By Ryan Stevens
Do you feel bombarded by a relentless barrage of ads on social media? Has your Facebook feed become more like a marketplace? Are you frustrated by clickbait sites that promise to provide the answers to all of your questions, but force-feed you subliminal advertising instead?
You’re not alone.
In a world obsessed with the internet, it’s easy to forget that there was once a medium for marketing that you could actually physically hold in your hand. The internet has become part of the monstrous capitalist machine, and brands are spending sizable fortunes to gather prominence.
But is the relentless noise of the internet forcing brands back to the printing press? Is there, perhaps, more value in the old-school: tangible, print media; addressed directly to you? Read on to learn how you can leverage internet personalization techniques to maximize success with your offline messages.
Internet Advertising Is Transient
Facebook has perfected the art of targeting. They know exactly what you like, love, laugh at, are wowed by, feel unhappy with, and are angry about. We tell them every day: every time we react to a friend’s post, we tell Facebook how we think and feel.
And there’s certainly value in that data in regard to advertising.
But there’s a significant problem with internet advertising. It lacks permanence.
You might see an advertising image, click on it, and browse a site. Then you click away, forget all about it and get distracted by something else. As soon as that ad is no longer staring you in the face, you forget about it.
Transient. It’s not the same as marketing offline.
A print flyer addressed directly to you might drop through your letterbox and find its way onto your coffee table: it has a little more permanence; a little more tangibility.
A constant reminder. But flyers certainly aren’t the only way that offline could be more effective.
What we can learn from the Facebook algorithm is that targeting works. If they know you’re going to respond to a specific type of advertising post, then landing it in your feed is likely to achieve a click.
But we become savvy to their ploys very quickly. And it doesn’t take long for those new methods to grow old.
Record scratch back to the olden days. Tangibility is right there in front of you. It’s time to go offline.
Different Modes of Offline Marketing
Offline marketing isn’t just flyers. It also includes:
- Banners displayed on public transport or shop fronts
- Product samples
- Business Cards
- Letters (remember those?)
But what we’re really looking at, here, is the way that offline media can be personalized, so this targets our options a little further. Display banners are great for general brand coverage, but unless the content of that banner offers something the customer might be directly interested in, it’s wasted brain space.
But let’s not write that off straight away. The operative word, here, is “offering.”
A banner that simply displays your brand name and logo is a wasted opportunity. You’re not learning from Facebook’s ability to entice. Use your banner to offer a deal or suggest – catch a potential customer’s eye by appealing to them.
Use APP Proposals
Look at the beginning of this blog — we offered an APP proposal. APP stands for:
We started this blog with a couple of questions that we thought might appeal to your frustration with online advertising. That was our statement of agreement.
Then we offered some reassurance: You’re not alone. A promise.
And we said that if you read on, you’ll find out some tips for offline printing. A preview.
If you’re still reading, it worked, didn’t it? The APP is an established technique that anyone can embrace.
So, don’t just print your brand name and a logo on a banner. Appeal to your customer’s “want,” promise you can address (or even solve) it, and give them a glimpse into how your solution might change their world for the better.
This might not be personalization in the classic sense of the word, but what is more personal than catching a customer’s attention, offering them a solution, and providing a glimpse into what life could be like for THEM if they follow your advertising message?
Facebook targeting just went analog!
Offer Something Offline that You Can’t Get Online
It’s all very well presenting attractive images and enticing a customer with cleverly crafted language, but there’s nothing quite like a free sample to make that jump into reality. A sample gives your potential customer the opportunity to get hands-on with your product or service.
This is a much more powerful way of making your service invaluable to a customer. Let them try it, then make them want it again when that sample runs out.
The personalization aspect of free sampling comes from knowing your potential customer: knowing what they like, or are likely to want, is the key. If you offer skincare products, provide a sample with the broadest appeal, rather than one for a specific skin type – and offer them more when they choose the bespoke option.
Understand Your Customer
Understanding your customer is totally key to a successful marketing campaign, and you certainly don’t need to be online to do it.
Entice your customer with cleverly crafted language (that’s what copywriters are for, after all) and make your campaign feel like it’s crafted directly for them. You don’t need to use names, although, of course, that’s a way to catch attention.
Creating a campaign that’s meaningful and enticing is the key to a successful offline campaign that extends beyond the screen and into the hands of the people who might just become your customer.