Many businesses today have separate divisions for online and offline marketing. What these businesses fail to realise, however, is that an offline market and an online market nowadays are no longer two separate entities. The marketer who focuses exclusively on offline endeavours while failing to consider their implications for online endeavours is missing the proverbial boat. In order to be successful in either market, today’s marketing professional must unite online and offline endeavours, always maintaining a foot in both worlds and pursuing a strategy of integration and optimisation. Today I’d like to go over the five keys to success for integrating your online and offline marketing efforts.
Key 1: Use a consistent appearance.
In order for people to recognize your business everywhere, you have to look the same online as you do offline. Your website, email newsletter, and social media channels need to look the same as your newspaper advertisements, direct mail pieces, and brochures. Use one logo for everything, and use the same fonts, colour schemes, and representative product photos. In this way, customers will immediately recognise your business both online and off.
Key 2: Use a consistent message.
If your business has a special catchphrase or slogan that consumers identify you with offline, it should also appear in your online marketing endeavours. The same holds true if you are using a particular message for an online campaign; it should appear somewhere in your offline marketing efforts. The goal is to have a consistent message across the board in order to build your recognition in the marketplace.
Key 3: Advertise your website offline.
You’ve spent all that money building a great website, so advertise it. This is one of the easiest—and most easily overlooked—ways to build recognition. Include your URL on all ads, brochures, business cards, letterhead, invoices, signs, menus, and such like. Turn your offline endeavours into a doorway to your offline endeavours.
Key 4: Include your SEO keywords offline.
This is a subtle way of integrating your messaging across your online and offline endeavours, but it’s an important one. You’ve invested a lot in uncovering the optimal keywords to get your online presence noticed, and you’ve strategically placed them in your online content to get you noticed for what makes you distinct, so find ways to include these in your offline content as well. It will help you to keep a consistent message.
Key 5: Include QR codes in offline ads with links to online landing pages
QR codes are those square images in ads that look computer-generated. They enable users to scan the image with their camera phones and, through the use of a smartphone app, be directed to a website with information about a product or a special offer. When including QR codes in your ads, make sure they take the user directly to a landing page for the product or service being advertised. If you take them to your main site and make them search for the product or service, you’ll end up annoying a potential customer.
Integration between online and offline marketing is critical for success in today’s competitive market. Success in one breeds success in the other, and maintaining a consistent approach to both will enable your business to reap a multitude of rewards.
(Image by Stuart Miles)