In years gone by, it was a struggle to get businesses to start advertising on the Internet. Most of the time, even large corporations would settle for a couple of online pages of what amounted to little more than a virtual brochure. Talk about digital marketing methods such as pay-per-click, search engine optimization, and email campaigns, and it was like you were talking a foreign language. But these days, the problem is quite the opposite . . . .
We’re now witnessing an age where an entire generation of flourishing businesses came into existence online, built a customer base entirely through Internet marketing, and have never known anything else. Although I applaud their success, I’m also aware that they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to greatly increase their marketing reach.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that online marketing is all these businesses have ever known, and there is a perfectly understandable reluctance to try something new. The larger issue is that offline marketing is seen by many as a backward step. It’s almost as if advertising that doesn’t involve a computer or mobile phone screen is perceived as old-fashioned, dated, and a futile attempt to reach a diminishing audience.
This kind of thinking, whether conscious or otherwise, is deeply flawed. It’s true that, as a species, we’re spending increasing amounts of time online; but the vast majority of people are still spending the bulk of their time on activities that don’t involve the Internet. Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, public transport, advertising boards, and direct mail, all provide marketing opportunities that cannot be reached via an Ethernet cable.
It’s also important to realize that, just because someone uses the Internet regularly, doesn’t mean that online advertising is the best way to reach them. My fiancée, for example, visits Facebook on an hourly basis, but rarely uses the Internet for anything else. All the pay-per-click and search engine optimization in the world isn’t going to get her attention; in fact, unless you’re spending lots of money on Facebook advertising, you’ve got virtually no chance.
My fiancée is not unique in her online activity. There are millions of people who go online every day to tweet, update their Facebook status, check their emails, and little else. Take a moment to pause and think about what that means. There is a huge group of people out there, with easy Internet access, but who have little or no chance of being reached by your marketing message.
If that wasn’t motive enough to start exploring the offline marketing avenues, here are three more very good reasons why you should be “Going Analogue:”
1) More Traffic . . . Better Conversions
It goes without saying that if you advertise in magazines and publish articles in newspapers you’re going to generate traffic; but you’re also going to see a boost in your conversion rates. The core reason for this is the trust that is generated by offline advertising. The Web is still seen as a place where any two-bit business, not to mention myriads of scammers, can market their wares. By contrast, offline advertising is seen as something that is only within the budget of established businesses (even though the costs are often far lower than most would imagine). Additionally, if a person likes and trusts the magazine or newspaper within which they’ve seen your advert, you’re effectively receiving an implied endorsement that is going to impact the way in which your website is perceived.
Another residual effect of advertising in offline media is that you’re then in a position to add “As seen in . . .” labels to your website. This will have a measurable effect on your conversion rates.
2) Become a Market Leader
Anyone can publish a blog and dress it up in fancy graphics; but it takes a real expert to be featured in a newspaper, or interviewed on the radio. There is a company in the UK that does virtually no traditional advertising, but their Managing Director writes for several publications, including a column in a national newspaper. This media presence, along with word-of-mouth recommendations, has made them the leading provider in their industry with over 25,000 clients.
What most don’t realize is that muscling your way into established offline media channels is easier than it appears. Producing a constant stream of fresh, original content is a challenge that all radio stations, television channels, and publications face; so if you have expertise in a particular area and are willing to write articles or be interviewed, then you could be exactly what editors and content directors are looking for. Get your name out there and make it known that you’re available. If you can own this space, then people will visit your website already confident that you’re an expert and a market leader.
3) A New Experience
Hardcore Web surfers have experienced pretty much every imaginable online advertising technique. Video marketing, autoresponders, upsells, and one-time offers, have become so passé that Internet marketers have to keep coming up with new twists to maintain worthwhile conversion rates. You can sidestep this problem by using offline marketing to attract visitors that have Internet access, but have little or no experience with the aforementioned advertising methods. Attract new visitors using offline advertising and you’ll find that these individuals are far more receptive to your sales funnels.
None of the above is intended to dissuade you from making full use of online marketing. In terms of speed and cost, the Internet is still a superb way to advertise your products and services. The purpose of this article is to convince you to “Go Analogue” and discover (or rediscover) the range of fantastic options that exist for you to promote your business. The most successful businesses brand themselves right across the digital and analogue world, combining the two for maximum effect. I urge you to join them.
For more information about ‘Going Analogue: Offline Marketing in an Online World,’ check out: www.GoingAnalogue.com.