Many businesses are going through a digital transformation, especially when it comes to their marketing efforts. Much of their focus is on things like Search Engine Optimization, PPC campaigns, and social media. And while these strategies are certainly effective, we shouldn’t focus on them to the exclusion of more traditional methods. When done correctly, these traditional marketing methods can still have a big impact on your business in ways that more modern ones can’t.
Word of Mouth
There was a time when word of mouth was really the only form of marketing. You learned which doctor to see or where to get your haircut simply by having someone else give you a recommendation. It may not get as much attention anymore, but it’s still powerful. In fact, when referred by a friend, people are 4 times more likely to make a purchase.
To bring this up to modern times, you should encourage your past customers to provide referrals. This means starting a referral program that rewards previous customers when they bring in new ones. You can also do something as simple as asking happy customers to share with you on social media.
Another way to generate word of mouth buzz is through networking events. If you can find an event where your audience is likely to gather, this is a great way to get the word out. Even better, if you can give a presentation or talk at this event, you’ll definitely get more people talking about you.
Before email became popular, direct mail was the big way to reach an audience. Then email came along and it was cheaper, easier, and you could reach a lot more people with it. However, this doesn’t mean that direct mail isn’t effective any longer. Practically every one checks their mailbox each day and examines each thing in it – can you say the same for each email you receive?
Direct mail is especially useful for local businesses, as your audience is all in the surrounding area. So, if you don’t have a direct mail campaign set up yet, grab yourself some envelopes and stamps, then send out a flyer to every prospective customer.
The other popular form of marketing was print ads. This is especially true before television came around, where every business would advertise in local newspapers, magazines, and on billboards. These days it may not seem like this is an effective use of your budget, when you can reach so many more people by advertising online.
However, there is still a way you can do print ads that make sense. If you choose your publications very carefully and create ads that stand out, you can generate a lot of brand awareness. For example, if you run a high-end restaurant in town, you could print ads in the local theater’s playbill. This theater likely wouldn’t charge much for the ad and it would be highly targeted towards your audience.
The other type of print ad to consider is a billboard. For local businesses, sometimes the hardest part of marketing is just getting your name out there. People can’t consider your business if they have never heard of you to begin with. A billboard is an easy to way get your name out there in a local area, and it may not cost as much as an entire online marketing strategy. If brand awareness in a local area is your aim, you should definitely consider a billboard.
Finally, there are popup shops. Popup shops are temporary stores, typically placed where there is a lot of foot traffic – think kiosks in your local mall. What’s great about popup shops is that your business doesn’t have to pay rent on a long-term lease, but you can still get the word out about your business.
For example, let’s say you create health food products. With their permission, you could set up a small shop outside your local gym. Here you would likely get a lot of foot traffic from people who are interested in their health. Even if every customer doesn’t stop at your shop, they will at least see your name and learn more about you. You can even use a popup shop to boost your other marketing channels, by promoting your website and social media feeds or collecting contact information from the people who stop in.
Find a Balance of Old and New
When it comes to marketing your business, you likely won’t want to focus on solely new or more traditional methods. Instead, you should look to find a balance that works for your business. Running a print ad may not work for your digital marketing company, but setting up a referral program might. The point is to try out different strategies, no matter how old or new they are, and find what works best for you.