Often times, the startup world can get stubbornly single-minded. If you are not being careful, your entire existence and work can start revolving around the absolute need for disruption, innovation and everything that is modern. And while this has its place in some areas, it can often be limiting and prevent you from doing some very good things just because they seem old-fashioned and non-startuppy.
Like for example, you can neglect offline marketing as something ancient and ineffective, when, in fact, it can do wonders for your startup.
Industry events are the perfect way for startups to get out there, especially if they are B2B and they will be working exclusively with other companies. There are plenty of reasons for this. For one, it helps you find out what others are doing. It also gets you in touch with your prospective customers and gives you an insight into what they are looking for.
In addition, you will also be making the necessary connections through networking. Above everything else, however, at industry events, you can ensure that people notice you and learn about your services or product.
Merchandise has traditionally been the part of the startup ecosystem, with humorous T-shirts becoming ubiquitous for the industry. Promo material makes a lot of sense for startups. The main reason is that it lasts, as opposed to advertisements that people see once and forget. This is especially true if you make your merchandise practical like if you decide to use promotional USB drives. Of course, the more creative and innovative you are with your promo material, the more notice it will get.
Sponsorship is one of the most ancient marketing techniques. For instance, in the ancient Olympics, businesses used to sponsor athletes. Roman chariot drivers were also sponsored by savvy businesspeople who knew this kind of exposure can do great things for their brand. As a startup, you will probably have to focus on smaller, more local competitions and organizations, but with a few smart choices, this can still be great promotion for your startup. This is particularly true these days when even the smallest competitions get some attention online. In a way, this is where your offline marketing will meet online.
Local media outlets are usually run with a very limited budget which means they usually do not have the means to contact experts in different fields when they have the need. This is your opportunity. When a major piece of news breaks in your industry, give your local papers and TV or radio stations a call and ask them if they could use expert insight. More often than you'd think, they will be more than up for it
More often than you’d think, they will be more than up for it and you are automatically putting your foot in. Who knows, after a while, you might even become their resident expert and then it’s only a matter of time before you get even more coverage.
One of the more exciting ways to promote your startup offline is to organize an event every now and then. For example, if it is a launch of a new product or service, you can invite some media people, bloggers and your customers for a launch party. It does not have to be anything lavish, do not worry. Or, if you want to go another way, you can organize a local event for your community. For example, you can organize a barbecue for the neighborhood in support of a charity of some kind. This is bound to get you media attention and also spread like wildfire online. Once again, you are combining offline and online.
Offline marketing is not dead. Far from it. In fact, as more and more time goes by, it is getting clearer and clearer that some of the older promotional ideas are still classics and still work amazingly well.
At least do not neglect offline marketing.
About the Author
Oscar is a writer and a senior editor at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys writing about the latest developments in technology, business, and marketing. You can follow Oscar on Twitter to keep up with his latest posts.