Integrating Your Digital and Offline Local Marketing Campaigns View online and offline as pieces of your overall marketing strategy.

By Aaron Agius

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Martin Barraud

Even established brands are still pondering how they should allocate their marketing budgets in 2016. One of the biggest mistakes they make is trying to choose between investing in digital or offline marketing campaigns.

There is no denying that digital marketing is extremely effective. U.S. retailers spent $60 billion on digital advertising last year. However, digital advertising is even more effective when used in conjunction with offline marketing efforts.

Digital and offline campaigns create a brand image.

The Rule of Seven sets a powerful standard that every marketer should follow. The idea is simple: the average consumer needs to be exposed to a brand's message seven times before making a purchase.

Of course, this statistic shouldn't be taken entirely at face value. Some customers need to view a brand's message just five times, and others won't make a purchase until they've seen it nine times. But the underlying principle is the same: you need to consistently get your message in front of your audience to convert them into paying customers.

Related: 7 Online Marketing Ingredients You Can't Ignore in 2016

It's easier to reinforce the message if you're reaching your target customers across different mediums. You can convert people more quickly if you reach out to them through multiple channels, and your messaging will have more of an impact if they are carefully coordinated.

But there's another simple trick too many marketers overlook: keep your branding messaging consistent across all mediums. Consumers are more likely to convert if they see the same core messaging, no matter where they're hanging out.

Syncing your online and offline marketing efforts.

How can you leverage your digital marketing campaigns offline, and vice versa? Here are some tips to consider.

Improve engagement with cross-device marketing.

Cross-device marketing is a powerful way to boost engagement. For example, interact with customers who are watching television while also using their desktop or mobile devices at the same time. One study from Google found that retail marketers can boost conversions by 16 percent by using cross-device marketing.

Share QR codes online.

Using QR codes can help you bridge your online and offline marketing strategies for powerful branding. There are a number of ways that you can use QR codes in your marketing efforts, but offering discounts is one of the most popular options.

Share QR codes for a special promotion on your website or Facebook page. Your customers will be able to use it at your physical business to get special discounts. Kissmetrics has a number of other ideas for small businesses using QR codes.

Related: 3 Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

Attract people to events.

Events are still one of the most effective ways to engage people. This is especially true for pubs and other local businesses that rely on event marketing.

A local pub owner won't get as many people excited about a Facebook meme as a live band taking the stage. But the business can use Facebook to get the word out about the upcoming event to maximize turnout.

Share your social media information on literature.

It's long been the standard for business cards to include an email address and website. Savvy business owners find other places to advertise their social media presence, as well.

Menus, business vehicles, and flyers are all good places to publish your social media information. Encourage customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare as well.

Who are your core customers, and which platforms do they use the most? It's difficult to advertise all of your social media profiles, so choose the ones your customers are using.

Use social media polls for market research.

Having access to big data and real-time information is one of the biggest advantages of online marketing. You can track almost everything, making it much easier to optimize your campaigns. Smart marketers will incorporate the data from their online marketing campaigns into their offline strategies.

Your market research should be the lynchpin of every campaign. You need a detailed understanding of your target customers, their interests, and the products they are most interested in purchasing.

Every brand should actively solicit customers for feedback. Conducting polls on your website, Facebook, and other social media platforms is a great way to get to know more about them. You can use this information to execute your offline marketing strategies more effectively.

Related: Chris Brogan on Ways to Cross-Promote Your Online and Offline Marketing

Track your online conversions and incorporate your findings into your offline marketing efforts. For example, you could:

  • Create a Facebook campaign with an online conversion goal, such as selling products through your online store or encouraging customers to opt in to a newsletter.

  • Split test different ads, landing pages, audience demographics, and targeting options to see which customers and marketing messages convert the best. You should learn as much as possible about split-testing to optimize your campaigns.

  • Use this data to create more effective print ads and select mediums that appeal to your best-converting audience.

It's easy to make poor choices and assume too much with your offline marketing strategy based on limited data. For example, you may think that your ideal buyer is 5-10 years older than they actually are, so you're marketing to the wrong demographic. You're better off using the information from your online marketing campaigns as a basis for your offline efforts.

Remember that customer behavior offline works a little differently. For example, online customers generally prefer ads with less text. Use your judgment when incorporating findings from your online marketing strategies into your offline campaigns.

Think of your overall marketing strategy. Rather than having separate marketing goals for your online and offline campaigns, view them as pieces of your overall marketing strategy. Create a consistent message that resonates with your audience across all mediums.

Wavy Line
Aaron Agius

Search, Content and Social Marketer

Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with IBM, Ford, LG, Unilever and many more of the world's largest and most recognized brands, to grow their revenue. See more from Agius at Louder Online.

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