October 2, 2011
With the advent of the Internet and the worldwide dominance and prominence of Google, Facebook and Twitter, one could reasonably assume the whole world revolves around the Internet. It doesn’t. There’s a great big offline universe out there with nearly 6 billion people in it that was here long before the Internet. And if you don’t have an offline marketing strategy to reach those billions of people, and complement your online marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a significant amount of traffic and income.
Following are 19 affordable and effective offline advertising methods that generate traffic to your website:
Everyone has books in their home – some more than others. But I think that you’ll agree, just about everyone owns books. And what better way to get your marketing message in front of readers, than with a bookmark with your company name and website address printed on it? And distribution couldn’t be more easy! Simply get a bunch of bookmarks printed up and hand them out to everyone you meet. You can purchase bookmarks imprinted with your company name from Branders.com.
2. College Newspapers
Why market to college students? Because the college market consists of about 15 million people who spend over 120 billion annually. In addition, more than 79% of college students go online at least once a day and over 95% of college students have access to the Internet. (Source: NationwideAdvertising.com)
You can put your marketing message in front of tens of thousands of college students at an affordable price. You can get started by contacting NationwideAdvertising.com.
Postcards are inexpensive to mail and are very effective. When people sort through their mail, they will often read postcards before they read anything else. You can take advantage of that fact, by starting a postcard marketing campaign. Lelli.com has been in the printing and direct mail business since 1977.
4. Business Cards
No, I’m not talking about your everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill business cards. I’m talking about business cards that stand out – that get people’s attention. For example, business cards that look like folded money. They’re called drop cards or sizzle cards. Like the forementioned bookmarks, simply get a bunch of these unique, attention-grabbers printed up and hand them out to everyone you meet. You can also pin them up on public bulletin boards. You can order drop cards from DollarCardMarketing.com.
Yes, businesses still use flyers and yes, they still work quite effectively. You can get a bunch of flyers printed up at a very reasonable price and post them all over town. Your local printer can print them up for you, or you can go online and order from Lelli.com.
6. Local Business Journals
The Business Journals are part of a group of local business newspapers with a national readership of 4 million. For example, in Albany, New York where I live, the local business journal is called The Business Review. Boston, Massachusetts has a similar publication called Boston Business Journal. And in Dallas, Texas the publication is called Dallas Business Journal.
In addition to exposure for your business and website, The Business Journals are an absolute goldmine for leads. Unfortunately, The Business Journals aren’t available in every city, but they are in many of the largest U.S. cities. Go to BizJournals.com, to see if The Business Journals are available where you live.
7. Refrigerator Magnets
Consumers are in and out of their refrigerator several times a day. In addition, refrigerators are generally located in the kitchen, where many families eat their meals, pay the bills and do a whole host of different activities. A refrigerator magnet is an ideal way to reach consumers. You can order refrigerator magnets from Magnets.com.
If you walked around in public in a T-shirt with the name of your company and website address printed on it, you’d be surprised how many people would see it – especially if you work in a high-traffic environment like a supermarket or fast-food restaurant. You can have some T-shirts printed up and distribute them among friends and/or family members. You can order promotional T-shirts from Zazzle.com.
9. Community Shopper Newspaper Classifieds
Nearly every community, regardless of size, has a community shopper newspaper like Pennysaver. You’ve probably noticed the brightly colored “free” shopper newspaper dispensers outside of supermarkets, which is where they’re usually located. Some shoppers are mailed directly to people’s homes and while these shopper newspapers are free, their classified ads are read by millions of people nationwide. You can advertise in shopper newspapers by contacting NationwideAdvertising.com.
10. Community Bulletin Boards
You can find community bulletin boards in laundromats, gas stations, supermarkets, office buildings, schools, libraries, community centers, fitness clubs, etc. You can post your business cards and flyers on community bulletin boards for free. I have to admit, I didn’t think people really paid any attention to community bulletin boards. Then one day, I decided to make a handwritten flyer to sell my car, and posted it on the bulletin board in an office building that was located just a few minutes from where I lived at the time. An hour after I posted the flyer, I got a call about my car. I sold it that evening to that same caller.
11. Luggage Tags
If you know people who travel a lot, or you travel a great deal yourself, you can take advantage of all those frequent flyer miles by exposing the name of your business and website address to travelers worldwide with promotional luggage tags. Yes, luggage tags! Just contact Branders.com.
12. Car Magnets
Car magnets have always been a highly-effective way to promote a business. Just driving around town normally, without doing anything out of the ordinary, you’d be surprised how many eyeballs are exposed to your company name and website address. If you’ve never used car magnets to promote your business, better late than never. You can order custom car magnets from Signazon.com.
13. Coffee Mugs
While I personally don’t drink coffee, just about everyone I know does. Why not gift the coffee drinkers you know with a coffee mug with your company name and website address printed on it? After all, if people are going to drink coffee, they might as well drink out of one of your mugs, right? You can order promotional coffee mugs from PromoLogoMugs.com.
14. Rear Window Decals
Imagine, every car on the road that is driving behind you being exposed to your company name and website address. Well, you don’t have to imagine it, you can actually make it happen with rear window decals. And guess what happens when you stop at a red light or stop sign? That’s right, the people driving the cars directly behind you are a captive audience. You can order rear window decals from Signazon.com.
15. Car Air Fresheners
As long as I can remember, I’ve always had an air freshener dangling from my rearview mirror. I like my car to smell nice. Well, guess what…so do millions of other drivers! And since so many drivers like their cars to smell nice, why not hand out custom air fresheners with your company name and website address to everyone you meet? You can order custom air fresheners from AirTrendsInternational.com.
16. Desk Calendars
One of the most useful items you can give someone is a desk calendar. After all, everyone needs a calendar, right? Yes, calendars are useful, but they’re also highly-effective promotional items, because people use them constantly to write down appointments, remember important dates, events and occasions, jot down notes, etc. Why not give people something useful, and promote your business at the same time? You can order desktop calendars from PricelessImprinters.com.
Even with the advent of laptops and smartphones, millions of people still prefer to use a traditional desktop computer with a mouse. And every mouse needs a mouspad, right? Hand out mousepads with your company name and website address to people you meet. You can order custom mousepads from Branders.com.
18. Promotional Caps
Just like with the aforementioned T-shirts, if you walked around in public in a cap with the name of your company and website address printed on it, you’d be surprised how many people would see it – especially if you work in a high-traffic environment like a supermarket or fast-food restaurant. You can have some caps printed up and distribute them among friends and/or family members. You can order promotional caps from Branders.com.
19. Disposable Cigarette Lighters
While smoking is no longer in vogue or cool like it was in the fifties, sixties or seventies, millions of individuals still light up on a daily basis. And more often than not, they use a cigarette lighter to light their cigarettes. You can put the name of your business and website address in the hands of smokers by advertising on disposable cigarette lighters. You can order promotional cigarette lighters from Branders.com.
David Jackson is a marketing consultant, and the owner of Free-Marketing-Tips-Blog.com – Powerful, free marketing tips to help grow your business! free-marketing-tips-blog.com