There’s no question that digital marketing has become a key part of any small business marketing plan. A recent report found that 1/3 of businesses plan on introducing a digital program and nearly 1/2 already have.
Unfortunately, that same report found that 50% of businesses that are using digital marketing have no plan on how to do so.
I’ve talked to many business owners that say they want to do digital marketing, but have no idea how to get started. I always remind them that they don’t have to start from scratch in order to begin using digital marketing.
Instead of thinking of a shift to digital as a move away from traditional offline marketing, it’s important to reframe your mindset and start focusing on how they can compliment each other. You’ve likely spent a lot of time putting together successful offline marketing campaigns. Why not use what you’ve learned to help create a sound digital marketing strategy?
The 5 tips below will help you use your offline marketing to inspire and influence your digital marketing.
1. Replicate Direct Mail Campaigns
A few years ago I spoke to a business owner that built his business almost exclusively via direct mail. He would buy and rent prospect mailing lists, send direct mail pieces, and like clockwork, he’d generate sales but was totally overwhelmed about moving to digital marketing. Initially, he was interested in starting his online advertising with Google Adwords but after asking him to identify what was working offline, we determined that there was a better way to go.
I explained that if he could generate sales via direct mail, then there is a high likelihood that he can buy and rent email lists, send email campaigns, and generate sales.
See how that is a much more straight forward path to marketing ROI? Sure, in his case I also recommended advertising in AdWords, but the low hanging fruit was to test email using something that was already working offline with direct mail.
Why switch gears and test something completely new when you can re-purpose something that’s already working?
2. Use Print Advertising to Inspire Banner Ads
If you’re doing any type of print marketing- newspapers, billboards, magazines- these can easily be transferred into online banner ads.
For local businesses, it can be helpful to find a locally-focused website, including online newspaper websites, and consider purchasing online real estate to place a banner ad on the site. You will likely be reaching the same local audience online that you were offline, but possibly in a more effective way as the ad can link directly to your business’s website when clicked on.
You can also take print ads and use similar images and targeting to create a Google AdWords display campaign. Half the battle of creating a successful digital campaign is finding an image that resonates with your audience. If you’ve had success with something in print, it will likely be successful online with a minor tweaking.
3. Transfer TV and Radio Ads to Videos
TV and radio ads are still highly effective forms of marketing. If you’re trying to bring them to the digital sphere, a great option is converting them into a video that can be used as a pre-roll YouTube ad.
With online video ads, you can be laser-focused with your targeting and, again, link directly to your website, which can make the sales process more efficient than someone needing to call you after hearing an ad on the radio or watching a TV commercial.
4. Use Face-to-Face Conversations to Guide Content Marketing
I spoke to a client recently about a networking event she attended. At this particular event, she decided to change the way she typically introduced herself, which is providing a very general response to the standard “what do you do?” question. Instead, when people asked her what she did, she responded by focusing on a small, but very interesting, subset of her services.
She found that instead of the typical polite responses with glazed over eyes, people were actually listening to her and interested in what she had to say.
If you find that particular aspects of your business seem to resonate with prospects, make a note of it. Then, use it to influence your content marketing. Let it be a guide for the copy on your website and in your email marketing campaigns. If people find your responses boring in person, imagine what happens when they read a website and there’s nobody there to force them to pay attention.
5. Turn Compliments into Online Reviews
Have you had a customer tell you they’re really happy with your services? Maybe they’ve even recommended you to their friends. This is the perfect time to ask for an online review!
Asking your customers to review you online on Google, Facebook, or Yelp helps to build your online reputation, helps your local SEO, and ultimately leads to higher sales conversion rates because prospects are less skeptical about your product or service. Almost everyone researches a company online before purchasing a product or service and positive online reviews can help to turn a prospect into a customer.
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Want more tips for how to integrate offline and online marketing?
Join us on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 for a free webinar, called…
“How Direct Mail Can Boost Your Online Marketing Results!”
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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