There is so much that can be said for the payoffs that come from coordinating your small business’ offline marketing campaigns with your online marketing campaigns. The challenge typically is not so much recognizing the value and importance of doing so, but rather taking the steps to make the integration happen.
Here are 6 ways that you can connect the more traditional marketing and advertising efforts you’ve been employing for your small business, with the work you’ve been doing online through your website and social media profiles.
6 Ways to Integrate your Marketing
Take Pictures Lots and lots of pictures. And not just of the end product or the pretty packaging, but of all the efforts that go into that final product, too. Even if you don’t have a photogenic business, you can photograph the work that’s being done, from planning through execution. Plus, don’t forget to take photos ofÂ the people who work for your business, and events you attend in your area. Every business is somewhere; don’t hide your local pride!
Add your Online Contact Information to all your Traditional Marketing Materials This may seem obvious, but I’m constantly surprised by how many businesses don’t do this. You’d never leave offÂ your phone number or address on a piece of marketing, right? So be sure not to forget to include your website address and social media usernames, too; those are the online version of your contact information. Believe it or not, there are lots of customers whoÂ actually preferÂ to reach out to you via social media or by reading your website instead of calling or walking into your brick and mortar store.
Post Signage in your Store or OfficeÂ Then when you areÂ a customer going about your regular daily life in your city or town, try to notice all the places other local businesses and offices post social media signage. Do they have counter cards? Do they have a window cling or a colored piece of printer paper stuck to the wall in the waiting room? Are their website addresses and Facebook Page URLs on your receipts and appointment reminder cards? What about in their email signatures? The more you become aware of what other businesses are doing and how prevalent it really is, you’ll be more inclined to take those same steps yourself.
BlogÂ Think of your blog as the place to tell your customers and potential customers everything you’d like them to knowÂ about your industry, business, philosophy, and products or services… if only they asked! Blogging is an opportunity you never had before the internet. Not every customer is going to be forthcoming enough to ask how something works or why the way you do it is the best way around. But they WILL Google for that same kind of information. It’s through that Googling that they’ll find your blog posts and thus, your business.
Hold a Social Media ContestÂ For example, let’s say you hold a Facebook contest. Once the contest is live on your fan page, you can blog about it, send out an email to your subscribers that directs people to your Facebook contest link, tweet the link to your Facebook contest, post signs in-store about your Facebook contest, and make sure your employees mention it to every customer who comes in. Using all your marketing tools (in a coordinated way) to communicate with your audience will help these efforts to be more integrated and effective.
Post a Coupon Code on your Social Media Accounts to Use In-Store This method is a great one if you have been scratching your head, wondering, “Are my social media efforts pushing people into my store?” Decide on a promotion you want to run. Then come up with a discount code that has to be mentioned by customers at the register/time of purchase. Publish a post on your Facebook fan page that describes the offer and the code (preferably, pay to promote this post, too, for greater exposure). Don’t publish your offer code anywhere else but your fan page (although I’d recommend sending out an email to your subscribers stating you have a Facebook-only offer running, and include a link that takes them directly to the offer post). Then make sure to keep track of the number of people who take advantage of this code and your offer.
Because the internet, websites, and social media are the relative new kids on the marketingÂ block, it’s easy to still think about them as a separate task, off on their own. But the truth is that they are another set of tools in the marketing toolbox that will only be effective if they are used in conjunction with the rest of your marketing and business campaigns.