Do I advertise Offline if I advertise Online?

Do I advertise Offline if I advertise Online?

THAT is the $1,000,000 question!  Should I advertise offline in local magazines, newspapers, direct mail, bus benches, billboards, radio and all the stuff I get sold all day long, or do I take the leap and spend my marketing money online? The simple answer is, YES…to both.

Occasionally I come across a professional who doesn’t “believe in marketing,” as if it’s a faith that may or may not be sending or receiving the right messages to live a full life. And, no doubt about it, marketing does require a certain amount of faith. But, by and large, most professionals believe in the opportunities of marketing, they’re just unsure how to go about it. They ask, “Should I keep it local where I can frame it and hang it in my business, or do I try to look super savvy and do that Google stuff?” Many advertising purchases are often made out of emotional decisions – “I want to see my logo in the magazine that I read.” However, the idea of advertising offline or online are not mutually exclusive and doing both can have exponential benefits. There are clear guidelines to reaping those benefits, and it all revolves around customer behavior.

So, think about it. You’re a customer. You search online for products and services all the time. When you go to click on a result after searching, often times you may choose a brand name you recognize. So, let’s say you need a real estate agent. You may type in the search bar, “real estate agent near me.” When the list of results appears, you probably see a familiar option. The agent who has her name on the grocery cart or logo on a bus bench that you’ve driven by 100 times, seems like a comfortable choice. You may not have ever met her, and you didn’t even think to search her name, but once she appeared as an online option, her offline advertising gave you a sense of comfort to click her link.  This is similar to the concept of my last blog: Yellow Pages vs. White Pages in case you missed it.

What is most important is to understand the intention of each type of advertising, and make logical decisions based on the goals they can achieve. Let’s stick with the real estate agent example. Just because you see an ad for a real estate agent, doesn’t make you have a need to sell your home. There is not a lot a real estate agent can do to create the need for his service. However, when someone does need the service, he can position himself to be chosen based on his consistent impressions in the marketplace. This is why people in the service industry, like a financial planner, may say, “I tried advertising, and I didn’t get one call off of my one ad in that magazine.” For the most part, advertising a professional service in an offline vehicle is merely a very brief impression for consumers. Clearly, the more ads, the more impressions in a consumer’s mind, the more likely it will stick. It is difficult (and expensive) to build an advertising campaign that creates a need. But, it can be quite reasonable to be in the right place at the right time to fill a need. This is where online advertising has huge benefits. People reading a magazine may not need a realtor at the moment, but people searching “real estate agent near me” certainly do!

So, how do you actually execute a budget-friendly strategy?
Advertise offline in the same area and publication to develop a relationship with a niche market. If you don’t have the budget to advertise all over town, then focus on owning one section of it. It may be one publication only. At least the people who read that publication every month will begin to recognize you. Visit the publication’s social pages regularly and comment on the different topics. Mention that publication on your website and social media, and show the advertisement. It can help with your search engine optimization and instantly make the connection for the potential customer – “Ah yes, I’ve seen that ad.”

You can dip your toe in the water of advertising, or you may jump in the deep end from the high-dive, but you do have to be in it to win it!  There is only so much time in the day, however, and we know you have your real job to do.  We at Leopard Digital would be happy to help you take the leap and Find Your Spot.  Contact us today!

Thank you for your time,

Katherine Campbell

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