5 clever offline marketing strategies for B2B brands
For many of us, online marketing has taken the driving seat of our marketing activity over the last five years. The rise of online or ‘digital’ marketing may have eclipsed traditional activity but the truth is, the two tie together quite nicely.
Companies that integrate online and offline activity maximize on all of the marketing tools available, creating an approach has more chance of reaching its audience. The truth is, you could have an entire target group waiting who just aren’t looking for your services online yet. Offline activity also feeds into public perception, particularly in B2B where you may not come into contact with your audience as often.
Here are five modern day offline marketing strategies for your business to help you connect the two.
Best of all? Unlike traditional offline activities (print, radio and advertising) none of these strategies require a huge marketing budget.
1. Physical branding
Brands who stick in the mind are often placed there by their physical branding. Humans are extremely visual - in fact over 90% of information processed by the brain is visual. Pair that with an eight-second attention span and you have to act faster than you thought.
Physical branding opportunities are all around us - from t-shirts, to hats, lanyards, name badges, brochures, stickers, notebooks and bags of sweets.
The more creative you can get, the more likely you are to be seen. These B2C brands all used projection mapping - the art of projecting an image onto a building as an innovative way to capture attention.
Whether you have a physical presence or not, getting your logo and message out into the world will attract new and potentially more attention than just letting people see it online.
Sponsoring events, networking sessions and worthy causes are great ways to get your business offline and connecting with real people in a physical space. The power of face-to-face interaction is huge. We remember the conversations we have in person much more than the conversations we have online. Whether you have budget to attend a tradeshow as an exhibitor or not, events still pose one of the biggest opportunities to transverse the online/offline barrier.
You could also consider donating your office or work space to an event or session that’s relevant to your target audience. That way, potential customers become associated with your brand in a comfortable environment - associating you with good things to come!
If you have some fancy wall art, a digital screen (as below) or something else ‘instagrammable’ in your office or space that you share, this will also help cement you in the minds of any visitors.
3. Digital signage
Digital signs are all around us and studies say that digital signage attracts attention - almost 71% more than online ads in fact! Yet many businesses fail to even know it exists.
If you have any physical presence at all, an office, a showroom or an event space, digital signage creates powerful connections between you and your audience. Just like online marketing practices, digital signage gives you the power to tailor content to your audience through playlists and schedules. From images, videos and company keynotes to apps that support social media dashboards and general news - digital displays give you a wealth of options.
The next time a potential employee or customer sits in your reception or lobby, maybe you should treat them to a more powerful offline experience?
If you don’t have a physical space then look at who does. Local businesses, shops and restaurants will often have digital displays that you can pay to advertise on for a much more affordable fee than traditional advertising billboards.
4. Bring your social media into the real world
User-generated content (UGC) is your most powerful tool for authenticity. Online feedback, client testimonials and social media updates send a powerful message about your brand. They tell current and potential customers that they’re in good company buying from you. That others before have had great experiences.
Social media or any form of UGC uses real-life stories and examples to bring your brand to life. This is much more valuable to a prospect trying to make a good business decision than a sales pack or marketing brochure.
Unfortunately, this type of social proof often stays just online. But social media walls displayed on screens, tablets or even through mobile apps can help cement UGC in a physical location.
According to studies, even employee-shared content gets 8 times more engagement than the content shared by brands. Why not use this opportunity to showcase content direct from your employees to the clients, jobseekers and partners visiting your office?
5. Guerilla marketing
Guerilla or ‘experiential’ marketing is bringing your brand alive in a physical space in a way that can surprise and delight potential and existing customers. Anything from branded pens, to walls paved in post-it notes, to creating your website in real life through a pop-up show (like online printing company Moo), can give you waves of social media, PR and print coverage.
Guerilla campaigns are often bypassed in B2B, but why? B2B audiences are still people, who want to be inspired or to feel an emotive response to a piece of content. The next time you go to create a product brochure or sales pitch, why not bring your brand alive in an offline campaign instead?
People already believe in your business. But choosing to settle with just an online presence will make you miss out on a ton of opportunity that could be waiting for you offline. Human connection, face-to-face conversations and memorable experiences all exist in offline marketing - all you have to do is give them a platform.