Your consumers are constantly bombarded with all sorts of marketing messages and advertising campaigns.
On a daily basis they are subjected to the more recognisable forms of traditional advertising, in the form of print, radio and television campaigns. However, they are also reading more online content than ever before, connecting with more and more businesses through social networking, and most importantly conducting their own online research before making their purchases.
So, how do you ensure your marketing messages stand out from the crowd? For maximum impact, aim for consistency across all marketing channels, both online and offline.
Start with a plan… Whether you’re a sole trader, SME or large corporation, having a marketing guide in place will enable you to remain cohesive whether you’re posting a response to a comment on social media right through to planning a print media campaign.
Your plan should cover your campaign goals, your key messages, the questions you want to answer, the stories you wish to tell, the headlines that will help you achieve this, calls to action that will get your consumers to take the next step, together with images, fonts and colours that will help to portray your messages visually.
Once you have your guide in place here are a few practical tips to help integrate your offline and online marketing:
- Make sure everything looks tickety boo. If your sign and logo on your store front or office, don’t look the same as your website you’ve fallen at the first hurdle. If your brochures and flyers have different colours and fonts to those you use in your newspaper ads, you won’t be instilling that all important brand recognition. Top tip… If you’re running a specific campaign, update all your social channel cover photos to reflect this, but please design an appropriately sized cover for each channel. Otherwise you could end up with pixellated images, text in the wrong places, or even worse… text dropping off the webpage.
- Have your website and social links everywhere. Top tip… Always include the unique URL for your Facebook business page, please don’t just write “like us on Facebook”. It’s important to show your prospects where to go online to find you. This is Facebook 101, so forgive me if I’m teaching you to suck eggs, but if you haven’t yet reserved your businesses Facebook URL, get it here… www.facebook.com/username
- Make use of hashtags. Top tip… These are not just for online use. Hashtags can be used on printed marketing collateral, printed advertising and can be mentioned in any form of audio.
- Add value online. If you’re an Artisan food producer, let’s say you bake bread… When you place your ad in print media or on the radio, drive traffic to your website by offering them a free download of recipes for “kids lunchbox ideas”.
- Create an online experience that allies with the offline experience you offer. If your business is a high end fashion boutique, where you change your window displays regularly, and offer your customers style tips and advice in store, your website should be the same. Use your blog to publish inspiring articles on style and fashion, and make sure your website imagery changes as frequently as your store window.
- Collect email addresses consistently at your physical premises, during offline networking events, or at trade events. Top tip… As well as asking for an email address, collect social handles so you can connect with your prospects on Twitter and Instagram too.
- Maximise and track your offline advertising by creating landing pages on your website. Include the custom URL in the print ad, or refer to it in your radio ad. That way you can be sure your prospects will visit a website page that is all about the offer they saw or heard about in the ad.
If you would like help creating a Marketing plan that works online and offline, don’t hesitate to contact us.