In a digital world, plenty of businesses channel a major part of their marketing budget toward digital strategies, rather than the more traditional means. It’s not wrong, but it’s also not ideal to concentrate all efforts into one strategy. Online or digital marketing efforts, no doubt, have immense benefits to reach people, and it’s also less costly than traditional marketing channels. That said, the question still stands. Should you just concentrate your marketing efforts online and disregard offline strategies?
The answer is no. This is simply because there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that will work the same all the time and to different audiences. Using digital marketing methods, such as online advertising, online affiliate marketing, and social media advertising, has numerous benefits, especially since 4.57 billion people are connected digitally through smartphones. However, businesses need to know that a marketing strategy needs to be refined, tweaked, and altered each time you want to promote or sell or engage a new product, service, or audience. It also depends on the demographics of your audience.
When creating a marketing strategy, here are a few things you want to address:
- Where is your audience located?
- What cultural applications apply to your audience?
- What kind of products and services do you want to market?
- When do you plan to promote these products and services?
- What channels do your audience commonly use?
- What promotion or sale is this – an event? A discount code? A flash sale?
An ideal marketing strategy would address common issues and answer those questions above, and incorporate both online and offline marketing methods. This means that all bases are covered, and you won’t end up missing out on a specific demographic.
Knowing when you’ll be promoting the product and what platform you’ll be using will also help you decide whether to concentrate your efforts online or offline. If it’s a discount code to your website, the efforts should be focused digitally. However, if you’re launching a new product or service and there’s a tangible product, it’s best to use both. Using both strategies will help you spread your message further.
The Benefits of Online Marketing
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of online marketing. As mentioned above, online marketing enables marketers to reach a wide audience digitally. Here are some of the benefits of online marketing:
- It’s more cost-effective.
Social media marketing takes the cake when it comes to cost-effectiveness. You can use social media channels, as well as email marketing, to spread the word on your latest range of bicycle helmets or your seasonal truffles. Many home-based businesses and small-time entrepreneurs use social media and email marketing as one of the first means of getting the word out because it requires little to no cost. If you do have the budget, you can invest in social media advertising.
- It’s relatively simple.
If you want to use online marketing, be it social media or email or Google Ads, you don’t need to contact a website proprietor to do it and start discussing prices. All you need to do is to switch on your mobile device, log in to your social media or email accounts, and click on their ads section. It can all be done by one person, working from home or at the office. This convenience alone expedites the simplicity of using online marketing channels and the ability to use resources effectively.
- It saves time.
The convenience and ease of setting up an email campaign using Mailchimp or creating an ad campaign via Facebook are done in a matter of clicks. No call, no haggling prices, no bidding. You can save yourself an immense amount of time just by using online platforms. They’ve made it so easy for you now to create an ad with videos or photos, text alone, or a combination of different media types. You can also create non-ad content such as writing blog posts, sharing tweets, posting how-to videos, reviews, and other forms of digital marketing.
The biggest downside to using online marketing channels is clutter and noise. Because it’s easy, cyberspace is cluttered with ads and content that invade a consumer’s digital space. The challenge would be to masterfully use the right channel with the right, attention-grabbing content. Remember, you only have three seconds to convince and connect with your audience.
The Benefits of Offline Marketing
A marketer must be able to use offline marketing strategies where it fits. Combining offline strategies into your marketing strategies will benefit your business and attract new audiences. Here are some key benefits to offline marketing:
- You can make it more personal.
Selling a car? Your salesperson can create a more meaningful connection with a potential buyer, and even convince a non-buyer to buy a car. Selling flowers online? Hiring friendly delivery people can add that touch of personalization to your flowers. Offline marketing enables a business to create a personal aspect to the whole buying-selling process. This is something you don’t entirely get online. While you can personalize a message online, you can’t provide that unique human touch. Depending on what you’re selling, adding a personal aspect to the sales and purchase process will help create a long-lasting customer-brand relationship.
- You can cover all your bases.
Covering all your bases depends on your product and your demographics. There could be some people with a bad Internet connection, which prevents them from viewing your content. It could also be that your content is blocked or takes a long time to load that prevents them from wanting to view your message. You could have uploaded a video, but someone with low bandwidth may not be able to see it. There could also be older people who are far less likely to be on social media compared to younger people. Using offline strategies ensures that you cover your bases to reach people who may not have seen your content digitally.
- You can attract a different audience.
Using vibrant banners, custom postcards, boards, posters, and other offline strategies can also help you reach an audience you never thought of reaching or never thought would be interested in your product. This is a demographic you never thought about. For instance, you sell organic honey and your target audience is chefs and home cooks. But then, at a trade fair, you encounter a homeopathic therapist who wants to use honey in their facials. Offline marketing has great potential to meet people outside your intended demographics.
Combining Both Online and Offline Methods
The goal is here isn’t to banish one method for the other. Both methods offer unique benefits, and combining them equates to maximum exposure of the brand, business, product, and service. Creating a plan to connect with audiences, both offline and online, helps to ensure that you make the best of both worlds and make use of different strategies and their benefits.
While online marketing is considerably affordable, you don’t need to dig deep to invest in offline marketing. When investing in offline strategies, think about how long-term you can use them. Strategies such as billboards, https://www.craftsmenind.com/double-expandable-trailer, stadium graphics, large format printing, TV and radio ads, mobile ads, and magazine ads, have a longer shelf life than online ads. The lifeline of your strategies correlates with how long you want your audience to see and hear about you. If it’s an ad campaign that’s for six months to one year, offline strategies work best.
Benefiting From a Combination of Methods
It’s not hard to see how you can benefit from combining your methods. The challenge here is how best to combine different methods to optimize your campaign, maximize your reach, and also, effectively use your marketing budget.
In short, combining your strategies means you can maximize your brand’s exposure. You’ll also be able to fine-tune your messages, depending on the platform you use and on the particular demographic you’re targeting.
You also don’t have to worry about missing out on a specific target audience because you’d be using both strategies to communicate your message and content. If someone doesn’t see your message online, they will have the opportunity of seeing it offline. They may have missed your messaging offline, but then, they’d see it online.
Using offline and online methods complement your branding and your connection with your target audience. Most people hate online ads, but then, when they interact with your brand at an offline space, say, for instance, a pop-up booth, it helps them create a more positive perception of your brand.
Your ultimate goal would be to combine both forms of marketing to reach different audience sets because it’s not good to keep all your eggs in one basket. A multi-plan marketing strategy helps communicate the benefits of your products and services differently to people in the way they feel comfortable interacting with you. Marketing, after all, is a multi-way road.