Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Jayson DeMers – Enjoy!

With the rise in popularity of online marketing, many proven offline methods are simply forgotten when marketing campaigns are planned. Of course, online marketing is hugely important in today’s Internet-connected world, but offline engagement with customers still has unique and distinct value that shouldn’t be forgotten.

If you want to give your business a real marketing boost this year, start looking outside the box. Here are five forgotten offline marketing tactics that don’t require a big marketing budget.

1. Engage in offline guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a generic term for the use of unconventional marketing strategies, and because online marketing channels are so narrowly structured, offline is the best arena to flex your small business’s guerrilla marketing muscle. So, starting now, ignore what you know about marketing channels, and let your inner child out to play.

Offline guerrilla marketing ideas:

  • Leave sticky notes in random places (bars, coffee shops).
  • Use chalk to advertise promotions on a sidewalk.
  • “Accidentally” leave a branded pen at the bank.
  • Donate branded bookmarks to your local library.
  • Use sticky notes to create temporary images on buildings, cars, etc.

2. Drop business cards

This is one offline guerrilla marketing strategy that I want to talk about specifically. It’s more of a necessity than an option. If you run a small business, you must have business cards and dole them out! Don’t just share them when you first meet someone new. Drop them everywhere.

Places to drop business cards:

  • Leave a business card with your tip at a restaurant.
  • See a public bulletin board? Put up a business card.
  • Go to the library and place business cards in books related to your business.
  • When you see a contest fish bowl asking for business cards, drop yours in. Always.

3. Take pictures/videos of everything

Because social media marketing takes place online, many business owners and marketers forget that social campaigns can be boosted by offline efforts. One way to do this is by taking photos of company events and daily activities, and then posting those online. Videos help too. If someone from your company speaks at an event, for example, record it and upload it to YouTube.

Real-life photos from the offline world show the personality of your company and increase online user engagement. Facebook posts with photos, for example, receive 84% more clicks and twice as many Likes than text-only posts, according to Kissmetrics. And some of the most popular social networks (Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr) are image-based, making photos ever more important for online marketing.

4. Donate gift certificates or products as prizes

By offering your product or service as the prize for a local contest, you can build visibility for your business while showing your commitment to the community.

If your business provides computer repairs, for example, you could donate a gift certificate for a 2-hour repair to a local non-profit organization. The organization may announce your branded prize to a room full of sponsors. Your business could also be listed in various publications, such as the organization’s website, newsletter, or even a press release.

5. Speak at events

Professional events offer a great way to meet new people, share your ideas, and build brand awareness. They’re even more effective if you speak at them. Find a local event related to your industry, come up with an educational topic you can speak on, and volunteer. If you don’t yet have the level of clout required to speak at an event, attending events can be just as helpful.

Remember, you don’t have to adopt all of these offline marketing strategies. Just try one. Write a promotion on a couple sticky notes, and put them in your pocket for the day. Who knows what could happen.

jayson-profile-google-plusJayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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  • Some really great ideas here Jayson. I agree 100% that while online is important, it does not replace the need for offline engagement. Still, in these online days, face to face, in person meetings are GOLD! You simply cannot do online what you can in front of someone. Why? Because when you are in front of someone, you engage all of the senses. That is critical for effective communication.

    The pictures advice is really solid advice for the clients i serve. I hadnt thought of it, but will surely be advising them to do a little of it.

    Awesome man. Kudos.

  • Awesome ideas here Jayson. I’ve completely neglected the notion of distributing business cards wherever you go and taking photos / videos at events etc. This is the level of social proof a business needs to showcase to get your brand out there.

  • Everyone is obsessed about online so it’s refreshing to see a post that highlights offline activities. I’d add leaving cards in sandwich shops and coffee shops where you know business people go to pick up their lunch.

  • Really an extremely excellent article on Offline marketing. It is
    absolutely right that these days Online marketing is taking its full
    fledge but Off-line marketing is still playing its vital role in
    marketing a business. It can never be ignored. Great post.

  • Love this article – it’s why I sell promo products. Online is great but unfortunately -it’s easy to be lost in the masses. I have giant highlighters that we mail in a tube to prospects with a letter. Everyone opens them and we get quite a few responses

  • Great tips and love the Bookmarks. Almost 20 years ago when I was investments I got my biggest client by leaving my Dean Witter card in a book. You never know!

  • Julie Harris

    Great tips. These are old school tips yet proven to be effective. Online
    stuffs may come and go but these ideas will still remain. 😉

  • John Waghorn

    Interesting post, the good thing about leaving business cards in relevant places is that your name and company will stay in people’s mind. If you’re talking to someone about your company without them, there’s a good chance that they’ll forget later on.

    Photos at company events is another good one as this can tie into your social media platforms and gives you additional content to promote and share. Vine is a good platform for short video content. I think the last point, speaking at events, isn’t really a forgotten tactic,but definitely one that all businesses should be using where possible.

  • Loved the article but the business cards-in-books idea really rubbed me the wrong way. If I opened a book I had just checked out from the library or one that I was browsing through at Barnes & Noble, I am quite sure I would find the business card rude/inconsiderate. Pretty much like littering, actually. I would make it a point to *not patronize that business.

  • Great tips for Offline marketing as it also important as online marketing

  • Cheap Drop Cards

    Thanks for the offline tips. Get your Cheap Drop Cards Here-

  • Just?

    No more?