Where Should You Be: Online or Off?

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Online presence is a must for any business. However, traditional offline advertising is still more effective than online advertising for most businesses. Cost-effective and offering a better reach, offline advertising remains a must for almost any business.

Online is the place to be. New businesses tend to have an online presence from the very day of their launches. Look at any print or online advertisement for a company, and you are sure to find its web address. While there can be no doubt about the importance of having an online presence for the success of any business, it is important to understand why offline advertising is even more important than online advertising when it comes to promoting your online presence.

Advertising methods like SEO, pay-per-click, banner ads, and others are creating a lot of noise in the online space. As they guarantee quantitative results, these methods certainly win points over offline media. However, online advertising is an expensive and long-term affair. A mix of online and offline ads is a good strategy to enhance your online presence. Offline ads help you reinforce your message to those who have already spotted you online.

Here are a few offline marketing ideas to propel your online business:
  • Place ads in local newspapers. Local newspapers offer affordable advertising rates that can help you stay within your advertising budget and yet promote your business effectively.

  • Take advantage of the locales frequented by your target audience. Create a visible presence in restaurants, malls, movie theaters, local stores, or anywhere else — depending on your particular product or service — through flyers, posters, stickers, and more. Ensure that your web address stands out from a distance.

  • Issue coupons at places like restaurants, gyms, and sports complexes that can be redeemed by visiting your website.

  • Radio and TV ads can turn out to be quite affordable, contrary to popular belief. Buy spots on your local radio and TV stations, keeping in mind your niche market. For example, if you sell sporting goods, then you would probably want to buy a spot on a local sports channel.

  • Radio spots allow you to target your audience by specific age groups or during a desired time slot. Give details like your company name, telephone number, and website address, with a clear emphasis on the last of these. Listeners are more likely to visit your website than phone you.

  • Make CDs containing your business information and your contact details and distribute them during tradeshows, fairs, and more. Put your company name and website address on the CD cover so that your potential customers do not have to dig inside the CD contents to contact you.

  • Your business card is a great marketing tool. Utilize the small space available on business cards to highlight your message, your name, your contact details, and of course your company’s URL.

  • Magazine ads, the yellow pages, and giveaway promotional items are few other methods through which you can advertise your website address to drive traffic to your website.

Offline mediums are well worth investing in to popularize your online presence. While new technology and trends like PPCs and social networking sites tempt us to jump onto the online advertising bandwagon, older offline media techniques may well prove to mint more money for your business.
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