by Jen Thames
Marketing and Communication
Between tweeting and booking and blogging and pinning who has time to think about offline marketing? Offline what?:)
People at the end of the day are people. According to psychologists nonverbal communication makes up nearly 2/3 of the communications that build relationships between people. At the end of the day we are humans and things like posture, dress, voice quality and eye contact build trust and clout.
Simply put, these are the things that build 2/3 of the difference between friends, acquaintances and strangers. Now, some of us are stranger than others, and blogging is just such a great place to hide! However, getting the body beautiful out into public and cementing those online relationships in person is something most “successful” bloggers have done. Why not try it?
Wonderful, so where is the best place to market a blog offline? All those expensive “social media” conferences come to mind but actually some of the most successful offline marketing starts right in your own back yard (maybe not literally).
Traditional brand marketing can have some distinct advantages for bloggers and it’s a marketing area that is too often ignored by the web-connected. Here are 5 ways and reasons to promote your blog offline.
- Come up with a locals list, then sponsor a picnic, coffee break meeting or some other fun, low key, low cost, no commitment needed, drop by and meet humans event for all your local online contacts. A surprising amount of people will show up. They will likely bring other people with them too. Your online connections already like and “know” you. This is just an opportunity to deepen those relationships and build new ones. A prize drawing for a Doc Martin bobble head doll never hurts to boost attendance.While getting acquainted with people ask about what else they do online and then offer to follow their blog or online business. Make the most out of the event by linking up with smart phones in hand. Above all have a good time.
- Look into promotional advertising products. Promotional gifts for businesses have been around for a long time and with good reason. These are items that can carry your logo and message to the grocery store on a shopping bag or around the office on a coffee mug for years. These days there are some amazingly innovative promotional items like the trolley token key chains in the UK that take your logo or message and spread it far and wide. The cost of promotional items can be very small compared to the longevity and advertising value of the items. Even more importantly, unlike online marketing, promotional marketing is not time intensive. This makes it an excellent advertising medium for bloggers.
- Search out “captive audiences” and then teach them. The heart of blogging is sharing a passion or an expertise with others. Taking that expertise to a captive live audience is one of the best offline marketing tactics. What is a captive audience? An audience that already meets with a group of people on a regular basis anyway. For example, PTA meetings at local schools meet on a regular basis. Lets assume you have a blog about parenting. Ask to give a 5-minute talk at the beginning of the meeting. Something like: “10 Useful Tips to Communicate with Your Teen.” Captive audiences exist in clubs, groups and all sorts of local places and they can present an excellent marketing opportunity.
- Look into local public radio and TV advertising. Non-profit blogs can usually advertise for a nominal cost or for free through PBS stations. Small businesses and large businesses also pay different advertising rates. Simply working the phones as volunteers wearing promotional T-shirts can bring an online blog exposure. In addition, philanthropic donations to local institutions such as museums, hospitals, sports teams and community organizations can almost immediately establish brand clout and recognition. Moreover, donations are usually tax deductible and they present fabulous opportunities for online press releases before and after the event.
- Collaborate with a local brick and mortar business and sponsor an event. For example, a fishing blog could partner with a local fishing store and give away free bait and donuts one morning. Both the store and the blog can increase their business and bring value to their customers.
Get creative with offline advertising and have fun. Online and offline communities start and end with people!
Thank you, Jen! You’re irresistible! 🙂
–ME “Liz” Strauss