Inbound marketing is awesome, but let's be honest: many marketers are still doing a mix of inbound and outbound marketing. The challenge in using both online and offline marketing tactics is integrating them in an effort to generate even better results than just one tactic would have experienced on its own.
At first, this idea might seem contradictory. How do online and offline marketing work together? One key factor is analytics, among others. Check this list for some of the best ways to connect online and offline marketing.
5 Methods for Connecting Online and Offline Marketing
1. Tracking URLs - The web is great for analytics . When using offline tactics like print advertising or outdoor advertising, be sure to use unique tracking URLS for the URLs you add within each separate advertisement and placement. These URLs will serve as redirects that your web analytics would track, but send the visitors all to one core page with your central offer. This method allows you to understand which segment of your conversions are from your offline tactics.
2. Social Media Driving Offline Traffic - Do you exhibit at tradeshows? How do you get traffic to your booth? Sure, giveaways and spending lots of money is one way, but why not supplement that with some online promotion using social media and your corporate blog to promote your presence at the tradeshow? Use your online reach to educate people why they should stop by and connect with your team in an offline situation. Consider offering something exclusive to social media followers who stop by your booth.
3. QR Codes - Mobile technology is huge. One aspect of mobile that is gaining traction with marketers is QR codes. These 2 dimensional barcodes allow someone in an offline situation to use their mobile phone to scan a code that automatically performs a specific action such as taking them to a website, showing them a video, sending them a text message, etc. QR codes can be a powerful tool to link offline and online efforts. Read more about what you should know about QR codes in a recent article we published.
4. Offline Reach Building - Do you include URLs for your social media accounts in your offline marketing materials? You should. When working to build online reach, including your account information in offline materials can help inform potential social media connections who may have never known about your online content. The next time you are printing brochures or designing an ad, make sure to include your social media profile URLS (e.g. http://twitter.com/hubspot or http://facebook.com/hubspot ) to encourage people who find you offline to follow you online, too. Avoid simply including logos for Twitter and Facebook without providing your URLs. This doesn't help your business; rather, it's free advertising for those social networks.
5. Social Media Lead Intelligence
- Unfortunately, buying leads and cold calling still happens. If you are still purchasing leads for your sales team, at least help them improve their close rate by teaching them or providing them with online data and background information about the lead. Even if it's just teaching your sales team how to do search on LinkedIn to identify the lead's background and interests, these details can be instrumental in helping to build trust with new prospects.
What methods have you used for successfully connecting your offline and online marketing?
Originally published Jun 24, 2011 6:39:00 PM, updated October 20 2016