The challenges posed by the recent pandemic have reinforced the fact that companies must communicate in very precise and local terms, targeting specific customers based on their circumstances and their values. While this can be achieved through social media marketing, there are other equally effective strategies. From advertising during streaming video to connected devices to building relationships through personal connections, it’s still all about engagement and trust. Here’s some offline marketing strategies you need to consider.
Cable TV is quickly losing ground to CTV – smart TVs or digital signage connected to a content streaming device. This includes Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more. According to IAS, almost nine out of ten consumers have access to a CTV device and eMarketer projects U.S. CTV advertising will soar to $11.36 billion in 2021 and $14.11 billion in 2022.
Younger audiences are more likely to be CTV viewers, but older demographics are catching up. The pandemic also played an important role in boosting the popularity of CTV, with consumers investing in connected TV devices and signing up for subscriptions to stay informed and entertained.
Brands love CTV because they can reach Generation Z’ers, Millennials and everyone who’s now consuming content on their phones, laptops, and smart TVs. Plus, they can leverage faster reporting and more targeting options. CTV supports interactive video formats so viewers can make purchases straight from their screens.
On a more local scale, geofencing allows you to target the customers in your specific geographic area. It relies on the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to mark geographical boundaries and to send triggers, such as target ads or push notifications and text messages for promotional offers, to the mobile devices entering it. Your customers will have to opt-in and also be able to opt out.
Many companies create a virtual fence not just around their own brick-and-mortar location, but also their competitors’ locations — as well as the locations of other businesses that typically send them referrals. Experts suggest limiting yourself to a radius that’s between a five-minute walk and a five-minute drive. They also suggest you make your ad actionable by inviting customers to take advantage of a discount or a special offer.
If your customers don’t want to download your app, you can use SMS geofencing by sending out text messages with discounts and other offers to their phones as they enter your geofenced area. For example, when a customer opts into our SMS geofencing in your store, you can send them a text message offering them a 20 percent discount if they visit your store again in the next three days.
Making Personal Connections at Events
Dealing with COVID-19 has reminded people just how much they value relationships. As restrictions begin to lift, people once again will be excited to participate in live events that enable them to connect with others face-to-face. In fact, trade shows and conferences are expected to start coming back during the second half of 2021.
As a business owner, events are a perfect opportunity for you to channel your customers’ pent-up desire for connections to develop new relationships and promote your company to potential customers, partners and investors. Professional business cards are easy to design with the right business card template, such as those available at PosterMyWall.
Hosting Free Workshops
Hosting an in-person, live workshop at your business location can be an excellent way to foster organic relationships with your target audience and build brand audience. For example, a craft store could host quilting meetups or an athletic wear store could host yoga and wellness workshops. Many locations of the outdoor retailer REI host in-person classes on backpacking and bike maintenance.
The focus should be on real, valuable content that people can use in a meaningful way and not on your self-promotion. Integrating a hands-on learning component to your event, empowers participants to see how your product or service fits their needs.
Your workshop is also an opportunity for like-minded people to connect and build a community while sharing their experiences. As you promote your workshop, you will position your company as an expert in your field and as an active participant in your community.
Sponsoring Local Sports
In most communities, lots of parents are committed to their child’s success in youth sports. Even the most unathletic parents often feel compelled to sign up their children for soccer or baseball. These families find themselves spending their Saturday mornings on various athletic fields and become a captive audience for your business’s sponsorship.
These sponsorships here can take many forms. From purchasing team jerseys, to giving out “trading cards” featuring photos of the players post-season, to hosting a pre-tournament lunch–practically any item can be designed to include your logo or a mention of your business. Game and practice schedules are arguably among the top real estate opportunities because they are placed on household fridges and frequently checked by frantic parents.
Even a branded Gatorade bottle advertising a local real estate or insurance agent can go a long way on a hot game day.
Making It Personal
If your business offers curbside pickup or shipping, your customers might be delighted to find a card with a personal note about how much you appreciate their business or sharing something special about your company.
Online secondhand store ThredUP, for example, adds a small book, titled “This is Us” with Instagram photos taken by its employees and quotes that reflect the company culture, such as “Change happens when dreamers band together” and “If your dream only includes you, it’s too small.” What can you say to your customers to inspire them?
As you build the marketing plan for your small business, consider that in the post-pandemic world relationships are everything. Whether you foster them through targeted digital engagement or a handshake, shared experiences or a personal note, it’s still about making it relevant and personal.