How to Increase your Digital Brand Awareness
In the digital age we live in, the importance of online marketing is on the rise. However, that doesn’t mean that offline marketing is a thing of the past.
Actually, if your goal is to increase your brand awareness and boost the image of your business in general, the ideal course of action would be to combine the efforts of both offline and online marketing.
As you can probably guess, both forms of marketing have their own benefits and shortcomings, but when used simultaneously, the effort will be well worth it.
The Difference Between Offline and Online Marketing
As their names suggest, offline marketing includes strategies that you’d do offline in order to market your brand to the public and your target audience. On the other hand, online (digital) marketing uses the possibilities of the Internet to help you further your reach. Obviously, they both have their main practices.
That said, common offline marketing practices include print advertising, TV and radio marketing, sponsorships and referrals, word-of-mouth, direct mail, and public presentations. When it comes to online marketing, the most effective practices include SEO (search engine optimization) for your brand’s website, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media and content marketing, affiliate and/or influencer marketing, email marketing as well as mobile marketing.
Your final choice of offline and online marketing practices should deeply depend on your target audience and their age group. In general, you can expect traditionalists, Baby Boomers and Generation X to be more interested in and inclined to pay attention to traditional forms of marketing, which means offline marketing. On the other hand, younger generations, such as Millennials and Generation Z, would most certainly be more attracted and attentive to online forms of marketing.
Increase Exposure with Combined Efforts
The best thing you can do in order to increase your brand awareness is actually to increase its exposure. That said, if you want people who don’t use the Internet and technology all that much to get familiar with your brand, it’s crucial that you engage in some offline marketing tactics, too.
Even people that are rather active online can appreciate a well thought out offline marketing strategy, especially when it comes to commercials or clever print ideas used on branded items such as brochures, billboards, shirts, pens, USBs, umbrellas, keychains and other common objects used for the increased brand awareness and exposure.
So, doing both in a way that suits your business, the best will allow you to optimise and segment your efforts and investment most efficiently.
Boost Your Credibility Online
As mentioned, offline without online is not a good marketing tactic in this day and age. Think about it – if a potential consumer hears about your brand from some of your offline marketing practices, the chances are that they’ll hop online to check out your website and reviews.
And if your website looks terrible for modern standards (or god-forbid you don’t even have a business website), they’re likely to ignore your brand completely. After all, no digital trace these days can only make you seem like a sloppy and shady business.
What’s more, this is where you need to utilise the feedback section on your website as well as make the most out of social media reviews, so that new potential customers can find reassurance that your services are truly great.
Improve Your Chances Against the Competition
There’s no business nowadays that doesn’t have competition. Of course, a bit of healthy competition is always a good thing, but you have to keep in mind that the market is getting overflooded with new aspiring businesses, some of which might be in your particular niche.
Hopefully, your goal is to become a marketing guru, and the best way is to combine offline and online marketing. Keep in mind that the more you use offline marketing practices, the more organic searches you’ll have online as well, together with mentions and a boost of interest.
This is where your online marketing efforts come in as a continuation of your previous, more traditional forms of marketing in order to make your business well-known and a go-to service.
Creative Combo Ideas
In some cases, you don’t have to separate your offline and online marketing campaigns completely. Of course, your logo, brand colours and the message should always be uniform across the different practices you use in order to reach the target market, but that doesn’t mean this has to be the end to your creativity. After all, people value creative and interesting marketing these days a lot.
That said, you can try out a bunch of different things. For starters, don’t hesitate to use actual calls-to-action (CTAs) in your offline material so that you can encourage people to go online.
This can be done through QR codes, hashtag contests, incentives for visiting a specific URL, and so on. Furthermore, “to be continued” campaign is definitely a unique tactic that can positively affect your brand image and increase its awareness.
Essentially, you can create a story (talking about the birth of your business, for example) in an offline marketing channel only to continue the rest of the story online (on your blog, social media, YouTube, etc.).
Hold offline events where you’ll ask people for their emails in order to build your online email list. This practice works the other way around, too. That said, feel free to include your social media followers in planning your next offline campaign.
Stay true to the brand image you wish to portray to the world and let your creativity run free. In the end, it’s only logical that more people will hear about your brand when you effectively utilise all the possible channels for marketing.
In that respect, combing offline and online marketing efforts is sure to bring you beneficial exposure in the digital world. What’s more, these days, you can efficiently track the success of both your offline and online marketing campaigns so that you can further adjust them to help you achieve your goals.
By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle, or catch up with him on Twitter.