If you are busy working on your website, writing blog posts, article marketing, sending tweets – that’s all very good. But let’s not forget that the “real world” offers great opportunities for promoting your business AND website that can drive your traffic numbers into the stratosphere…for free or very little money.
Although posting articles online, creating websites, sending e-mails, is easy, fast, and cheap; these are not always the most effective ways to get out the world about you or your offers.
First of all many markets are super competitive in the online world, and very hard for newbies to break into. But you rarely see people using offline promotional methods to promote a website or online business.
Also, keep in mind that there are still plenty of people out there who rely more on print media: magazines, newspapers, local publications, trade publications, than the Internet to get their information. The reasons for that may be very diverse, from lack of time to browse the web, to lack of computer skills or lack of trust, as they feel a printed article is more “trust-worthy” than any information they can find online.
And the fact that these people are not online does not mean that they are not worth pursuing – they include some wealthy consumers (for example, executives, who don’t have time to browse the web, but take magazines and newspapers to read on planes), or people in their 60s or older, who do not trust the stuff that is published online or just do not like to sit in front of the computer too much – much preferring reading a printed word or hearing a news on a radio or television (I know my mother is one of them – she does not like computers beyond the use of video player to watch the latest video featuring her grandson performing in a school play, learning to ski, or other fascinating stuff like that. She definitely does not trust what is published on the Internet – and I cannot blame her for that ;-)), and many others.
So whether you are trying to promote your business and find more customers or want to build a passive income online, these ideas can give you some unconventional ways to get started in the world of offline marketing.
List of ideas to get you started in the world of offline publicity (and add sizzle to your marketing).
1. Offer the local newspapers to write a series of articles about a popular subject. For example, if you have a site about gardening tools, you can create a series with Gardening tips – you can provide some timely information how to maintain your garden and what tools to use – with information about your site. You can also offer surprising facts about the products, invent a new use for the products, or tie what you offer to a season.
2. Write about something controversial or break-a-news story and tie it to your niche, and submit it to the local papers, to attract attention and build traffic. You can also turn your TV-watching to good use by expressing an opinion about an issue raised in a popular show. Raise a question prompted by a best-selling book or blockbuster movie.
3. Write an e-book about something relevant to your niche an/or your community and promote it in the local media.
4. Hold a contest and give away a prize and write about it to the local newspapers. For example, if you have a costume site, hold a “best costume” contest – ask people to submit pictures of their costumes for a prize. If your site sells unique chess sets, hold a chess competition.
5. Hold a contest or other event and give away a prize and post a notice about it on community bulletin boards found in local libraries, grocery stores, and community centers.
6. Conduct a survey, offer a prize for participation, and publicize it in the local media.
7. Launch a community service project and publicize it.
8. Do something memorable or controversial to encourage “word of mouth” marketing.
9. Solicit the help of a local reporter to write up the articles for you.
10. Print business cards and promotional cards and leave them wherever you can – for example, local libraries often have a place where local businesses leave their promotional materials for others to take, community centers, etc. Ask if you can put your promotional materials in related retail or office locations.
11. Write a press release and submit it to local newspapers.
12. Promote your sites using cheap or free classified ads in local newsletters and newspapers. This can be a great way to test the response to different offers and headlines.
13. Submit articles to trade magazines with a link to your site in your bio.
14. Offer a free email mini course or e-course and send announcement to local newspapers.
15. Get some t-shirts printed with your URL and wear them everywhere.
16. Participate in a trade show and bring a give-away with your site address.
17. Network with other people at seminars and other live events.
18. Speak at seminars and give the audience a reason to visit your website. Join local Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills and help you get rid of stage fright.
19. Set up a kiosk or booth at community events and give away something free to create buzz.
20. Place ads in the Yellow Pages.
21. Place classified ads in targeted magazines.
22. Place ads on a local radio station. Talk radio is best.
23. Place ads on internet radio stations. It’s cheap.
24. Advertise on TV. This can be seem cost-prohibitive if you think about the national TV stations. But being a sponsor of the program on a local station can be surprisingly affordable and will give you huge exposure.
25. Partner with a local business to integrate your products with.
26. If you have a physical location, such as store or office, that people visit, put up a large advertising with your web address.
27. Donate money to a charity. This way you often end up on their promotional materials and website as a contributor.
28. Sponsor a local event – for example, a local sports tournament.
29. Go to the meetings of your local chamber of commerce to network. Ask them for a link to your site.
30. Send snail-mail letters or flyers to local businesses that could benefit from your products or services.
31. Participate in package insert program with other local businesses. This involves mailing a package of flyers, brochures, business cards, etc. to potential clients and splitting the cost with non-competing businesses.
32. Organize a free workshop at a local store, business, library, or organization.
33. Constantly brainstorm for more ideas. Always carry a notebook with you to record new ideas or record them on your cell phone, before you forget them.
Remember that you don’t even need to actually live in the area where you are promoting your stuff. For example, the fact that you once spend a vacation in the area and loved it can create a connection that may get you covered in places far away from home.
For printed resources, contact your local library. Most libraries carry at least one or more media directories. You may try asking for the following:
- Bacon’s Newspaper/Magazine Directory. Two volumes: newspaper and magazine. Both volumes provides names, e-mails, phones and addresses of publications in the US, Canada, and beyond, with names of editors, columnists, news syndicates, and circulation.
- Bacon’s Radio/TV/Cable Directory. Provides names, addresses, phone numbers and profiles of all US and Canadian radio and broadcasts stations, cable TV stations, with names of hosts, producers, and broadcast times of specific programs.
- Encyclopedia of Associations. Guide to over 20,000 organizations, professional societies, trade groups and interest groups. Most of them publish a newsletter or magazine for members.
- For online resources, try some of the following:
- Alternative Press Online Directory – Directory of alternative-lifestyle publications.
- ERSys – Find local media for thousands of cities and towns in the U.S.
- Magazines Directory – African-American, Latino, Home/Garden, Fitness/Health, Travel and some other niches.
- Magazine Mastheads – Volunteer-run directory of who’s who on staff at hundreds of magazines.
- MediaPost – Free directory for 13,000 radio, TV and cable stations, 8,000 publications and more.
- Radio-Locator – Search for radio station web sites by zip code, city, state, call letters, format or country.
- State by State Newspapers – Links to newspaper web sites by state.
- Go to http://www.yudkin.com/resources.htm for more ideas.
If you need a marketing consulting to get some strategic internet marketing help, contact me for a online marketing strategy consulting session to see how we could work together to build your website and online business.