Balance every online marketing move with an offline move

Small business marketers are quick to jump at any opportunity to reach customers and raise awareness online. The internet offers greater connectivity and a lower cost to find and communicate with consumers. Many businesses are successful operating entirely on the net, but many companies make most of their transactions in the real world. As a result, it's important to remember that online marketing is only as valuable as the number of physical customers it can generate.

Consider the following offline marketing actions that should complement equal but opposite online actions.

Online: offer special deals to friends and followers
Offline: make others aware of those deals

Social networking platforms allow companies to develop an intimate relationship with customers that have shown a special interest in their products or services. Websites like Facebook and Twitter give businesses the opportunity to make mention of coupons and discounts that reward people for being loyal customers. However, the only benefit to offering these special deals is that they entice new consumers to follow a social media profile. Once consumers realize the benefits of frequenting a certain company or business, they'll be more likely to do so in the future. This also has the effect of increasing the invaluable "word of mouth" surrounding an organization.

Online: collect contact information
Offline: make good contact

Websites can easily be designed to collect contact information that can later be used to offer deals or entice customers. However, all the effort of gaining people's trust shouldn't be wasted on a campaign of leaflets or coupons. When a person gives an actual address, she will want something with useful information or valuable deals. A newsletter or word of an exclusive and worthwhile discount are good ways to make sure that these customers feel good about their decision to give out personal information.

Online: search engine optimization
Offline: promotional products or brand awareness

Search engine optimization techniques are an excellent way to direct people toward a company website. However, they are far more successful when there is something in real life pushing them toward an entity on the internet. Promotional products such as personalized mugs, promotional pens or USB logo drives will introduce a product, service or company to a consumer, who will ideally use his computer to go off in search of those things.  

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