Location Based Offline Marketing Strategies


Location Based Offline Marketing Strategies In Today’s Online World

Offline marketing is dead. That is what the digital marketing community loves to say. Newspapers are going broke, all the media cares about is clickbait, and streaming media like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix are taking over. 70% of the upcoming Generation Z workforce – the new blood of consumers coming into the market prefer streaming to cable. 90% of them watch YouTube daily and a whole bunch of them are starting to embrace other platforms like Twitch for entertainment. Facebook is now within reach of 2 billion users.

The original of this article was posted on Warrior Forum you can view the original link here.

So with all this online proof that the digital world is here, why in the heck is a digital marketing and SEO Consultant like myself writing a guest post about offline marketing? Well, it is because human relationships matter. Human touch is timeless and the integration of the digital world and the PR world are now becoming seamless. Any digital marketer worth their salt will leverage these strengths for their clients. Today I’m going to focus on the offline world and show you how to leverage these strengths and take advantage of the human touch to grow your business. After all, I get plenty of clients that come into my doors today that started with referral only businesses now wanting to scale into the digital world. So if these business are successful with referral only business – obviously the offline world is worth investigating.

Online and Offline Marketing Are The Same Thing

Before we go into offline marketing strategies, my first task is to debunk the myth that offline and online marketing are mutually exclusive. As we interact more and more as humans online, the offline and online world being to merge. In a traditional marketing department you will have a Chief Marketing Officer, a Digital Marketing Manager, and a PR Manager. Both the Digital Marketing and PR Manager will perform the very same tasks – just in different ways. Both will:

  • Set goals and KPIs for the organization
  • Perform audience/avatar research
  • Develop the brand message and positioning
  • Research possible acquisition channels
  • Create content
    • Digital Marketer – Blog Posts, Videos, E-Mail Newsletters, etc
    • PR Manager – Sales Material,  Press Releases, Media Pitches, Print & TV Ads
  • Measure results

Let’s take this further with the communication process. We have the sender, in this case say someone like me writing this guest post, the message which is offline marketing is still very relevant today, the content which is this post, the channel which is this website, and the receiver which is you. Both digital and offline marketing follow this exact process. In fact, when it comes to stuff like sales copy, why do experts like Neville Medhora continue to point to The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert? A publication from 1984 all about offline marketing copy that is still very relevant today. Why? Because messaging still matters and will never become obsolete.

Alright, so I have ranted enough at this point. Let’s get to business.

Location Based Offline Marketing Strategies You Need To Implement Today

#1 Networking

Everyone has a network. I don’t care if you are just starting out or if you are already a successful business person. Everyone knows somebody — even if all your friends are online. I’m going to separate networking in this post into two sections. This first section is about your personal network and the second is professional networking.

When it comes to your personal network, we are going to start with a method that I know professionals like Accountants got their start and how people starting new careers or moving to new cities quickly grow their networks. You are going to want to look into your personal network and seek out business owners or trustworthy family members who know other business owners who could be beneficial to you. The goal with this exercise is the following:

  • Look for immediate connections or mutual introductions – no more than 1 degree of separation
  • Make a goal to have 52 meetings in 52 weeks
  • Keep your meetings short – no more than 25 minutes
  • With each meeting – get 2 additional contacts to further your network
  • Take notes – and make sure you follow up and say thank you!

Because you are starting with your close knit network, these are softball pitches compared to the cold pitches I’m going to discuss later. Get your feet wet here. Sometimes, this is all you need to get yourself started!

Further Reading on Networking:

  • 52 Cups of Coffee by Megan Gebhart
  • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

#2 Professional Networking

Personal networks can yield great results, especially if you luck out and have good connections to some key contacts. Let’s take it a step further and focus on professional networking. These are professional organizations like your trade association or professional associations. Think organizations like the Professional Beauty Association, The Bar Associations, and Professional Photographers of America. These are good organizations to get network connections and get a business mentor.

There is another organization that works really well if you are local based business, a traditional small business (e.g. – trades, service providers, etc), or a brick and mortar. That would be Business Network International or BNI. BNI can be pricey for someone starting out and hard to commit to for those on tight schedules, but if you are able to commit to the time demands it is definitely worth checking out.

Further Reading on Professional Networking:

#3 Loyalty & Referral Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to generate recurring business from your existing customers and also a way for you to bring in new business. The simplest example of a loyalty program would be those buy 10 get 1 free cards that I get from my local Topoica bar in my city. As you can see, this can be totally low-tech. All you need is a card and a simple design

There’s some high powered marketing secret sauce going on here!

Referral programs are another offline marketing strategy you should look into. To provide an example, Tesla motors has a referral program that used to give their customers $1,000 per referral, but they have recently upped the ante and are offering bigger gifts for multiple referrals. These examples would include their Powerwall 2 battery, exclusive invites to parties, and exclusive offers to purchase products not available to the public. Think about what referral programs work well with your business and how to make your customers feel special when they send you a referral.

#4 Guerrilla Marketing

It’s time to get down and dirty with our local marketing efforts. Traditional advertising agencies shy away from this term, but these efforts can be very fruitful. Guerilla marketing in summary are unconventional and cost-effective marketing strategies that are used to get your brand noticed. The main draw with guerrilla marketing is that they can be insanely cheap and amazingly effective.

Alright, so I have your attention now. What are these vadoo tactics? Well, let’s break down a few examples:

Give Away Free $h!t

Because who doesn’t love free? The key is going to the right events, fares, and target locations where you can do this. You can mix in the business neighbor sponsors tactic mentioned later in this post for added effect.

Business Cards

Yeah yeah, it’s tacky to go around town and leave your business card everywhere, but it works. Don’t hate on it until you try.

Wild Posting

Ever seen those construction areas in downtown with a ton of the same ad poster everywhere? That’s wild posting. It’s like graffiti but legal! (Image Source – http://www.wildthingsroar.com)

Street Art

It stands out and people love the novelty (Image Source – http://creativepool.com)

There are so many examples of Guerrilla marketing that you can write an entire book on it. Luckily, the concept creator of guerrilla marketing created a book all about it.

Further Reading on Guerrilla Marketing:

  • Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson

#5 Local Advertising

Let’s talk about Direct Mail Marketing. *Gasp* – direct mail marketing! What are you thinking Mark, this isn’t the 80s! With all the rage in Facebook, Adwords, and YouTube Advertising one would think that old school efforts like direct mail marketing are long dead. But If that was that case, why do we get so much direct mail from service companies every week? It is because it works when you know how to use it. Direct Mail Marketing works great for brand new businesses starting out or locally based businesses that have a service area (think trades, restaurants, gyms, etc). Let’s outline how to pull it off:

  • Geo-target your recipients very precisely. You want people close to you. Don’t target outside of a 10 mile radius or outside of your money service area
  • Personalize your campaign – a good example is calling out your audience — e.g. city residents
  • Have a compelling offer

Creating compelling offer is where most people will struggle. If you are a new business introduce yourself and have a compelling offer for new customers. This can be a buy one get one free type of deal or a heavily discounted offer.

That or you can get really ballsy. You can create something like this from Renewals By Anderson. This ad really made me think:

I am actually still kicking myself over this ad. It hit 101 degrees on July 4th in my area and I REALLY wanted new windows :’-(. Compelling offers matter and it carries over to paid online ads.

#6 Business Neighbor Sponsorships

If you are a business with a physical location in a shopping center with neighbors, this is a good strategy to consider. It is likely that within your shopping center there are complementary businesses to yours. Let’s brainstorm a few examples:

  • A chiropractor and a mixed martial arts training facility
  • A gym and a smoothie bar
  • A hairdresser and spa
  • A fancy restaurant and a florist

These are just a few examples. You can see the endless possibilities on how you can network with your business neighbors. Talk to your neighbors and see if you can strike up exclusive deals to cross market each other. I can definitely relate to this strategy as I trained in Mixed Martial Arts for several years and was dying for a chiropractor. I would have jumped if my coaches recommended any chiropractor to me. The trust factor is already there. Take the example below from Meimaris Sports Chiropractic:

Someone Gets It 🙂

#7 Getting On The Radio and Local Podcasts

Remember when I said digital marketing and PR are the same thing? Well, here is the connection. When it comes to local offline marketing strategy, getting on the radio, podcast, or TV for free is the the holy grail. This has long been something that has been reserved for the PR agencies in the world, but these days this is something that a good digital marketer is fully capable of doing.

Finding a Journalist/Radio Host/Podcaster

It is possible that if you have done #1 or #2 on this list that you may have a journalist or radio/podcast host contact that would be a warm lead. If not, you are going to be doing some cold outreach. Before we get to messaging, let’s talk about how to find these people. One way is to subscribe to a guest list service like a radioguestlist.com. This service will provide you with alerts from hosts wanting people like yourself as a guest. The other, is to visit the websites of these radio or blog sites and pull the e-mail using some tools. If you are reaching out to podcaster, you can either obtain the e-mail of the show on the website or lookup the host on LinkedIn and pull the e-mail. How do you pull the e-mail? You use a tool like Hunter.io or FindThatEmail. Pull your list of contacts using these tools and let’s move on to the next step.

Determining Your News Angle

When it comes to getting on the Radio or a Podcast, you really need to have your pitch down. You need to think about what newsworthy angle you have. They are in summary:

  • Company or product launches – Grand opening or new location
  • Funding – Did you just raise a ton of money
  • Milestones – Have an anniversary coming up like a 10 year anniversary?
  • Acquisitions – Who’d you buy out?
  • How your business relates to current events – Are you a realtor in a hot market? Come on the show as an expert guest discussing affordability in your area and where the hidden gems are in the market

Once you know what your angle is, it’s all aboard the hype train.

Prepping the hype train

Prepping your message is all about amping up your angle. If you are opening up shop, how will your venture change the world? If you have a milestone, how has your business contributed to the local community, etc.

Craft a custom message and include your social proof. Social proof could be one of two things:

  1. Are you someone special in the community?
    1. Ivy League MBA
    2. Expert in your field like an M.D.
    3. Former Executive from a big company
  2. Do you have a unique story?
    1. Young business owner (e.g. 15 years old)
    2. Starting up later in life (e.g. over 60)
    3. Overcome something major in your life and still killing it your business (e.g. – cancer survivor)
    4. Are you a woman, minority, and/or immigrant and making it big?

Know your points from here and be professional with your email signature. Have your social profiles on it, your name, picture, title etc. Lastly, address your journalist/host by name. Good luck out there and don’t be afraid of fumbling your first few pitches.

Further Reading:

What Offline Marketing Strategies Have You Used?

Did I miss anything? What has worked for you? Tell us your story below in the comments section and let us know what has worked for you in the past.

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About the Author Mark

Mark is the founder of Velvet Cloud, an Austin Based digital marketing firm that specializes in SEO, content marketing, press outreach, and targeted advertising for local and on-line businesses. Mark's work has been featured in Single Grain, SEMPO, Huffington Post, TechCo and many more.

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