As a business owner, it’s likely that you’re actively investing a significant amount of your marketing budget in the world of online marketing. In fact, it’s likely that your budget for online marketing is increasing year on year, likely leaving less money to invest in offline marketing.
Over the last decade or so, online marketing has eclipsed offline marketing and it’s easy to see why. Online marketing methods can generally be easier to set up and cheaper to embark upon. Clearly, online marketing is an essential part of the marketing mix for any business (no matter how big or small) but therein lies the problem. More and more businesses are stepping away from a “marketing mix” in favour of an almost solely online-based approach.
While this might work well for some, I personally still believe that all businesses should be investing a significant percentage of their budget in printed marketing methods. The reason for this is simple; it can lead to incredible returns on investment when it’s done well.
The trouble is, well, it’s more trouble. You have to design your marketing materials, decide upon the exact printed marketing material you’re going to use (flyers, stickers etc), find a reliable printing company and so forth. This puts a lot of businesses off.
However, with such a rewarding ROI at stake, you can’t afford to neglect printed marketing completely. So, I thought I’d round up a list of what I consider to be the best (in some cases underutilised) marketing materials for your business.
#1 – Stickers
Much like banners, printed stickers are also underutilised in the modern business world. In fact, I can’t think of the last time I saw a business actively promoting itself using stickers and again, this is a great shame and a missed opportunity in my opinion.
Stickers offer an extremely cost effective way to let people know about your business and ultimately, get your brand out there. If you rewind a few years, some of you might remember that Apple (widely considered to be the world’s best brand) actually used to include a set of white Apple logo stickers along with all of their products. I remember getting these with my first iPod and I also remember sticking them to my personal belongings.
For Apple, this was great. It got their logo/brand out there and made even more people aware of their products. You can do this too in your business.
#2 – Banners
Perhaps one of the most underutilised forms of printed marketing comes in the form of banners. I don’t know about you, but I rarely see printed banners these days (I see a lot of online ones though!) and I think this is a shame.
Banner advertising can have a great impact when used correctly and can lead to a huge ROI. One of the reasons for this is that banners are so cheap. You can pick up a huge PVC banner from a good printing company for £50 – £100 in most cases; and for this you’re getting a high quality product that is going to be visible from afar due to its size.
You just need to make sure that you follow all of the usual rules when creating your banner. For example, make it colourful, eye-catching and also, make sure there’s a call-to-action (so many people forget this).
#3 – Promotional Calendars
Chances are that some of you actually have a promotional calendar up on your wall as a lot of businesses/organisations provide these free of charge at the beginning of each year. I know I’ve been sent them in the post before and occasionally, I’ve used them too.
Although slightly more costly than alternatives such as stickers, promotional calendars are another great way to get your businesses name out there and ensure that your target customers/clients always have your company in mind.
Imagine how powerful it would be if you had your business name, logo, slogan and/or contact details on the wall of your target customers office for an entire year. Surely they’re going to keep you in mind if they ever need your services.
It’s a pretty cheap way to get in front of your target customers overall.
#4 – Vehicle Stickers/Graphics
If you’ve ever hired a plumber or handyman, chances are that they turned up to your house in a van plastered in their branding and contact details. For some of you, this might even have been how you first heard about the company.
Clearly, vehicle stickers are a great way to get your business name out there, especially if you’re providing services/products primarily within your local area. What’s more, vehicle graphics and stickers are pretty cheap. Sure, they might cost you a hundred pounds or so to get done in the first place but in most cases, they last a good few years. Plus, it’s a pretty low cost considering the value of the advertising you’ll get in your local area.
Think about it, you’re likely driving around in your car/van every single day; if you don’t have your branding on your vehicle then you’re wasting a huge opportunity.
#5 – Business Cards
Last but not least, I wanted to mention business cards. I imagine that almost all of you have businesses cards in some shape or form, but chances are they could be better.
For a lot of businesses, a business card is just a necessity and therefore, it’s treated as such. Most businesses will buy business cards as cheaply as possible and they’ll be pretty basic. I’m talking about your name, contact number and address written in Times New Roman; nothing else.
If this is the case, you’re missing a massive opportunity. Your business card is the first piece of branding a potential customer/client see’s in regards to your business most of the time, so you need to make sure it’s impressive. You also need to make sure that it’s memorable enough for it to actually make an impression on them.
So, spend some time, money and effort on the design of your card and ensure that it’s consistent with the rest of your businesses branding. If not, it’s time to redesign.
Hopefully, this post will have given you at least some inspiration and/or ideas on how to get more actively involved in printed offline marketing for your business. If you think any of these methods would work well within your industry, give them a go. In fact, even if you don’t, I recommend giving at least one of them a go anyway as to be honest, it won’t cost you much to give it a shot.
Remember, if you can combine your offline printed marketing with your online marketing tactics (e.g. by including your Facebook or Twitter URL on your printed materials), then you’re well on your way to becoming a marketing guru!
This is a guest post