Now, although a lot of business is done nowadays online, you are still communicating a lot offline, be it through direct marketing methods such as posting brochures or even business cards and promotional products.
If you are handing out these items, it is of course an absolute necessity that you provide contact information, ideally both a phone number and an email address. Without a CTA, your clients might be wanting to buy from you but have absolutely no idea how to get in touch. However, there are a few more things that we think you should include in your offline marketing efforts to help integrate them with your digital strategy.
1) Website URL: You want people to find you online and see what more you have to offer. You want people to read your content and see more products that are of direct interest to them. Not every brochure can fit every product in it. Post the URL where needed. Don't go for an overly long one though, just a homepage or sub-page. You don't want to see:
Just post the homepage or just up to the sports section. The whole link looks sloppy. Higher numbers of visitors to the website are also beneficial to your SEO strategy - don't forget.
2) Social Media Pages: Not every business uses social media, and that's fine. Personally I think in this day and age it is a necessity to come across as an innovating company, even if you don't get much work through it. If you have social media pages though, share the links to them on your business cards or brochure. For the sacrifice of a small blank space, you could gain even a small audience who will then be constantly be drip fed all your promotional activity, see your name often and become familiar with your brand. The way you act on social media could be a direct influence on their decision making in the future.
3) Custom hashtags: You may have seen online and on television promotional campaigns that end with a hashtag. For example, BBC Sport are running a marketing campaign to promote women in all kinds of sport at every level. They commonly use the hashtag "#ChangeTheGame". Other brands do this too and so could you. By including a campaign hashtag, you then have two great benefits. The first is that your audience are going to search for that hashtag on social media to see what's going on. The second is that it gives you a direct insight into what your audience is talking about and you can get direct instant feedback from them. You can then even share/retweet your fans and open up a dialogue.
4) QR codes: Imagine getting a brochure with a product that you like the look of, but there's only a small amount of information. Picture the level of convenience when you can then scan a QR code at the bottom of the page and be taken immediately to a page full of every piece of information you need. It's not only helpful to the customer but can also save some printing space.
The goal with your digital strategy is just to make sure that everything is interlinked. When you write content, share excerpts of it over social media and your email marketing, linking it with your website, to drive people to spend time on your website. Put a link to your social media in the footer or header of your website. Stick links to your website in your email footer. Have sharing links on your content pages so that people can share to social media a lot easier.
The goal here is to create a fully information experience. You want customers to be able to easily flick between your brand pages, choose which level of promotion they want to see. The last thing you want is for them to get lost and have no idea where to go.
Where Does Integration Fail?
Every marketing method has a downside. That is guaranteed. The main one here is time and effort. If you are linking to social media, you need to have an active presence. If you are using a custom hashtag, you had better make sure it's unique enough and is a sizeable campaign. If you are directing everyone to your website, you better make sure that the website is a good one that runs quickly and has a nice user experience. There is nothing that can kill a business deal more by going onto a website with real genuine interest, then quitting because the page took 15 seconds to load the first image.
If you put in the hours, make sure that your digital strategy is optimised and running effectively, there is no downside.
Let's Integrate This Content
Here's a live example of integration for you. See what we have done and you can then use a similar strategy for yourself.
First off, you'll see that just below this section are some buttons, offering to share this page on your choice of social media. There might be one of you keen to share this with your followers. This is easy for you to share our brand - building brand awareness. You can also have the option of joining the email marketing list.
Below that is a CTA, talking about about we are great at marketing advice and promotional products. Now you've read something you have a direct interest in, we are trying to persuade you to visit an area of the website where we make our money.
Underneath that is a very helpful section pointing you to other blog posts that you may like. We're trying to keep you on the page. This helps us in the SEO aspect, but also with our brand reputation. You might really like us and the more inclined you are to listen to us and read our content, the more likely you are to buy from us.
This content will also be shared on the newsletter we send out twice a week. You might have even come from an email yourself. It will be shared on social media too. Since I'm talking about social media, it would be a missed opportunity not to link our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Integration is such a small thing but is going to be so beneficial to your customers. Make these small changes to make a big difference in your marketing strategy.
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