While the time we spend online seems to be growing by the day, (and indeed, studies have shown that we do spend quite a bit of time on the ol’ interwebs), the reality is that there still is a whole lot of stuff we do offline as well, in the real world – i.e. I.R.L.
Since our lives are becoming increasingly cross-platform, so too should our marketing efforts, and combining offline with online campaigns in a concerted and considered way is going to give your brand (or your clients) the winning edge. An article posted earlier today by Tech.co gives a handy rundown of a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when bridging the gap between your on- and offline marketing campaigns.
Email vs. snail mail – But is that really the debate here?
The article references a recent infographic put together by Quantum Postcards, which shows the re-emergence of direct mail and some of its benefits over email (totally unbiased, I know…) While it’s true that the sheer number of emails sent and received each day actually can make it difficult to reach people effectively through this medium, I think it still can be done well, and I don’t think you should drop all email communications in favour of handwritten letters to each and every one of your existing and prospective clients (however much of a nice touch that will be).
Aside from just the email vs snail mail argument, there are are plenty of other ideas, along with those suggested by Tech.co, that you can incorporate to better combine your offline and online marketing efforts and get them to play nice.
Get your offline and online agencies to talk to each other
Remember what happened when the Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Thor all came together and combined forces rather than working individually? A lot of butt-kicking, that’s what. If you work with multiple service providers, such as a traditional offline PR agency, and an SEO agency for example, it helps to put them in touch with each other so that they can know more about what the other is doing. This allows your agencies to combine forces to do things like outreach work – e.g. your SEO agency contacts bloggers, while the PR agency contacts magazines and print publications. It also helps avoid situations where two of your agencies accidentally cover the same ground – especially since many PR agencies are (and should be) doing more digital PR.
Team up with like-minded, non-competitor brands to reach people’s mailboxes
I saw a great example of this a few years ago from the then recently-launched eyewear brand Oscar Wylee, who I promptly bought two pairs of prescription glasses from after receiving a little postcard from them in the box of goodies I had ordered from my favorite online retailer. They had an excellent value proposition (2 pairs for $98) that they maintain to this day, and the offline material gave me a good idea of what I could expect when I headed online to their site in terms of design and brand personality.
Use offline activities for online link building and general buzz
Do you sell a physical product? Why not do something offline that will help you get linked to and mentioned online? A client of ours recently delivered some free flowers to a local nursing home, who then kindly blogged about the event on their website, and included some photos and a link back to the client’s website. Think about other ways you can potentially generate interest around your brand, such as presenting at an event, being interviewed in a podcast or radio program, giving some free stuff away, or via experiential marketing.
How does your brand or your clients effectively combine their offline with their online marketing efforts? Chuck us a comment below, and let us know.
Avengers image credit.