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Offline Marketing for an Online Business

marketingAs more and more businesses search for ways to cut down on costs, the business model of owning a brick and mortar store with a leased space and employees is beginning to dwindle. Rather, people are turning their efforts and concentration to the online market. But even with a strictly online business, it doesn’t mean that marketing has to be confined to the online arena. Instead, companies should combine online and offline marketing tactics to drive business to their online store.

Utilizing these two channels simply makes good sense. After all, interest in your site is always a positive no matter how that traffic was generated. So whether you’re getting an influx of visitors because of a print ad or because of a viral video, increased traffic means the increased likelihood of sales. So why not double the potential traffic by releasing a viral video and a print ad?

For your offline efforts, consider some of the following tactics and techniques.

TV, Print, Radio Ads

Back in the Stone Age (that is, before the internet), entrepreneurs who were looking to spread the word about their companies had to resort to advertising campaigns and ad spots through radio, television, and print medias. But these types of advertisement shouldn’t be overlooked for online businesses. After all, if they can get people in physical stores, they can certainly get them to visit a website from the comfort of their homes. The downfall? These spots can be expensive and difficult to secure in larger circulation mediums. To cut down on costs, choose smaller venues like your local newspaper, and save large scale ad campaigns for when you’re more established with more expendable income.

Be Knowledgeable

The twenty-something demographic has been firmly entrenched in the online arena for long enough that online shopping and marketing is practically second nature. This means that an amateur blunder on your part can quickly make your company lose its online credibility. Something as innocuous as misusing terms related to Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking sites puts you at risk of losing your young consumers. If you’re going to launch an online business with any success, get to know the market. The more knowledgeable you become, the more confidence you’ll instill in your customers that you can follow through with important factors like timely orders, correct shipping, and secure checkout.

Make Good on Your Offers

If you’re going to offer special incentives, host any sort of giveaway, or launch some other kind of traffic-inducing gimmick, make absolutely sure you are ready and able to come through on your promises. Because it requires so little effort to visit an online business, people are generally willing to at least check them out. But if they have a bad experience or promises from an advertisement aren’t met, you can bet they won’t be adding you to their bookmarks any time soon.

The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that advertising can work in odd and unexpected ways. You never quite know which campaign is going to take off or yield traffic. That’s why combining online and offline efforts is a wise move. The more things you try, the more likely that something is going to work. Just make sure your company is ready for the fallout of any campaign. If you manage to drive a huge spike of traffic to your site, but it’s full of broken links, a checkout page that doesn’t work, and grammatical errors, your marketing efforts will have been for nothing. Marketing drives traffic to the site, but quality presentation, reasonable prices, and a user-friendly interface yields sales. With that in mind, make sure your site is presentable and running at the top of its game before you try to drive hoards to your URL.

5 Comments

  • Don Busby

    Great advice! I have been in the virtual marketing business for 6 months, wish I had seen this when I started this business!

    Reply
  • Liz Herrin

    Hi Don–I’m so glad you found the advice useful. Best of luck with all your online business endeavors!

    Reply
  • Don Busby

    How long will my site stay at the top of the list in search engines?

    Reply
  • Liz Herrin

    Don–that’s a very involved question! But short answer…you’ll rank under a certain phrase as long as the search engines determine that your website is the most relevant to that phrase. Help establish and keep your relevancy with links and unique content. This is, of course, oversimplified, but it’s somewhere to start.

    Reply
  • Cheyenne Minneweather

    Very good article. I’ve found your site via Yahoo and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Chrome browser. Would be great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

    Reply

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