How to Integrate Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

When you distribute marketing messages online or offline, they are meant to work together to achieve a common goal. The goal is to capture leads, nurture them and turn them into paying customers. Integrating online marketing like social media, email and search engine marketing with offline marketing campaigns like print adverts, direct mail, TV, radio and community events helps you to guide your prospect through your sales funnel and help them to make that important buying decision whether they meet you online or offline.

If you feel that you only need to focus on one platform without integrating the two, you need to have a re-think because:

  • Offline clients search for you online: 75 percent of customers will try to read about your business online. So having an online presence is necessary even if your main source of revenue is offline.
  • Many online ads are ignored: Forrester research revealed that the total amount of money spent on ads online including social media, email, display, mobile and search is 26 percent of all that companies spend on ads annually. But research by Nielsen showed that up to 49 percent of online ads are not viewed.
  • Most offline ads get read: About 90 percent of direct mail recipients will read the printed flyer or brochure but their responses are difficult to track. In contrast, online ads with a lower response rate are completely trackable and rates of return are easy to measure.

Now that you know why you need to complement one marketing platform with the other, here are some of the most effective ways to combine your online and offline marketing to achieve a higher return on your marketing investment.

  1. Use QR Codes

You can link all print media adverts to your online marketing channels with QR codes. Almost all smartphones have code readers. This makes it easy for users to get instant access to facts about your products and services on one of your webpages. After providing product information, you can offer coupon codes that encourage users to buy quickly and enjoy a discount at your online store. But how do you encourage prospects to scan your QR codes? All you have to do is provide an enticing call-to-action in your print ad and make the code look attractive enough to be scanned. You may also track your campaign with a QR management tool.

  1. Add CTAs to Print Ads

Place a call-to-action on your offline ad platforms like catalogs, flyers and billboards to increase the rate of conversion. If you place your email and web address or discount coupons in print ads, prospects can see them and take the desired action. To measure the success of your campaign, add a special URL that will allow you to know the number of people that visited the site from your print ad. For instance, you can write a phrase like: “for a 20% discount on XYZ product, visit www.yourcompanyurl.com, offer is for the first 100 visitors” or “discover how this product helped our client to raise marketing ROI by 200% in 2 months”.

  1. Lead Your TV Advert Viewers to Social Media

A report by BI Intelligence showed that almost half of smartphone users in the US use their phones while watching TV. In fact one out of five tablet users bought a product promoted on a TV commercial. This means you can combine and complement your marketing on TV and social media. For instance, you can analyze your social media fan base to know where your brand is popular. With this data, you may pay for local TV ads that will reach the audience in that location. This way, you could get more people to visit your social media platform and take a buying decision. Your social engagement can also serve as means of tracking the effectiveness of your TV adverts.

  1. Create transition points for your offline and online communities

You need to create more motivation and opportunities that will link your online and offline audiences. Try to answer the question: why would someone that has connected with me online want to link up with me offline and what will make someone who walked into our store or office choose to visit our online marketing platforms? For each audience, provide specific benefits:

For the offline audience, you can move them to connect online by promising them:

  • A faster response time
  • Superior customer service
  • More product information and user education
  • Detailed customer reviews and testimonials

For your online audience, move them to contact your company offline by providing:

  • Personal contact with a company rep
  • A better analysis of your needs
  • Product demos that are tailored to meet your needs.

When you are integrating your offline and online marketing strategies, you need to promote your product or brand with a consistent message. The focus must always be to move them through the sales funnel faster and guide them toward closing the sale.