10 Effective Offline Marketing Ideas for Startups in 2015

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Billboards: definitely offline.

Most of us believe that these days, digital marketing is the only way to get results. While this may be true for a specific target market, some of the best marketing ideas happen offline. The best marketing strategies are those that combine both online and offline ideas seamlessly, in one complete package.

If you haven’t been putting much effort into your offline marketing tactics, then it’s time that you give your start-up a boost with the following tips. Inspiration has always been within your reach, you just need to know where to look.

1. Get creative with your business cards

Investing in well made business cards is one of the most effective ways to get your business out there. Set your brand apart by choosing a unique design that reflects your brand values and creativity. Always ensure that everyone who is anyone in your company has their own to give away, because you never know when they’ll need to share your business details with a prospective client.

Quick tips to make your business cards stand out:

  • Use colored cardboard instead of the usual white
  • Change the orientation from landscape to portrait

2. Make the most out of your printed marketing material

Another way to get your brand message out to your target market is to give away printed marketing material. Flyer printing may seem like an old tactic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get results. Go the extra mile and innovate beyond the standard template. There are a lot of creative ways you can get your target market’s attention using flyers and pamphlets, so make sure yours are practical for reading, keeping, and saving.

Quick tips to make flyers and pamphlets worth keeping:

  • Print out informative infographics and turn those into flyers
  • Add discount coupons at the bottom of your flyers

3. Go big with billboards

Go for innovative design if you want your billboards to stand out. There’s so much you can do with outdoor advertising, especially if your billboards are located in high traffic areas. It may seem like a big expense since billboard space doesn’t necessarily come cheap, but the exposure is worth it. Make sure your call to action and contact information is printed clearly to make the most out of your small investment.

Quick tips to save money on billboards:

  • Have your vehicles wrapped and turn them into mobile billboards
  • Partner up with a vertical business for a joint campaign and share the costs for a premium billboard

4. Package your products differently

If you’re selling physical goods with a lot of competition, you need to make sure that your product packaging is well thought out. There are many ways you can boost your brand’s exposure on the shelves just by packaging your products differently. You can also give away stickers or branded knick knacks with every purchase of your product so that fans of your brand can help spread the word.

Quick tips to update your product packaging:

  • Incorporate recycled material into your packaging
  • Change the orientation from landscape to portrait

5. Offer group specific discounts

There’s no better way to foster brand loyalty and get your message out there than by throwing a sale. By offering discounts to a specific target market, you’re making clients feel privileged, while boosting leads and sales. Advertise the incentives and you’ll even get the attention of prospective clients who have never heard of you before.

Quick tips to give away great discounts:

  • Offer unique discounts for every appropriate holiday in your calendar
  • Pick out a specific demographic (freshmen, moms, newlyweds) and give them their own sale week  

6. Celebrate holidays with your clients

Love the holidays? Send out cards and small gifts to clients and use special occasions and milestones to make your presence known. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money celebrating with your customers. A well designed, well thought out personalized greeting or small token can show clients that you care and that they mean something to your brand.

Quick tips to make the holidays memorable for clients:

  • Send out “Happy Anniversary” cards with special discounts to your clients on your store anniversary
  • A few months before Christmas, give away a coupon book that your clients can use for their Christmas shopping at your store

7. Get your own PR team

There’s really no need to put together an in-house PR team for your company; you just need to create relationships with relevant media to get favorable coverage from the local journalists in your area. Go out of your way to get to know them and show them what your brand is about. Get your brand story ready and make sure that it’s newsworthy.

Quick tips to get extra PR power:

  • Invite the press over for an official meet and greet
  • Check online for influential bloggers and send over some products that they can review

8. Network your way to success

Even with a small business, you can network your way to success. There are countless opportunities to build a business network even in a small town, so make sure that you attend all relevant business activities in your area. Check your listings for local business groups that you can join and actively participate in.

Quick tips to create a strong business network:

  • If your area still doesn’t have a business group, round up some interested business owners and meet up to start a small network
  • Create strategic partnerships with non-competing businesses in your area

9. Participate in trade shows

Attending and participating in trade shows is another way to get more exposure for your business. Whether you’re displaying or selling, you’ll be able to generate quality leads in just a few short days. Make sure that your promotional materials are well suited to your objectives so that you don’t waste valuable time or resources.

Quick tips to make the most out of trade shows:

  • Have a gimmick so that your target market will flock to your booth
  • Give away free product samples or discount codes for every lead you collect

10. Offer expert advice

As an expert in your chosen field, there are numerous opportunities where you can help people and at the same time get airtime for your business. Try becoming a guest at a local radio show or morning TV show and offer consumer advice that is related to your brand and industry. The trick is to sell an idea or product to your market, without the hard sell.

Quick tips to be the expert:

  • Hold a “free consultation” day at your business
  • Have a section for useful tips on your flyers

Now, you’re ready to take your marketing offline and into the world. Which is your favorite offline marketing strategy?

Posted in Growth & Metrics
  • RRHudgins

    WOW! No comments, and I shared this last year on June 30 … since great info … though I totally disagree with the 2nd bullet point in #8 … do not consider them competitors … but colleagues/collaborators and work with them to create a Meetup or other networking event. With that said, my #1 marketing strategy online and offline is Networking, and I started the group, took it offline and am 2 months into our 2nd year. Rhonda R. Hudgins-Bundy, Founder
    Metro ATL & Beyond Business Networking group … follow me on all Social Media platforms @RhondaRHudgins

  • Babatunde H. Lawal

    great article. it was highly beneficial to me. God bless you!