When you’re developing a digital marketing strategy or looking for ways to improve your search engine results rankings, it’s easy to get caught up in technical details, and one element of marketing I often see businesses overlook is offline strategies.
Search engine optimization is a huge field of expertise with many different elements that play into where your website ranks on search results pages, and even experienced practitioners like myself don’t know all of the factors at play. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and its inner workings are kept secret, although we are able to figure out a great deal about the way it works through careful study and what is made public.
When thinking about digital marketing, many people think only of what can be done online. After all, it’s all about getting to the first page of search results, isn’t it?
Well, it isn’t quite so simple. There are plenty of things you can do offline that can influence your online success, like establishing your reputation, earning backlinks and helping you make connections. There are many components to your marketing strategy as a whole.
It’s OK to focus your marketing mainly online since that’s where a great deal of your potential customers or clients may come from, but you shouldn’t ignore offline tactics altogether. Using offline digital marketing strategies your competitors aren’t using can help give you the edge you need.
While there are many offline strategies you can incorporate into your marketing strategy, here are a few of my favorites.
1. Write for publications.
Writing and submitting articles to publications both online and offline is a great way to help build your reputation and reach audiences outside your usual organic traffic. It’s also an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and build connections.
You might start with smaller publications relevant to your industry. Chances are there are a few reputable publications specific to your industry — maybe you even already subscribe to them. You can also write for larger business publications and magazines to reach a wider audience. Keep articles focused on your expertise.
When writing for publications, you should always read submission guidelines as well as get a taste of the type of articles they generally publish, then write to their specifications for the best chance of publication. It may take a while to gain some momentum, but the more you publish, the easier it will become.
Whether or not the publication includes a backlink to your website, you’ll gain increased traffic and awareness of your brand, and Google’s algorithm will see your publication with a reputable magazine or site as a point in your website’s favor.
2. Sponsor local events.
Your local community is a great place to promote your business, especially if your business is conducted in person.
Sponsoring local events provides you with an opportunity to reach your local community and improve your local reputation. It also creates an opportunity for new backlinks and mentions of your business in the press if the event is covered by local media. Additionally, it gives you something to post about on your website and social media that can engage your local audience.
If you host a local event, you can create a press release prior to the event to encourage media coverage. If it does get covered by the media, that is highly valuable in the eyes of Google’s algorithm because news outlets are highly reputable, and some of their branding goodwill becomes associated with your business if they publish something about you.
3. Participate in conferences.
Conferences are a fantastic way to meet other people in your field and make connections. You can find people to collaborate with and support each other by introducing contacts to one another, through social media activity and sharing ideas.
Giving a presentation at a conference can also be an excellent way to expand your business’s reach. Not only can it help connect you with conference attendees, but it may also allow you to be featured on the conference’s website and social media, in addition to giving you something to post about on your own.
4. Enter contests and win awards.
There are thousands and thousands of awards you can enter your business to win every year — it just takes a little effort to seek them out. The more you enter, the better your chances of winning a few.
These can be awards specific to your industry, your local area or something you or your business have done. Awards can boost your reputation both through the award’s publication and your ability to post it on your website. Awards also occasionally may attract press coverage.
5. Be remarkable.
The very best way to improve your marketing offline is to be remarkable. You want people to talk about your business and what it’s doing, and to remember you. The way to do that is to become remarkable.
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Your business becomes remarkable when it does remarkable things. That means you need to stand out from your competitors by doing something different enough that it makes people take note and talk about what you’re doing. Doing so can lead to better lead conversion, better word-of-mouth marketing, more repeat visitors to your site and more press coverage.
When looking for ways to improve your company’s marketing strategy, don’t forget about all these offline strategies you can employ. Doing so will give you a boost over your competitors who aren’t using these same strategies. Every part of marketing takes a great deal of work, and it may take a while to see your efforts pay off, but in the long run, these strategies are extremely effective at growing your business or your brand.