Connecting the Dots between Online and Offline Marketing
If the bulk of your customer base was comprised of SIM characters, you might be able to get away with conducting a purely online advertising campaign. The reality however, is that your tech savvy, living, breathing customers have one foot firmly planted in the digital world, and the other grounded in the actual world, and you need to firmly connect the dots between the online and offline marketing realms. Brand management matters and successful companies are working to erase the gap between the virtual world and the physical.
Many start-up entrepreneurs view their web-based presence as a fire-and-forget missile that once released will continue to handle its business until the mission is accomplished. Regrettably, nothing could be further from the truth. Much like a personal relationship, your online relationship with the public must be nurtured and developed for optimum results, and this can be a lot of work. Still, for those owners who get it, the extra labour is well worth the effort.
The vast majority of first encounters with the public occur online. Considering the fact that we have all made the pilgrimage to the Google gods in search of answers at one time or another, this fact just makes sense. We also understand how frustrated we get when those answers are not forthcoming. Making sure that your brand does not become a “disappointment” to online customers guarantees the possibilities that they may become real world customers.
Luckily, there are measured steps that can help you achieve this
Everybody knows that if you land on page two of a Google search, you might as well be on the backside of the moon in terms of gaining market credibility and increasing the chances of getting found by prospective customers. As such, managing your search engine results is a critical aspect of gaining that credibility. Google algorithms set out specific criteria that a well-managed website can use to rise above the crowd. The bots that control which sites appear at the top of search results reward websites delivering quality content that engages readers.
2. Active consistency
The need to deliver a consistent message across a myriad of platforms drives the tech savvy entrepreneur to social media. A deft handling of the online public face of your business can yield untold rewards, but the slings and arrows of social media also need to be warded against for optimal results. An active social media presence puts your company in direct conversation with eager customers looking for what you have to sell.
3. Create bridges
While the vast majority of contacts are initiated online, they are often prompted by seeing a reference, a graphic design for instance, in the physical realm that guides the subsequent Internet search. As such, traditional print ads in magazines, brochures and business cards all serve as bridges between the physical and virtual manifestation of your brand.
Too often, entrepreneurs fail to maximise the potential that can be earned by connecting the dots between their online and offline marketing efforts. By continuously thinking of the two realms as entwined, you will drive home superior marketing efforts from branding social media opportunities to getting your graphic logo out in front of the people you want calling your number.
Connecting the dots
Connecting the dots between online and offline branding is getting easier because the difference between the two is shrinking each year. Professionals recognise that two separate approaches to reaching these markets represents outdated thinking. Indeed, combining the two spheres together is at the heart of a successful modern day marketing campaign.
Rather than focusing on the medium used, creative advertising professionals are concentrating on message to ensure a steady branding effort regardless of the format. Towards that end, successful entrepreneurs are having their market ideas perform double duty in garnering customer attention.
- Use QR Codes or direct URLs on your marketing material that link to a branded video on your website that tells your Brand’s story. You could even add a form directly under the video so that people can take action straight away; register interest, book an event, buy a product etc.
- Regularly update your social media banners to match your latest advertising campaigns in magazines or in store marketing so that your brand message is consistent where-ever your customers interact with you. That way if you direct people to your facebook page in your call to action when they arrive your message is reinforced.
- Encourage your customers to use mobile check-in by running a competition or discount and using fun, branded signs in your office or shop. As mentioned, while customers shop in the virtual world, they make their purchases in the physical world, so bridging that gap with mobile check-in helps your brand reach your client’s community.
So what can you take away from all of this? In essence, it’s a consistent marketing message that is far more important the medium on which it is presented. Whether it is a memorable graphic design, or a determined branding social media campaign, each element of the message should be working in harmony to deliver the desired message to your new clients.