In today’s increasingly Internet-connected world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the internet is the best and most efficient way of marketing any business. While you can get caught up setting up various social media accounts and measuring user engagement in easy – to – read numbers and graphs, it’s not advisable to forget about how businesses marketed themselves before the age of facebook, twitter, and Instagram.
In this article, we’re going to present and discuss several old-fashioned ways to promote your business from before the age of the internet and smartphone including but limited to; business cards, promotional materials, banners and signs, and finally, community outreach. Using these methods should help you stand out from all the other businesses lost in the maze of digital marketing!
The humble business card is a valuable marketing opportunity! In fact, instead of a factual piece of paper with just your businesses contact information, a business card is a tiny brochure that should drive customers to your business instead of just informing. Carefully consider the content of your business card. Beyond the obvious contact information, maybe encourage customers to use the card when engaging with your business.
An example of engagement with the card is to use it as a coupon to encourage first or repeat business. A customer might get a free cup of coffee by collecting ten stamps on the back of a rewards business card or perforate a line across the card to be used as a tear-off coupon that a customer can use for a one-time discount to get their foot in the door. Make the business card something that should be kept as opposed to having its information copied into a smartphone and thrown away.
Beyond business cards and brochures, investing in other physical media is another excellent way to promote your business. In our digital age, giving a customer a quality object that they can interact with, and better yet use in their everyday life, will really make you stand out from the crowd. There are many companies out there that offer a wide variety of ways to print your company name and logo on t-shirts, pens, keychains, etc. But the physical object you choose should be an excellent representation of your business. It should not just be a pen or shirt with the name of your business on it.
Here are some examples of an object being relevant to the business it’s promoting: A keychain made from a few links of extra bike chain for a mountain bike store, or a glasses cleaning cloth with the contact details for a sunglasses store, or a string winder for guitars for a music shop, or a whistle for a sports supply warehouse. Branded merchandise that’s relevant to your brand that customers engage with will certainly drive more sales your way!
Does your the target demographic of your business exclusively use and find businesses through the internet? This is an exceptionally important question. Not everyone has given up on traditional print media for instance, and there are still a humongous variety of print magazines that create content that your potential target demographic market might enjoy!
For example, if you’re a store selling fishing goods, consider taking out ad space in fishing magazines. While this seems an obvious point, it bears repeating that it’s easy to forget that not everyone has a smartphone and not everyone browses the internet. Just make sure that you’re not missing out on potential customers!
Signage is an important tool for any business! Banners and signs are an excellent way to rapidly and easily gain visibility and build brand recognition in the minds of consumers. This is especially true if you’re a small business and you’re trying to reach out to a local consumer base in your area. While a consumer might not need your services when they first encounter your sign, they will be more likely to remember your business in the future after building a familiarity with seeing it around town.
However, make sure to always consider the sign’s location! It’s important to place signs in high-traffic areas that will likely be visited by your target demographic. If you have a service-based business that is frequently at various locations around town, it’s advisable to invest in a series of lawn signs. For instance, an exterminator putting a sign up in a neighbourhood which is experiencing a pest outbreak is highly effective since neighbours will remember your logo, sign, and more importantly business if they require their own pests handled. Keeping your business in the eye of your target demographic will go a long way in bringing in business.
Making connections in your local community will do wonders for your profits, I guarantee it. Consider finding a way to make your business known in the local community by helping to strengthen that community! An excellent way of doing this, for example, is sponsoring a local sports teams. While you may not be able to afford to sponsor a large mainstream team such as Manchester United, you certainly can help a local school’s rugby team out by funding a new set of jersey’s that they’ll look extra sharp in!
Another example of community outreach is to host an event or fundraiser that you’re particularly passionate about. For instance, host a family day event in which you invite families to come together for a fun day of games at your local park. Not only are you building a community spirit in sponsoring these kinds of events, you’re building brand recognition in the minds of your closest potential customers and creating positive experiences associated with your brand! It’s a two-for-one knockout that’s sure to help your bottom line.
In conclusion, remember that your customers are ultimately people living in the real world that shouldn’t be reduced down to statistics for a Facebook page or Instagram feed. Engage your customers in the real world through tactile, visible, and memorable means and you’ll gain loyal customers that will keep coming back. After all, what’s more exciting; A banner ad on Facebook that a customer can swipe past or even adblock, or a tangible and physical connection to your business that will keep your business at the front of their minds?
Written by Emily Wilson.
Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favourite thing to do. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and travelling.