see how many people clicked through to your website or how many followers engaged on social media. Offline isn’t as apparent in return on investment (ROI).
One thing you can and should do no matter where you’re marketing is to create tracking mechanisms to figure out how successful each campaign is. Tracking includes creating landing pages for specific sales, adding coupon codes or words the user must mention to get a deal, and simply asking your customers where they heard about your brand.
4. Cost of Offline Ads
Offline advertising is more expensive than online. Just the setup costs for billboards, for example, keep many smaller businesses from participating. Television advertising is out of the reach of most companies due to the overwhelming fees.
However, many offline ads don’t cost a fortune. Look at your local newspapers for smaller placements. Think about things you can do, such as inserting flyers into newspaper boxes, mailing out postcards or being a guest on a local radio talk show. Even television spots become more affordable when you consider slots on a localized cable show.
Think about your offline advertising from the standpoint of reaching one new person at a time, and you’ll think of lots of ways to get new leads.
5. Limited Research
You’re much more limited in the details you have on hand. Online efforts have analytics, big data and easier tracking. It’s harder to know who to target and how to reach them. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to combat the lack of research.
Start your own mailing list. Add your current customers to the list and ask them if they’ll recommend a few people for you to reach out to. Start a referral program. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of your most powerful offline tools to generate new leads. Additionally, you could use a web SMS platform to reach your customers and offer them new deals and promotions.
6. Ads Are Annoying
Many offline marketing methods annoy consumers. You’re in the middle of your favorite television show when it’s interrupted by ads. Many people leave the room and take a bathroom break at that point. Or maybe you’re in the car jamming to your favorite ‘80s tunes when an ad interrupts your fun.
Your job is to figure out how to entertain your audience through your ads. Make sure you understand the audience you’re speaking to and what their pain points are. Offer them solutions, and you’ll successfully grab their attention.
Seek out ways to interact with your audience without it being an interruption. Instead of paying for an ad spot, go on the radio as a guest. Rather than taking out a television ad, pay for a product placement slot. Think of ways to reach your potential leads without annoying them.
Meshing Offline and Online Tactics
You need both offline and online tactics to generate as many leads as possible. Start a policy of gathering online leads and then interacting with them offline. Once the person is vetted and moves through the sales funnel, have a face-to-face meeting, even if it’s via zoom. When you meet someone in person, gather their email and cell phone number. Reach out with a follow-up note or SMS.
In short, you can combine the best of both marketing worlds and see your offline and online lead generation rates increase exponentially.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.