This post first appeared on my company Glamafone’s Blog.
We have already seen the many number of ways we can bring traffic to our online stores and even answered the question whether to have a web-store or not in the first place. While all indicators point to the importance of having an online presence (hello?it’s 2016, how can we not be online?) the numerous benefits of still conducting offline marketing activities isn’t lost just yet. For instance, the recent women’s entrepreneurship networking event we attended. A sole event can make you build DEEP relationships with many people at once. Because, as humans, we still value face-to-face meetings (or do we?). At least we believe so, and that’s why we present 3 proven ways to start increasing business offline.
1.Host a Local Event
It could be a screening of a popular documentary at your studio, an old clothes collection drive with an NGO tie-up or even a workshop! You want to create excitement with an activity that brings out the ethos of your brand, while at the same time “amplifying” your business to many potential customers who attend out of curiosity and interest. The idea here is not really to sell your products, but to sell your brand. Let people know what you are up to, show them through the event what your brand stands for and how fun it is to be associated with it. Allow people to physically experience your brand, and allow your self to discover your true audience and the preferred customer experience. At the end of the long day at the event, you will be most content with the effort that went it, and the many new friendships made, and the exposure it brought to your business.
Of course, events are complex campaigns in disguise. It’s nothing short of , perhaps, planning a wedding! Add to the fact that you need to market the event as well. With a bit of online help to spread word about the event, and point #3 below, you will be able to get the ball rolling. But if you specifically need help with the campaign ideation and execution part, you know whom to bank on ;-).
2. Attend Meetups or Networking events
You may have just scorned at this point, because networking is simply not your cup of tea. But wait, you do it all the time without even realizing it! Attending a social gathering, a tea-party, a wedding is nothing short of networking! Meetups and networking events are just the same, except the people are strangers. The bright side is, those people are strangers for the first 10 minutes. After that, you’ve made yourself a whole new bunch of friends who could be potential customers.
You may argue that networking events never help. Patience, dear entrepreneur, patience. It may not be very effective to go to events which are out and out networking gigs. No, you need to be more subtle and attend events which are anything but. Go to a meetup which teaches photography. Go to workshops that teach you online marketing. Join a cooking class. Or maybe bead jewellery making class. Go to events where you know your potential audience will be. Try to build a relationship with them, they are your future customers, or doors to insights about why your business is NOT attractive to them. If your primary audience is women, it’s not necessary to attend women only meetups. You will be surprised if you go to a mixed audience meetup, some of the men may be interested in your products for their wives or mothers or sisters!
The idea is, go out there. Show yourself to the world, and you stand a better chance of showing off your business as well.
3.Advertise in your Local daily
Yes, this is an expensive option, but also a very effective one. If you really have an important event, that you cannot afford a low turn out for, advertising in your local daily with catchy promos/ads will do the trick. Because you see, there are still millions of people who like to read the morning paper with their cup of coffee as opposed to scrolling through Facebook. Advertising in the local daily is especially effective during seasons when you know with high predictability that people need your product. For example, silk sarees during the wedding season. Beaded gowns during Valentine’s day. Ethnic jewelry before Diwali. Even though there’s going to be high degree of competition on the limited real estate of the newspaper, you still stand a fair advantage over those who don’t advertise at all.
With a little bit of strategy and purpose, advertisements in your local daily will work wonders for your online business.
Do you think there are more ways you can market offline? Let us know in the comments below!