How to build a community for your business with online and offline marketing strategies
Building a community of loyal customers and clients is vital if you want your business to grow and continue bringing in revenue for the years to come. After all, without customers, you don’t have a business!
But how do you build that community? It’s all about marketing communication that drives connection. When people feel connected to your brand, they’ll continue to purchase from you for a long time.
This is where effective online and offline marketing strategies come into play. Offline marketing refers to your business communication that occurs in the “real world”, ie: brochures, pamphlets, business cards, postcards, custom stickers, and other signage. Online marketing, on the other hand, refers to your digital marketing efforts. That might include social media or SEO strategies.
To build a community for your business, you need to use a combination of both offline and online strategies. That’s why in this article, we’ll take you through some online and offline marketing strategies to foster connection and build a community for your business.
Create a consistent experience both online and offline
So what’s the first step to building trust with your prospective clients and customers? It’s about staying consistent across all of your marketing channels. Consistency in both your online and offline marketing strategies makes it easier for customers to recognise your brand and builds trust with them. Consistency also works to make your marketing campaigns more successful.
So what do we mean by consistency in this context? Let’s say your business is about to launch a brand new product. You plan to run both print ads and social media ads in order to promote this new product. Consistency in your marketing refers to your branding. What that means is that in both your print ads and your digital ads you should use the same fonts, colour palette, and any other signature design elements.
Your marketing materials should also focus on the same messaging and call to action. If your ads have multiple CTAs or direct people to different landing pages it can get very confusing for customers very quickly. And a confused mind always says no!
Keep you online and offline marketing consistent, so that no matter where or how a person encounters your marketing, they’ll recognise your brand and be pointed to one place for more information.
Lead customers online with offline marketing
Offline marketing strategies are a very effective way to market your business. But if your goal is to make your offline marketing campaigns successful, you’ll want to encourage your customers to seek your business out online as well.
There are lots of different ways to lead your customers online with offline marketing. Let’s say one of your offline marketing strategies is giving away custom branded stickers to every person that purchases from you. One easy way to get customers purchasing from you again is to include a discount code or something similar if they visit your online store. This simple method can not only boost revenue for your business, but it also gives your brand free advertising as well, especially if your customer chooses to stick your sticker somewhere public!
Another way to encourage more customers to engage with your business online could be creating a giveaway for people who share photos of your business or products on social media. Think outside the box and start getting creative with your online and offline marketing strategies!
Use online marketing to bring customers into your store
Now let’s flip the switch. Chances are, a lot of your customers are already hanging out online. So of course it makes sense to market to them where they are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to engage with your business offline at the same time.
Here’s an idea to illustrate what we mean. Let’s say your business sells women’s swimwear and you’re getting ready to launch the next season’s styles. Your goal is to sell as much of your stock as possible. In this scenario, what you might do is start building some hype around your new styles on social media in the lead up to the launch. You could get influencers trying on the swimwear before the release date and showing it off on their profiles for example.
Then right before you launch, you could encourage customers to come into the store to get their new swimsuit and offer them 10% off if they purchase on launch day.
Another way to encourage your audience to come into your store could be by promoting special offers and promotions that are only available in-store.
Know where your customers are coming from and how they’re engaging with your business
In order to know whether your online and offline marketing strategies are working, you need a way of measuring your results. You can measure results by tracking where your customers are coming from and there are many different ways you can get this information.
For example, you might want to add QR codes to your offline marketing materials like your business cards, custom labels and stickers, or postcards. That way when a customer scans the QR code, you’ll have a better understanding of which marketing materials are driving the most people online to your website.
On the other side of that, if you're using social media ads to offer in-store promotions, you might want to create a different promo code for each platform you’re advertising on. This way, you’ll be able to see which platform ads are the most successful at getting people into your store.
By tracking where your customers are coming from you’ll gain a stronger understanding of how your online and offline marketing strategies are performing. You’ll know which are getting the best results, and be able to cancel any ineffective strategies. This information is invaluable as you grow your business and your community.