ONLINE AND OFFLINE MARKETING

ONLINE AND OFFLINE MARKETING

 As a small business owner, visibility or brand awareness is important as it helps your business to be seen on different marketing channels, offline and online. With today’s modern technology, online presences play a huge role in the growth of every business as a large majority of the population today spend their time on social media and shopping online. Today, all businesses are fighting for visibility online. Knowing your audience or the people you serve will help you know which platforms they spend most of their time on and which platforms to focus on. If you are not online promoting your business, you are missing out on a huge population of your audience. Everywhere you find yourself be it online or offline, be ready to sell or talk about your business. 

ONLINE MARKETING 

Today there are so many brands fighting for visibility online. Online presence is the presence of a brand or an individual via searches. This can be through its website, publications; an online journal, social media channels, membership to associations listed online and so on. Online presence is important in the success of any business regardless of size or the industry, this allows potential customers to: 

  • Find your business 
  • Know your products and services 
  • Importantly trust you.      

 Tips to build an online presence. 

Set Clear and measurable goals.  Setting goals or business goals will keep you accountable and keep you on track to success. When setting goals ask yourself these questions: 

  • What are my objectives for building an online presence? 
  • Who is my target audience or people am attracting? 
  • Which channels or platform are they using? 
  • What do I want them to do when they find my brand? 

Breakdown each objective and make an action plan on how these goals will be achieved and what the key results will be. 

 

Aggregator Sites

 

ONLINE PRESENCES CHANNEL 

 Social media platforms. Social media platforms are the best gift for small businesses. Signing up or creating an account on these platforms is quite simple, it requires an email address, your business information and little or no cost to be on, these platforms make it easy to build your brand. This does not mean you have to be on all platforms. Do some research to find out the platforms your target audiences spend their time on, test a couple and decide which to focus on. Remember too many social media accounts can be detrimental to your efforts if you can’t keep up with them. Stay consistent with your activities on these channels to build credibility and trust in your followers. 

Build a website. To have a good online presence you need a website as this is where your audiences can find information about your brand: Your business, your products, your services and also get in contact with you. 

Create and claim your Google My Business (GMB) account. This is a powerful tool for your online presence. If you don’t create Google My Business account, Google will create one for you, you just need to claim it, so you are in control of all activities. Google My Business gives you visibility on google maps, this is another powerful channel that adds to your online presence and increases your brand awareness. 

List your business in Online directories. 

Listing your business on top online directories can immediately boost the ranking of your business on google. Directory listing can be a winning strategy especially for local businesses. 

Create an email marketing list. 

Creating an email marketing list allows you to engage with current potential customers on a regular basis through newsletters and promotions, this is an effective way to build your online presence. 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) This plays a huge role in the visibility of your brand online on search engines like Google and Bing. 

Invest in Public Relations (PR). This turns to focus on print media, news media, TV and general press, it also extends to reach many online channels such as websites, social media, influencer, blogs and online news. If properly done, it will drastically boost brand awareness and brand visibility online. 

Track, Measure and Improve on results.  

Track your results and continue to make improvements where necessary. 

Building an Online presences can be an arduous process and it doesn’t happen overnight, this takes months. If a strategy or plan is not working, change the plan until you figure out which works for your brand. 

10 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website and 10 Strategies To Use On Products To Boost Sales

 

OFFLINE MARKETING 

Offline business means a business that is primarily engaged in the sale of goods and/ or services through physical means: Print catalogues and / or mail order catalogues. Having an offline presence is also as important as having an online presence. Offline sells products that are limited to a geographical location. 

Reasons for offline presence 

  • To build engagement with your local community 
  • Use tactics like guerrilla marketing to improve cost effectiveness. 
  • To reach audiences in a given location who can’t engage or are not online. 
  • To create a rich presence across multiple channels which instill familiarity and build trust in your brand. 

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF OFF-LINE MARKETING 

Brick-and-mortar location: You can open a brick-and-mortar location, Stores are lead generators of foot traffic. Having a store builds trust in your audiences. Having a store is important as: 

  • Prospect can walk into the store 
  • You can organize events  
  • You can have promotions and sales 

 

Groups: To have an offline presence you can join networking groups. There are many networking groups for business owners which you can join. In these groups you will be expected to pitch your business to its members and be referred by members of the group. As a business owner you can also join social groups and interact with others, this helps you talk about your business, Volunteer in your community also helps you and your business. 

Speaking at events 

Asked to speak at an event for free or paid, you can also organize your own event with other business owners. Not only do you get publicity as a speaker, but you represent your brand. Events will put you Infront of a high engaging audience which will be receptive to your message. 

Direct Mail 

These are promotional mails designed to speak to a certain target audience defined through comprehensive major market research. This group of people somehow might be receptive to your message. 

Magazines, Newspapers, and journals.  

Appearing on online and offline publications is a great step towards reaching a wider audience. Magazines can contact you to write about you and your products or you can pitch your business to them. Some magazines sell spaces on their magazines, you can buy and get your business feature on magazines. 

Associations and trade shows. These are the best networking opportunities. Search online to be part of trade shows, as a seller or visitor. Attend and make connections with visitors and other sellers. 

Billboards. Billboards on a roadside major roadside can be a good offline presence as locals driving along that road will get to see your ad. 

Branded merchandising and equipment.  

You can bring brand awareness through brand merchandise like T-shirts, mugs, company vehicles and others to advertise your business.  

Cold calling.  

Making an unsolicited call by phone or in person to sell your products or services. 

To conclude online and offline presence is important to all businesses. Every business should be online and offline. Choose a few channels to start with and increase the channels as time goes by. 

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