It’s no secret that the ecommerce industry is booming, but running an online business is no easy task, and the competition is fierce regardless of the industry you’re in. To succeed, ideally, you’ll have both an online and offline promotional strategy. With that in mind, here are a few offline ways you can promote your online business.
Direct mail is the process of shipping mailers directly to consumers. This method was once very popular, and then tapered off with the proliferation of email. Recently, however, it’s been making a comeback as more and more individuals are enamored by snail mail and the nostalgia of opening a piece of mail.
Getting an mailing list together is easy, too. For example, if you run a local business, you might use the USPS tool to select residents in your target neighborhood and send your mailing materials to them.
These materials might be creative leaflets, brochures, or even 3D cards. According to Solo Printing, a commercial printing company in Miami, direct mailing gives your business the opportunity to meet local residents exactly where they are: their homes (you can learn more here: https://www.soloprinting.com/). Furthermore, recent studies have found that conversion rates for direct mail are going up.
According to one study, 80% of retailers that used pop-ups in their strategy found it to be successful. Pop-up stores give you a happy medium between running an ecommerce shop and a brick and mortar business, meaning you’re able to position your business in any space where you can get a permit. Pop-up shops also give you the ability to meet your potential customers face to face, educate your target market, and get feedback in real time. For example, if your target market is college students, you might set up your pop-up shop around campuses.
Guerilla marketing is an unconventional marketing method that’s utilized to capture attention, increase social sharing potential, and create a statement. Take a quick glance at some of the best guerilla marketing examples and you’ll see exactly what we mean. For example, the paper towel company Bounty installed life-sized “messes” around New York City to illustrate how small things can create big problems that need a quilted, quicker picker upper.
Bounty and many other companies leverage the element of surprise to build buzz around their guerilla marketing campaigns. These physical campaigns can quickly turn into word of mouth campaigns and are often shared on social media, which can even give your business the potential to go viral.
Partner with Other Businesses
Cross promotions can go a long way for your business, and there are numerous benefits to partnering with another brand. In fact, brand partnerships are one of the best ways to build brand awareness. To increase your chances of success, partner with brands that complement your business, rather than compete with it. Take a look at some winning brand partnerships to gain a better perspective of how they worked together to target similar audiences without going head to head for market dollars.
For instance, furniture company Pottery Barn partnered with paint company Sherwin-Williams to put together an exclusive line of custom paints that fit the aesthetic of Pottery Barn product offerings perfectly. Both companies are in the interior and home decor space, but they are not direct competitors. Other benefits of partnering with a company include the ability to brainstorm as a unit and come up with creative breakthrough ideas, a doubled marketing budget, and the ability to capitalize on new market segments.
Networking is a tried and true offline strategy that gets you up close and personal with people who can make a difference in your business. Start by checking out online groups and clubs that are relevant to your industry. You can also conduct a simple Google search as a starting point. Search for industry-specific trade shows and conferences that might be valuable to you. Then, head over to Meetup.com and see if there are any existing groups you can join, or you can even create one of your own.