When we picture modern businesses, we usually think of the great indoors. We think about people stuffed into offices, always in front of computers. That, or we imagine the new wave of workers who are working from home. Basically, we imagine everything in the business being done from a seat, in the glow of a computer screen. We’re referring, of course, to the sedentary lifestyle. As well as businesses leaning on cloud technology and social media!
Even when we’re thinking about outreach, we only ever seem to think about online matters. Digital marketing, SEO, that sort of thing. But customer outreach isn’t only achieved from the comfort of the office or the home. Sometimes, you really need to get out there.
It might seem like strange advice, at first. “Get out there.” What does that mean in the context of business and outreach? It basically means that you’ve got to take your business outside the office and put it right in front of the public. After all, you can’t spell “outreach” without “out”, right? So let’s take a look at the creative ways in which you can get your business out there and in front of people. It’s got to be done in a way that really makes people stop in their tracks.
The problem with the digital approach
Do not take any of this to mean that you shouldn’t be ditching digital marketing. Search engine optimization and social media marketing are absolutely vital for modern businesses. But the problem here is that a lot of business owners believe that digital marketing is all they need. Maybe they’ll consider getting their company on television for an ad break. But aside from that, what’s the point, right? Isn’t everyone surfing the Internet these days?
Here’s the problem. Sure, a lot of people are surfing the Internet, but probably not as many as you think. We still have a tendency to think of the Internet as much more ubiquitous than it actually is. Not only that, but you’ve got to consider what kind of surfing people actually do. What are the odds that a given person is going to stumble upon your advert? In the world of marketing, the Internet is actually more limiting than you might think.
That’s why bringing your business more into the physical realm of people’s awareness can be so vital. Giving people something tangible they can see and even interact with can make a massive difference. Plus, you’re going to expose your business to such a wide variety of people. Anyone in your chosen area will see the results of your decision to get out there!
Perhaps the most obvious way to achieve this sort of thing is through old-school methods of advertising. I’m talking billboards. Posters. Ads on the sides of buses and vans. And sure, these things are all pretty cool. But does it really push the boat enough?
Your average “physical” advertisement may go over the heads of most people. Sure, the same could be said for digital marketing. But physical advertising is often much more expensive. This is what often puts business owners off. This is why you need to get really creative with this. You should be looking into guerrilla marketing.
Guerrilla marketing is a cost-effective way of getting people to really notice your adverts. It uses the environment to its advantage. They’re usually found in urban areas. They bend people’s expectations of what advertising is. They often seem very informal, like with stickers placed in strange areas. They make you look twice and think more about your environment. Read more about it and see if you can implement it in your strategy.
A glorious event
You must have heard about trade shows by now. You may even have thought about them and dismissed them. But they can be absolutely brilliant if you’re looking to increase sales and customer outreach.
A lot of businesses owners seem to be a bit nervous about the idea of attending trade shows. I’ll admit that it does take quite a bit of drive and commitment. Preparing for everything can also take quite a lot of time, not to mention money! Still, the same can be said for many kinds of outreach. And when it comes to outreach, trade events are easily one of the best methods out there. The trick is in getting to know whether or not a certain event is right for you. That’s why you should spend some time going to trade shows on a less formal level. Attend a couple and get a feel for the sort of things you need to do.
At the events themselves, how you present yourself is everything. You need to put your most charismatic people on the stand. Your event display needs to stand out among a sea of other event displays. You need to advertise the fact that you’re going to be at the event so people will know where to find you. All of this allows you to interact with competitors and customers in amazing ways.
Getting a pop-up shop going isn’t a solution that will fit every business. If you’re not in direct sales or a similar retail business, you won’t have much use for it at all. But if you do have items to sell to the general public, why not head to the streets?
A lot of e-commerce businesses get their revenue solely from online sales. Many may want to move into the arena of brick-and-mortar stores. But that’s a pretty expensive venture! Instead, you could rent some retail space for a short amount of time and set up a pop-up shop. You could keep it running for as little as a day!
This is a great way of getting a few extra sales. But outreach is the main objective here. If you combine a pop-up shop with the use of social media, you can make some pretty big waves. Make sure you advertise the shop properly to maximize the number of visitors. And be ready to hand out promotional materials that could help your outreach goals!