By Katie Byrne, Digital Marketing Manager at Total Merchandise
It’s an inescapable truth that while the fast-moving pace of the digital landscape offers business owners myriad opportunities to develop their brands and increase conversions and audiences, non-digital marketing also has a powerful role to play, too. After all, operating your business entirely at the mercy of algorithms, ad-blockers, privacy policies and waves of digital fatigue can be a risky game.
From networking events to promotional products, there are a variety of strictly offline methods you can employ. Read on for a few of our favourites…
Know your customer inside out
Doing all you can to understand what makes your target demographic tick can be invaluable in helping you hone your output going forward; without the interest of your customers, you don’t have a business.
Equally as important is defining what it is that makes your brand stand out from the competition. Immersing yourself in your business and its USPs can be instructive in helping you master your services and understand your customers, and how you marry up both sets of learning.
Similarly, removing yourself from your viewpoint as a business owner and instead surveying how your business operates from a customer-centric perspective can give you valuable insight into the machinations of your business.
Don’t be afraid to network
Face-to-face networking can feel like a daunting prospect. However, it can prove useful beyond compare if you are selective with the events you choose. Not only is it a fantastic way to present your business to a whole new potential customer base but it can also give you a great chance to build a supportive network of industry peers.
From a more ‘human’ perspective, networking can prove invaluable if you work alone. If you run your business by yourself – without the safety net of a team to advise or bounce ideas off – it has the potential to feel isolating. However, attending networking events aimed at business owners can allow you to build your very own remote team.
Create the best customer experience
From the moment customers land on your website through to the delivery of the product or payment of the final invoice, every single step of the journey customers have with your brand is crucial.
It’s this experience that will shape their view of your brand, dictating how likely they are to work with you in the first place, whether they’re going to recommend you to friends and family and, crucially, whether they’ll return to work with you again.
Let feedback influence you
We all do it: when we’re considering working with a business or shopping with a brand for the first time, we see what other customers have said. Whether it’s hopping onto Trustpilot or looking up the comments a brand gets on Instagram, reviews are hugely influential.
When it comes to your business, it works both ways. Glowing testimonials of your brand’s brilliance can serve as powerful marketing opportunities that can encourage future customers to trust your business; behind the scenes, meanwhile, the less favourable reviews can help you evolve your offering.
Of course, all reviews of your business can offer a valuable insight into what your customers think. No business dreams of receiving negative feedback or a poor rating on a reviews platform but don’t let it throw you – rather, seize it as an opportunity to develop your brand. In the words of Bill Gates: “we all need people who will give us feedback – that’s how we improve…”
Create a human connection
Appealing to the five senses with your marketing efforts is a no-brainer way to generate attention for your brand. Whether you opt for striking visuals that will catch attention or tangible promotional products that your customers can use, bringing your brand into their ‘real’ lives is a great way to ensure awareness stays at a peak.
A promotional product – be it a branded mug, a printed cotton tote bag or even just a pen bearing your logo – offers long-lasting visibility for your business. Choose an item with functionality for additional purpose that your customers won’t be able to resist; a promo product with a use behind it will have buyer shelf life and generate far more awareness for your brand than a banner ad. And who doesn’t love a freebie?
Get your items into the hands of the right people by considering the best places to hand them out: be it at the close of a sale to end the customer experience on a high, at a trade show or as mail-out incentives to existing customer databases.