3 Cost-Effective Offline Marketing Ideas

marketing ideas

In the age of the internet, most companies tend to focus on online marketing strategies. This is absolutely necessary because you need to have an online presence in order to make your business work. It’s the way of our century.

However, many businesses have neglected offline marketing ideas that are still effective to this day. I understand why. When it comes to online marketing, they know audiences are looking for information online.

They are correct, but the problem lies in thinking offline strategies are obsolete. The reality is, nothing can be further from the truth.

Offline marketing ideas

Offline marketing ideas can be beneficial for some businesses because you can target a very specific market. Instead of competing with millions of people online, your market is extremely targeted to your local area. Additionally, some forms of offline marketing ideas can be extremely cost-efficient.

Here are some cost-effective marketing ideas to start advertising offline and increasing your revenue as a result.

1. Buy Ads in Small Newspapers and Coupon Guides

There are a few problems when it comes to buying ads in large publications. For example, if it’s a large newspaper you’ll be competing with a massive market. The same is true of online marketing. Even though you can target your ads online, you’d still be competing with millions of people.

That’s why some businesses may find it beneficial to buy ads in small newspapers or coupon guides which only circulate in the local community. The market is smaller so there is less competition. Additionally, people love to check out local businesses. As marketing ideas go, this one is often overlooked today, though it still continues to work really well.

There is a yoga studio in my community that does this with roaring success. In my community there is a coupon guide that gets delivered every few months. It showcases local businesses and let’s you use exclusive coupons. Every year the yoga studio places a coupon in the local publication, and every year the yoga studio gets packed soon after.

2. Write for Trade Publications

A big part of gaining exposure and recognition is to get your name out there as much as possible. You need to actually be seen in order for you to get more leads.

One great and cost-effective way of doing this in our list of marketing ideas is to write for offline publications within your industry. For example, there are still plenty of trade publications in circulation. Or, perhaps you belong to a professional organization that puts out a quarterly magazine. Another option is to write for publications for a conference. For example, I go to a conference every year that publishes a brochure with helpful articles for all the guests.

This method works for two reasons:

First, it doesn’t cost you anything to write an article (unless you hire a ghostwriter).

Second, it may be more effective than buying an ad because you actually get to provide value and show people what you do.

As a bonus, some publications may even pay you for writing an article. It’s practically like getting paid to promote yourself.

3. Start a Referral Program

Sometimes all you have to do to get more business is just ask for it! One of the best ways to do this is to ask your current customers to recommend your product or service to their friends.

It’s word-of-mouth marketing, and of all our marketing ideas, personal referrals are still the best way to get new customers. People are more likely to try something their friend recommends. Additionally, it’s likely that your customers are hanging out with people who are similar to them and may be experiencing the same problem.

Now, in order for this to be truly successful you would need to give your current customer some sort of incentive for referring people to you. That’s where a referral program comes in. There are multiple ways to do this and I’ve laid out some examples from my own life below:

  1. The company I use for my investments gives you a year of free service if you refer three people.
  2. My orthodontist will knock $100 off both my bill and the other person’s bill if I refer someone.
  3. My email marketing system gave my colleague and I, both, a $500 gift-card because I was a referral.
  4. My business coach gives $75 credits whenever someone refers someone to her.
  5. A membership site I belong to gives me a free membership if I refer two people.
  6. I get a 50% commission every time someone purchases one of my favorite e-books from my link.

How you choose to create your referral program is completely up to you. The point is to give your current customers a reward for sending someone your way. You can also choose to reward the new customer as incentive for signing up but that’s entirely up to you.

The reality is there are some very cost-effective marketing ideas to tap into your local market, advertise successfully and grow your business. Sometimes it’s all about advertising smarter not harder, and tapping into your local market is a way of doing that.

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About the Author

Amanda Abella is an online business coach, speaker and author of the Amazon bestselling book - Make Money Your Honey. She is committed to helping individuals have a better relationship with work and money through entrepreneurship, online marketing and money mindset. Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, and more.

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