Now that you’ve begun advertising and marketing online, how should you balance the promotion of your offline and online properties?
I Want To Create A Balanced And Seamless Advertising And Marketing Campaign. Where Do I Begin?
For many small to medium-sized businesses and organizations, finding an effective mix of advertising and marketing solutions is difficult – with limited resources and budgets, ineffective advertising and marketing can be detrimental to the ongoing viability of a business. Therefore, putting all of your advertising and marketing eggs in one basket can be a very risky proposition.
Real World Marketing
Many businesses with “brick and mortar” stores also maintain corresponding e-commerce sites, and these businesses want to strike a balance between promoting both their online and offline properties. Many of these businesses are also interested in “real world” marketing through television, on the radio and print publications in addition to SEO, online advertising and social media marketing. How should a business strike a balance between promoting their businesses and properties across all of these platforms?
Where Should I Begin?
To start, it is important for small and medium-sized businesses with online and offline properties to promote all of their properties equally throughout their advertising and marketing. A website should promote a “brick and mortar” location with contact information, including an address, directions and a map and photos of the outside and inside of the business.
Get Your Name Out There
Likewise, the brick and mortar store should direct customers back to the site by prominently displaying the URL of the website on doors, windows, banners and signs. In addition, businesses should consider printing the URL on shopping bags, receipts, brochures and business cards. Some businesses who also maintain a telephone hotline create a graphical list of all of their properties, proclaiming “Visit us online, in store and by phone!” with specific references to each property.
Give Them What They Need
When developing your advertising and marketing campaign, be sure to include specific instructions and directions so all of your properties are equally accessible to potential customers. Always include specific online URLs, phone numbers, and addresses when referencing properties; never assume that a customer will seek out this information through a search engine or by hunting around your website for a “Contact Us” page.
However, exceptions should be made if you are limited to a set amount of space or copy in an advertisement; in these cases always refer back to your website URL and main phone number first. Never omit your website URL or phone number in order to include a statement such as “Visit our store in Denver!”, leaving a potential customer to search for your address when they could have simply remembered your website URL, which prominently features the address, directions, maps and photos of your Denver store.
For most businesses, minimizing costs and overhead can mean that an online e-commerce property should be promoted first. This is especially true if a company maintaining physical retail space is struggling to stay competitive. Some companies, most notably mobile phone carriers, offer special incentives and even better service plans for customers who opt to shop online. Other businesses by necessity have to charge more for merchandise stocked and sold at their brick and mortar store.
Promoting In-Store Shopping
However, exceptions do exist; if your business relies on in-person sales expertise and consultations, it may be beneficial to promote the benefits of shopping in-store on your website, which could be a clear advantage over an online-only competitor. Also, some businesses are located in historic or otherwise tourist-friendly locations and the main attraction or calling card of the business is, in fact, its physical location. Cheers, the real-life Boston bars that inspired (and were inspired by) the long-running television sitcom, maintain an online store where branded merchandise is sold, but obviously the real attraction of the Cheers brand is experienced in person, therefore it makes sense that the company’s website predominantly features the brick and mortar locations.
Think About Balance
No two businesses are the same, but by following these general rules you can maintain a balance in your marketing and advertising while smartly promoting your products, services and properties in a way that plays to your strengths as a business and increases your profitability.