Offline vs. Online Promotions: The Guide to Holistic Marketing

Are you going to go online this afternoon or do some real work? That’s really how some business owners approach their digital marketing and social media promotions. No one can achieve spectacular success by starting from that head space.

When you treat your social network like a chat room or your website like a glorified billboard (among a billion other billboards) that’s all they will ever be – headaches and time drains. Instead, your website can be a lead generator, your ecommerce store can be a revenue machine and your social network can be a buzz factory.

It all starts with a better metaphor. Treat your offline and online promotional efforts like the body and the mind of your business. Both are able to function if the other is weak, but neither can be truly healthy until the other starts to operate at peak performance. Here’s how it’s done.

Online Equivalents of Offline Promotions

You probably know that promotional activity is all about giving customers a reason to cheer for your team. Many business owners are used to shaking hands and making deals in person, but freeze when they come up against a keyboard or a mobile screen. They look and feel too impersonal. The way to muscle past this response is to visualize the customer at the other end of the line, sitting at a distant keyboard or flicking through pages on the mobile web. Picture the customer in as much detail as you can muster and reach out to them with your content.

Effective offline promotions include:

  1. Reserving a booth at a conference
  2. Giving a presentation for a local organization
  3. Offering samples at a busy retail location
  4. Sponsoring a local health/wellness-related event.

Similarly, the most productive online versions of these promotions are:

  1. Affiliate marketing
  2. Mixed content blogging
  3. Landing pages for free but gated content
  4. Social interactions

For online content, many business owners rely on partners who are experts at content creation and curation. Instantly, you will be able to draw on a library of engaging content that has been specifically crafted to foster engagement on your website and social media. Make sure you publish a mix of content that accomplishes one or more of the following goals:

  • Solves customer problems
  • Goes into fine details about customer interests
  • Educates customers about how to use what you sell
  • Encourages them to join you and earn additional income

Maximum Content Performance

Finally, you need to know a secret that effective online marketers borrowed from the world of politics: Everything has already been said but not everybody has said it yet. What this means in this context is that you don’t need to worry about content volume as much as content quality. When you find great content that sparks a response, get maximum performance from it by repackaging the content in different formats. This allows your content to engage a wider audience in formats that makes sense to different people. For example, if a blog generates comments on your site or gets plenty of shares on social media, cover the topic in an animated video, a podcast or a webinar. This can be shared on social media in a new way or expanded into gated content for lead generation. You can even take it offline and turn your blog into a live presentation or a demonstration.

Each topic above really deserves its own blog, but the essential message is that your customers need content – offline and online are merely pathways to deliver it to them. Offline marketing techniques engage customers spatially, while online engages them more intellectually and emotionally. Business owners who coordinate both are more successful at motivating customers to take action. In the end, the body and the mind of your business keep each other healthy. Both require real work at first, but the results create a self-sustaining feedback loop.

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