As we are fast approaching sci-fi world standards with things like virtual-reality, smart homes, and digital currencies, there are still some constants. For one, offline marketing tools are still necessary. The standard is now a 50/50 share of digital and offline advertising and marketing investment.
That means that your business needs to incorporate a strong offline and online strategy to succeed. Neglect either one and you could get left behind. Startup or established, your business stands to gain a lot from a variety of marketing tools.
You don’t need a lot of money to acquire a strong marketing suite of tools. A lot of what’s out there can be done with free apps or minimal investment. Most of the offline marketing investment will come from pure hustle.
Are you ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level?
Online Marketing Tools
For the first half of our marketing strategy, we’re going to focus on digital marketing. While there are comprehensive online marketing services, you can automate a lot of it. These are just a few examples.
Buffer for Social Media
Social media marketing is a huge time-sink. Even with a dedicated social media manager, you may not be reaching your full potential. That’s because it’s a delicate balance between too much activity and not enough.
You want to be on multiple social media platforms, but you also want to take advantage of each one’s potential. Duplicating content sharing on each platform isn’t inherently bad, but you definitely want to mix it up. This is where Buffer can help.
All your accounts can be connected into one dashboard. There, you can schedule a balanced ‘drip feed’ of content for each account. This lets you be able to queue up a month’s worth of content in one evening and then just focus on engagement.
Buffer is also great for studying which types of posts work and how frequently you should be posting it.
If you’ve never heard of the term “growth hacking” before, don’t worry, it’s perfectly legal. This is just a cool phrase to describe the online version of networking up. Normally, making connections online with experts, industry leaders, and B2B deals happens very slowly.
With tools like Sniply, you can start forming strong bonds with other influencers and industry experts. This platform lets you share content to and from influencers, building rapport, feedback, and trust. Sniply is a two-way street, allowing you to tap into bigger audiences while aligning yourself with interests for long-term benefits.
The tried and true formula of gaining more traffic to all of your accounts is strong SEO. Your website should be checking all of the boxes off for organic SEO:
- Balanced keyword density
- Strong meta-description
- Web page speed optimization
- Daily content updates
- Responsive webpage design
Your website’s SEO is important for keeping and retaining the attention of your visitors. It should contain a cohesive theme of branding, promotional materials, unique content, and business information. First-impressions are very important for any long-term marketing strategy.
All potential customers and curious minds should find it easy to navigate your website. Draw them in with your story, make it memorable and relatable. This is an opportunity to create value that goes beyond expensive PPC campaigns.
“Big data” is a marketing tool that is actually very accessible to the average business. All you need to do is plug in keywords related to your business (name, products, niche, etc.) and you’ll see in real time how successful your marketing is.
With Google Alerts, you can get email updates for every mention of your brand on the internet. This might be useful for sharing bragging rights on your social media or responding to complaints online.
Social Mention is another powerful tool that does alerts, plus things like Sentiment Analysis. This lets you know off the bat whether there’s positive or negative publicity brewing. It won’t completely replace a PR manager, but it will make the growing pains much easier.
The most important link in the automated online marketing chain: automated messaging. Email marketing tools are necessary if you want to build a massive following that isn’t tied to just one platform. Email isn’t going to lose relevancy anytime soon.
In order to get a large, active email list, you need an autoresponder. MailChimp is a good one, of course, but we’re going to go with GetResponse. It does everything MailChimp does, including email marketing tools, advanced analytics, surveys, and segmentation.
Add this onto webinar and landing page management, plus web event tracking. It’s just a much bigger ecosystem with a ton of growth potential. GetResponse is like having a team of virtual assistants at your beck and call.
Offline Marketing Tools
The bread and butter of marketing strategies that work. These traditional forms of getting your name into the mouths of others require dedication. The biggest obstacle to making these methods work is ambition.
Why would someone want to speak with a stranger about products or services they never asked about? Well, people have conversations about things they never considered buying all the time. Cold calling gets a bad rep, mainly due to transparent marketing strategies.
Cold calls can be highly personalized and tailored to never feel predatory. Besides, you know your brand is honest and authentic, it’s just about conveying it to potential customers. Cold calling is also a great opportunity to make strong industry connections.
Use exploratory questioning, respect the recipient’s time, demonstrate value, and don’t ask for the sale. You want the person on the other line to feel in control and voluntarily commit.
Flyers, Posters, and Ads
Traditional advertising is all about getting your brand in front of the most eyeballs as possible. The volume of printing isn’t necessarily what’s most important. Start with a good printing service like New Era Print Solutions, then figure out where you’ll get the most receptive audience.
You can hire a few kids to distribute flyers in public spaces, put up posters in high-trafficked areas, or on windshields (strategically!). Share your ads with various print publications, don’t waste a good ad. We recommend community papers and college papers for the budget-minded.
You can run ads for much longer on the same budget as a single ad in a major newspaper.
This is probably one of the more precarious forms of marketing. It’s a bit of a gamble, but the payoff can be life-changing. You’ll need to brainstorm a really solid and cohesive strategy here. A publicity stunt needs to be more than just naked advertising, for example.
Do something thematic, engaging, and please incorporate it into some sort of social media activity. A simple hashtag is fine, just make sure you push to get it trending.
Some safe forms of guerilla marketing include theater and dance, pranks, stunts, political satire, and creative graffiti.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good business card. There is some solid science behind the effectiveness of a business card. Making a good first impression starts with being accessible.
By not opting for your standard black and white card with flimsy card stock, you’re telling that person that you value your longevity. You don’t want your business card being filed away with the other dozen or so cards at a convention, for example.
A sturdy, textural, and eye-catching card will stand out. Men who carry wallets will also likely “make room” for your card in their wallet. Survival of the fittest (or the thickest in the case), as they say! New Era Print Solutions has some great designs with high-quality printing that will feel like a piece of art.
Seminars, Events, and Activism
This last category of marketing tools comes in the form of classic networking. Face-to-face connections with real people is how you succeed in life. No matter how great your business plan may be, if you aren’t meeting the right people, it could fade into obscurity.
Seminars are great for obvious reasons: you get to hear pitches or give your own and see real feedback. Expos, conventions, and other related events are just giant punchbowl situations where you can connect with potential partners and clients.
The last category of face-to-face networking is more of a recent trend. By getting involved politically, you can position yourself as more than a business. You don’t even need to be in the midst of the most controversial topics and risk alienating your base.
Just put your name on a few universally-good initiatives and be a brand that is more than business.
Diversify and Grow
We hope this article inspired you to try out a few new marketing tools and strategies. Nothing is worse than that ‘stuck’ feeling of being unable to invest financially in more marketing, yet seeing that flat line of growth. You can work smarter, not harder, by incorporating an array of marketing tactics.
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