Success! You’ve created a content marketing strategy that makes sense: you’ve hired a content marketing team, you’re building a blog, you’ve started an email newsletter, and you’re even entering into the fascinating world of content upgrades. But could there be something missing in your plan for world domination?
May I humbly suggest to you that there is something missing? You’ll never guess what it is (unless you read the title), so I’ll tell you: an offline component to your content marketing strategy.
You may think, why do I need to consider offline strategies if all of my business is online? Here’s my cheeky response: do your customers exist offline? If so, you may be missing out on this often untapped way to reach them.
Your competitors are probably focused on online strategies alone. By including offline tactics in your marketing strategy, you’re ahead of the curve and earning greater exposure for your brand.
So, what can you do offline? Let’s take a look at six ways to stand out from the crowd.
1. Do a Speaking Engagement
One of the best ways to market your brand is through a speaking engagement. When you’re given the opportunity to speak to an audience of people who want to hear what you have to say, take it. You can use this platform to sell your products and service by positioning yourself as an authority or thought leader.
Getting a speaking gig isn’t as hard as you may think. Hit up local organizations in your city (the Chamber of Commerce, for example). These groups meet weekly or monthly and are always looking for fresh new voices.
You can also seek out organizations within your industry or ask for recommendations from your friends or colleagues.
Take a look at 17 ways to find speaking opportunities.
Be sure to record the speech as a video to upload to YouTube. You can create a blog around it and then promote it on social media.
2. Teach a Class / Host a Seminar / Offline Course
Similar to seeking out a speaking engagement, you can also create your own offline marketing opportunity by teaching on a subject that’s related to your brand. A class, seminar, or one-day boot camp allows you to provide educational content to a group of motivated individuals.
Online entrepreneurs Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker hosted a mastermind event called 1-Day Business Breakthrough this past Spring. For just under 10 hours, the duo led an intensive workshop with special guest presentations. They also encouraged social media integration through the use of hashtags.
Be sure to offer printables in the way of worksheets, workbooks, guides, and miscellaneous adult homework.
If you teach an offline course, encourage your students to tweet, do live periscopes, and share on Facebook. Also, be sure to record and upload a video to provide value to your online community.
3. Get into Printed Publications
Bring your content strategy into print– real print. Magazines, journals, and local newspapers are hungry for the content that you can provide. Share your expertise and offer your advice to readers of industry publications.
Although you can buy advertisements in these publications, consider creating an article or an op-ed instead. This allows you to expand your brand identity to a new audience that may not be aware of your website or social media profile.
Many publications offer a byline, and the exposure is really payment enough. This is a unique opportunity to speak to your offline audience.
Be sure to include your website and/or email address in your byline.
4. Business Cards
Do you have a business card? I know, it’s old school, right? But you can’t have a serious conversation about offline marketing tactics without including business cards. Business cards are an integral part of your offline presentation.
Imagine that you strike up a conversation with a potential customer in the elevator (where else?), and as the elevator opens, it’s time for you to part ways. How do you invite them to take the next step? Please don’t tell me that you blurt out your website address and ask them to look you up on Google. cringe
The better way to respond is by presenting a well designed, informative business card. Don’t skimp on quality, either. The more thought and design you put into your business card, the more likely your potential lead will hold on it. Wouldn’t you hold on to these beautiful business cards?
Don’t just wait for someone to ask for your business card. Leave your business cards on public bulletin boards and ask local shops and restaurants if you can leave your cards on the cashier’s counter. Believe me, a well-designed card will grab attention and expose your brand to a wider audience.
5. Do Trade Shows + Network
Have you considered participating in an industry trade show? There’s a trade show for practically every industry. A trade show gives you the opportunity to network with those within your industry. You can also grow your brand awareness with a highly targeted and engaged audience. But they won’t know who you are unless you show up.
Here are three important reasons to consider a trade show:
- You will generate more leads
- You will network with others within your industry
- You will grow brand awareness
Now, answer this question: What would you like to accomplish from your trade show experience? Would you like to drive people back to your website, or grow your email list, or study what your competitors are doing? Make sure you come to a trade show with a specific goal in mind.
If you will be exhibiting, be sure to have something to give away. Don’t settle for easy throw-aways like water bottles, but choose something more likely to make it out of the venue (i.e. high quality pens that actually work, hats, t-shirts, etc).
6. Get Interviewed
You may be in high demand with your local media. Consider your local news, for example. Every day, reporters interview people who are considered experts simply because they know more about a specific subject than the average viewer. You could be that expert.
Make yourself available to local news and radio outlets who need advice, how-tos, or expert opinion on a specific topic. Your local morning show is one such outlet.
Additionally, you can pitch your story to local media. Here’s some advice on How to pitch your story to the media and why you should.
Subscribe for free to Help a Reporter (HARO) for opportunities to get interviewed in exchange for exposure.
These are my favorite ways to get noticed offline, but they’re only the beginning. As you explore more ways to add value to your offline audience, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Which one of these offline tactics will you implement in your marketing strategy?