CF Saskatchewan Blog

7 Offline Strategies to Skyrocket Your Online Presence

  • November 13, 2017
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

Digital marketing is the name of the small business game at the moment, with social media, SEO, content, and paid advertisements stealing the spotlight. Although these online marketing strategies can help to build your company’s reputation, it is easy to forget that offline strategies still exist and can be equally effective. In fact, they can help you stick out from the online-only crowd!

If your small business needs an online boost, consider taking an innovative approach and trying these 7 offline strategies first.

1. Develop an elevator pitch

“What do you do?” You are bound to get this question when meeting people at social gatherings and networking events, or while standing in a long checkout line at your local market. Use this to your advantage by preparing an elevator pitch, or a 30-second summation about your small business. Here’s an example:

I am the founder and CEO of Wrap Designs located here in Saskatchewan. We specialize in handcrafting paper products like leather-bound journals and custom stationary, to deliver one-of-a-kind products made by local artisans. Our mission is to create handmade keepsakes that our customers enjoy, while giving back to our community by employing local craftsmen and stocking neighborhood markets.

An elevator pitch like the one above succinctly explains what your company does and why (its mission, vision, and values), so you can quickly demonstrate the value of your product or services. Then, you’re able to easily promote your social media platforms by handing out business cards.

Even if you don’t have any cards on hand, sharing your elevator pitch and then verbally encouraging listeners to connect with your company on social media or visit your website could be enough to increase your online presence. Just remember to say your elevator pitch naturally and tailor it to the situation so it doesn’t sound rehearsed!

Tip: Struggling to write your elevator pitch? Answer these 9 strategic business planning questions, and then create a business description using our free business plan kit!

2. Get active in the community

Joining professional organizations, industry associations, or volunteer groups is a great way to make connections that can promote your brand. A small business owners collective, for instance, provides a mastermind group where you can swap ideas and share skills.

You may even be able to partner up for greater business success, like if your handcrafted paper products company designs wedding invitations for a local event planning company. If you both promote the event via word of mouth and on social media, you can collectively reach twice the online audience.

Tip: Try these additional strategies to overcome your company’s online visibility issues!

3. Arrange a giveaway

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Giveaways are a great marketing option for small businesses on a budget. Simply order a batch of inexpensive promotional items branded with your company’s name, logo, website, and/or social media tags. These could be anything from branded toothbrushes for dental offices to keychains for auto shops—just be sure they are relevant to your industry and customer.

A second option is to do a free giveaway like a raffle, and tie it into your online marketing goals. For example, if your hair salon is aiming to grow its pool of Facebook followers, you could arrange a raffle for a free haircut. Every customer who comes into your salon and “likes” your Facebook page gets to put their name into the raffle bowl. Once a month, you choose three winners who receive a shampoo and cut on the house!

4. Meet up with customers

Don’t reserve face-to-face interaction with fellow entrepreneurs only. Connecting with customers in person can do wonders for your brand by:

  • Providing an opportunity to conduct market research or collect feedback that can guide your brand messaging (your website copy and social media posts, for instance)
  • Building stronger, more intimate relationships with your loyal followers
  • Promoting your brand organically

Try hosting a booth at a local farmer’s market or community event to meet up with your customers—you could even combine this with the suggestion above and do a giveaway. If attendees ‘like’ your social media pages, they receive a branded promotional item, a coupon for future products or services, or entry into a raffle.

5.  Use snail mail

Print isn’t dead! In a world of email, mailing out coupons, flyers, holiday cards, and thank you cards can help your small business stand out from the crowd. Consider using an affordable online service or freelancer site like Fiverr or Upwork for any design needs to cut down costs.  

Bonus: Find 10 more creative ways to show your clients and customers you care!

 6. Give back

Paying it forward can not only make you feel great (say goodbye to burnout!), but also help your small business as well. Research shows that some consumers are more willing to support brands that have a strong philanthropic streak. Therefore, teach a free class related to your products or services, or donate your time to a good cause in the area.

You can promote your small business while doing so by wearing a branded shirt with your business logo and URL, funneling people to your website to sign up for your free class, and sending attendees home with branded promotional items.

 7. Host a grand opening

Brick and mortar stores can attract quite a bit of foot traffic with a simple grand opening banner and some free product samples. Promote online traffic at the same time by encouraging attendees to ‘check in’ on Yelp or their preferred social media profile for a free promotional item or exclusive coupon!

Make the most of these offline marketing tactics by pairing them with powerful online ones.

 Get a free copy of Community Futures’ latest e-book, “10 Game-Changing Social Media Tactics For Small Businesses!”

Click here to receive your complimentary e-book download now!