SME Guide - How to setup Marketing - Offline Channels to Online Channels

This is part 3 of our series called SME Guide. In part 1, we saw how Raj faced challenges in managing CRM data in spreadsheets and how he could potentially solve them using right CRM software. In part 2, we saw how Raj faced challenges in multi channel marketing and how he could potential resolve them.

Raj continued to grow his business. He now wants to target potential customers in both offline and online world. He explored the possibilities of connecting the offline audience to online world and vice versa for truly benefiting from the efforts.

His marketing team finally created a plan with the following items

  1. Offline Marketing Channels
  2. Online Marketing Channels
  3. Tasks to link offline audience to online channels
  4. Tasks to link online audience to offline channels

Offline Channels

  • Billboards & Signs
    • Physical signs / bill boards can attract eye balls of potential customers.
    • It works better when there is a promotional offer.
  • SMS Campaigns
    • Campaigns can be created for offline sales or events using SMS.
    • SMS providers like Teleduce can help in tracking the user engagement for SMS
  • Physical Mails
    • Hand written postcards can be sent to the customers to thank them for their continuous patronage to our brand.
    • In a world with social media everywhere, it increases the personal touch especially if it comes from the head of the organization.
  • Loyalty Programs
    • Offline loyalty programs will incentivise repeat customers to stick with the brand
    • In other words it increases the life time value of a customer for a relatively small cost
  • Word of Mouth Referrals
    • Exceptional customer / user experiences will increase the word of mouth referrals for our brand
    • customer experience should be optimised - right from the start to end at all customer touch points.
  • Free Merchandise
    • Free promotional items like T-shirts helps to connect with our existing customers.
    • It also helps to increase the brand awareness among potential customers.
  • Print Advertisements
    • Traditional print media like newspapers and magazines still have audience who can be reached through advertisements.
    • Local newspapers and magazines even help to do targeted campaigns in a particular region through separate flyers.
  • Events
    • Hosting events / meetups increases the chance of connecting with the right people in the ecosystem related to our domain.
    • It also helps in promoting our brand and capturing leads among event attendees.
    • Participating in Big trade shows and local community events also help in customer acquistion.
    • Event Sponsorships can immediately get eyeballs and brand recall among target audience in our domain.
    • Speaking slots will also help in establishing a credibility among target audience for the brand.
    • Offering brand merchandise to event attendees will establish connection with the customers.
  • Media Advertisements
    • TV advertisements helps in reaching a big audience but it is a costlier avenue compared to others.
    • Radio advertisements / Podcasts advertisements are useful if the programs are relevant to our brands audience.
    • Local TV / Radio stations helps in targetted campaigns in a particular locality.

Online Channels

  • Basics
    • A Website with dedicated sections for testimonials and case studies.
    • A blog with content relevant to target audience.
    • Social Media accounts in relevant channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat.
    • Listing in relevant online directories with consistent and accurate information like Google Local, Justdial, Yelp.
    • Reviews from customers in all listings.
    • Including a prominent call to action (CTA) on critical sections of website.
    • Adding a promotional video to homepage, uploading it to YouTube for distribution.
  • User Engagement Tracking
    • Setting up a contact form with web analytics instead of direct email address. This helps in capturing more lead information and understanding the lead source.
    • Keeping a virtual number as contact number. This helps in understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and performance of support team.
    • Solution providers like Teleduce can help in acquiring virtual phone number / missed call number for user engagement tracking.
  • Optimisation of Social Media Channels
    • Regular social media updates - connect with audience to maximize repeat and referral business.
    • Promoting special offers, coupons, products, and blog posts of brand as updates.
    • Joining local and industry groups in social media.
    • Following target audiences and industry leaders in social media.
    • Usage of industry hashtags in all campaigns to increase reach.
    • Connection with social media influencers to promote our brand.
    • Posting pictures of company culture & talents.
  • Search Engine Optimization
    • Onsite SEO - Optimize website to improve organic search rankings - adding relevant keywords to site content, headings, tags, meta data, photo.
    • Creating unique landing pages for products and promotions.
    • Updating blog regularly with relevant content.
    • Offsite SEO - Getting high quality backlinks to website through guest posts.
  • Promotions
    • Running social media campaigns in the form of contests / give aways - make it viral.
    • Offering free trials, discounts for initial signups, and time limited sales.
    • Creating free eBooks and guides, and offer in exchange for contact information.
    • Sending email newsletters with updates, offers, products, and tips.
    • Run drip email campaigns by offering insights every day for a week.
  • Referrals
    • Offering benefits for existing customers / users to bring new leads.
    • Benefits for both sides of referrals will incentivise to act quickly.
  • Paid Campaigns
    • Running Google AdWords campaigns with budget to increase the number of relevant visitors to our site.
    • Running Promotions in relevant social media channels like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram to boost traffic or highlight an offer.
  • Affiliate Marketing
    • Highlighting affiliate programs in site to facilitate anyone to join as partner.
    • Offering incentives on sales or visits to affiliates.
    • Providing enough content for affiliates to enable more business.

Connecting Offline Audience to Online Channels

  • SMS Campaigns to connect in Online World
    • SMS campaigns can reach audience who are not active in social media with our brand / who are not online at all.
    • SMS have high open rates compared to emails and therefore we can send a personalised campaign to a customer to initiate an action. Service providers like Teleduce helps to create personalised Templates to send SMS messages.
    • Offers for special occasions can be sent via weblink in a SMS where they can immediately purchase it.
    • We could send links to social media handles right after the purchase in the store. This helps them to follow the brand updates.
  • Offline Event Audience to Online World
    • Pre-event Promotions
      • Promote events through the newsletter, blogs and website.
      • Promote offline events in event sites like Meetups, Facebook, Eventbrite
      • It helps to track the audience and the main source which is sending them
    • Collecting email address & social profiles of attendees
      • subscribe them to email newsletters
      • social handles of all event attendees can be grouped in a list
      • this helps in sending out thank you notes with event pictures and running future social campaigns
    • Engaging event audience in social media channels using hastags
      • Sharing insights, pictures, video snippets in real time during the event will help to increase offline engagement
      • Conducting Q & A, contests, quiz, polls for offline event attendees using a hastag
      • Incentivizing more people to connect with the brand by broadcasting events in realtime for audiences to participate.
      • Using Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat & Periscope for live broadcasting.
      • this increases the visibility of our event in social media and retain the buzz about the brand, establish connections with new audience who have missed the event
  • Offline Customers to Online World
    • Always have a hastag along with special offline campaigns
    • Discounts for customers who purchased in store which are redeemed only after online actions can be created. Incentivise the user to share their photograph of their purchase in the store with a hastag to social media for gaining discounts.
    • Provide exclusive discounts to social media / newsletter audience which can be redeemed in offline stores.
    • Create mobile apps which provide exclusive discount coupons to mobile app users which can redeemed in offline stores.
    • Use special virtual numbers to call and QR codes with tracking urls for offline campaigns.
    • Encourage customers / influencers to share pictures with our brand merchandise like T-shirts in social media with a hastag. This increases visibility.
    • Encourage customers to write about their positive experience in the store as a review in the site
    • Share the positive anecdotes about our customers in blog, social media & newsletters

Connecting Online Audience to Offline Channels

  • Promoting Social Media to Offline World
    • create physical sign boards for social media accounts.
    • Incentivise customers to engage with our social media accounts with special offers or contests
  • Showcase Social Media Champions in Stores
    • Showcase pictures of social media contest winners every week in our store
    • Project all the customers / social media users generated pictures in the store
  • Publish blog posts to Local Newspapers or Magazines
    • Relevant magazines or local newspapers would be keen to publish content from industry.
    • Ensure the content is modified to suit their audience