It’s never easy to attract new customers. A lot of startups now a days dump all their marketing budgets into online efforts – but there are a lot of proven offline marketing strategies that need to be implemented to really drive new customer acquisition.
That being said, finding new customers offline is not easy and a marketing plan that does not include offline customer acquisition has a gaping hole.
Meeting people offline and in real life is powerful. Just by meeting you, shaking your hand, or talking to you, people internally lower the barrier they might have towards a new brand that they only know online through your website or outside reviews.
1. Hold A (Regular) Conference
Regular conferences, as long as they are of high quality, get a reputation all on their own.
When organizing a conference, focus on making it top quality and less on pushing your brand or business. The quality of the conference — from venue to speakers to food — are what sells your brand.
2. Be The Host
If you aren’t in a position to set up an event on your own, don’t worry — piggy back (by invitation) on someone else’s event.
When events that pertain to your industry or niche happen in your area, make yourself available to the organizers. Be more than just a sponsor; sponsorship often leaves you with a logo on printed materials and little else. Instead, offer to be a host and take an active part in the event.
- Provide swag and goodies to give away. Be sure you brand them.
- Provide refreshments, and be there to serve them. Consider coffee cup wrappers, napkins, or other places where you can put your logo.
- Be the emcee. That’s a task that many organizers would love to have someone take care of. Get your face and your voice up in front of everyone!
- Help with the registration table, or provide help or other peripheral services.
- Offer to teach a seminar or be part of a round table discussion.
Just because you aren’t able to organize a big event doesn’t mean you can’t have a serious (and authoritative) presence at one.
3. Create A Meetup Group
Meetups are different than large conferences. They are personal and the connections are more memorable.
Create a Meetup, show that you’re interested in fostering discussion, and be genuine. It’s not about the hard sell, but about building a network, and showing your expertise. Meetups are a low-cost method of gathering interested people together with a low barrier of entry.
To find a local meetup in your area go to this site.
4. Do Booths The Right Way
Ever been to a tradeshow where the booth is set up, the free pens and pamphlets are laid out on the table, and the representatives look bored, tired, or more interested in adding filters to their next Instagram https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-prix-en-pharmacie/ photo?
If you’re going to take the time to set up a booth at a tradeshow or conference, you have to do it right.
- Have interesting swag (tchotchkes). It’s getting acheter cialis tougher to find something unique to give away in a world awash in startups, but try going for something a bit more memorable than a plain old ballpoint pen. Give special swag for those who sign up for your newsletter or participate with your booth more than just a passing glance. I’ve found that t-shirts with funny sayings on them work the best (but they are the most expensive).
- Collect email addresses. Make it easy for people to sign up for your email newsletter, either using a tablet or having paper for them to write down their email. You’ve just made a personal connection. Potential customers are primed, in that immediate moment, to agree to giving you their email address if you ask them personally. Once you collect the email addresses you’ll need to nurture the list to be able to start selling to them. Click here to learn more.
- Have professional printed material. Be sure your printed material (datasheets, fliers etc) coordinates well with your booth, your message, and looks entirely professional in design and print quality.
- Consider booth psychology. A successful booth hinges on psychology. The colors you choose for your booth and for your clothes affects how people will view and interact with you. Does your layout invite people in, or have you placed a table between yourself and potential customers? Is your booth well-lit and inviting? Are you friendly without being aggressive? Are your displays interesting AND interactive? Do you talk more about yourself or do you talk more to them as real people?
- Work in shifts. Standing on your feet all day talking to people can be tiring. Have several people there who can online levitra us uk work in shifts so that there is never that “end of day” weariness that you see at so many booths.
Your goal with a booth is to get potential customers to learn about you, get to know you as real people, and trust you. The best way is to be alert, interested, and get to know the potential customer instead of pushing a sales spiel on them.
Real life insights: When I attended Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in 2014 there were a few companies that always had the most people at their booth. So what did they do?
Dropbox had a barista preparing free coffee, espresso, mochas and lattes. Domo was giving away super high quality SkullCandy over the ear headphones. To get a pair of the headphones you had to attend a live demonstration in a separate room.
On another note, sometimes you need to attend smaller trade shows where direct customer acquisition won’t outweigh expenses but building long term relationships/partnerships with their user base can reap exponential rewards over time through word of mouth.
5. Go guerrilla with your marketing
If you have the courage, and are in an industry with an audience that would be receptive to it, consider a few “guerrilla” marketing techniques.
Create unique business cards with an intriguing front or back, and leave them when you are out and about. Be careful that you don’t leave a business card where it will end up as litter or violate any rules, but do be brave about it.
Create posters that mimic the circus or a rock concert for meetups or online events. Leave branded bookmarks in library books. Anything!
Pro tip: Last year during the iPhone 6 release, the founders of eCommerce startup, Topwick, penetrated the long lines at Apple stores to promote their launch. Click here for the article.
6. Donate products or services
By donating products or services to local charities and non-profit organizations, you help build your reputation in a positive way.
- You can talk about your giving program online, and let customers know that by doing business with you, they are helping good causes.
- You network with people in your area. Networking is always good for word-of-mouth.
- You establish a reputation for being generous and involved.
- You can donate gift certificates which bring new customers directly to you.
7. Make yourself available as a speaker
Speaking at events of all sizes and locations is a truly “scalable” method of meeting potential customers personally. You can’t host events and meetups in every city, but you certainly can be willing to speak on those topics you’re an expert at.
Again, establishing yourself as an expert is key to building trust with customers who need some convincing.
We give a lot of lip service to “knowing your customer” but forget something important: the best way to really know your customer is to actually meet them in person. So if you’re looking to attract new customers you’ll need to start adding and implementing some of these offline tactics to your overall marketing and growth strategy.