It’s really easy to jump straight into digital marketing and forget about traditional strategies, but online and offline methods can work hand-in-hand to increase brand awareness for your start-up.
Offline marketing is still a really effective way of getting messages across about how fab your new start-up is. In fact, you’re probably doing your start-up a disservice if you completely neglect offline methods.
A well-rounded approach means that your online and offline marketing can be mutually beneficial and they can strengthen each other – like some kind of super-hero double act.
So which offline marketing methods are worth sticking with and how can they help you to navigate those choppy start-up waters?
Good, old-fashioned face to face contact shouldn’t be underestimated. Connecting with potential customers and other brands and dazzling them with your charm and charisma (optional) is a great way to communicate your start-up’s best messages.
Building up a rapport at networking events, conferences, trade shows or customer evenings can leave a lasting impression. You might have a chat with someone that’s completely unrelated to your business, but you’ll still stick in their mind and create some form of connection. If people like the cut of your jib then they’re more likely to listen to follow-up or make an enquiry with your start-up. Putting a face to a name is a valuable way to enhance brand loyalty.
Make sure you’ve got killer business cards too so you can go handing out crazy.
Print marketing allows you to create interesting, visual collaterals that can act as a signpost for your brand and its online presence too.
Taking out ads in newspapers and magazines with strong, striking graphic design or creating brochures with long-form visual content gives your start-up a strong offline presence. Customers that aren’t digitally active might miss your online marketing, so this is a good way to cover bases.
Brochures, flyers, business cards, product packaging; they’re all ways of getting your branded content out there. They’re physical pieces of marketing your customers can hold onto. The power of print is that people can carry around your marketing in their pocket or plonk it on their coffee table.
Top tip: Make sure your offline marketing is consistent with your online content.
Public speaking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so approach with caution, but when you do it well it can be a great way of marketing your start-up.
Pick events that are relevant to your area of business so you can talk to a targeted and interested crowd. Bring something new to the table – you could approach a subject from a completely different perspective and name-drop your start-up throughout.
Picking local events to speak at can also leverage more exposure and create a buzz in your community. Making sure you have some print marketing to hand out helps too.
A bit of guerrilla marketing here and there can be really effective, especially for start-ups. By this, we mean unconventional marketing strategies that grab people’s attention.
You don’t have to go really big and start doing flash-mobs in the middle of town (go for it if you want!); you can create small, disruptive pieces of marketing that surprise people. It can be something small like sponsoring an artist to produce eye-catching, branded chalk-board graphics.
When you have your business cards in your pocket you can engage in guerrilla marketing wherever you go; if it’s appropriate you can drop them in random locations like a coffee shop or a restaurant. You never know who’ll find one.
Combining print AND digital marketing helps you to reach out to more people in lots of creative ways.
In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.
By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.
In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.
At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.
There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).
They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.
The free version of this software lets you:
Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.
But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.
We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.
By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.
There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.
Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.
Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.
Hotjar tools include:
Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.
While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.
For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.
Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.
What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.
If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.
Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.
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