Small businesses benefit from a mix of digital and physical advertising

It can be difficult for some companies to strike a balance between a fully-digital marketing push and old-fashioned branding methods. According to a survey of over 500 small businesses (of which 74 percent had nine or fewer employees) by office supply manufacturer Pitney Bowes, the preferred method of marketing for this type of company is a hybrid campaign that uses both online techniques as well as traditional advertising.

Based on the survey’s findings, 76 percent of small business marketers prefer a mix of the two types of advertising. In fact, three-quarters admitted that though they would like to maintain a connection with physical advertising, they would spend more money on digital marketing efforts if their resources and knowledge supported it. Unsurprisingly, companies that had larger online presences and transacted more of their business on the internet were more likely to use digital communication.

This research presents a compelling opportunity that small business owners can take advantage of. While the results clearly indicate that successful marketing campaigns contain elements of both the new and old styles of raising brand awareness, it is also true that there are many ways to accomplish this. Consequently, this gives small business owners a great deal of flexibility during an era of rapid media transitions and transformations.

Promotional products and SEO marketing
One example of a hybrid campaign is the use of promotional products in conjunction with search engine optimization efforts. Promotional products, whether in the form of promotional pens or personalized wall calendars, will introduce a brand name to consumers and pique their interest regarding a certain product or service. Through the use of SEO techniques, a company can increase the likelihood that consumers will be directed by Google to its website during the course of searches for that product, service or company name.

Print and social media
Another mixed marketing effort can begin in the realm of print media, in newspapers or in community circulars. These advertisements can begin to form the basis for a brand or image that a company hopes to embody. These ads can exhort consumers to learn more via Facebook, Twitter or other social media websites. Once there, repeat and regular customers can be rewarded with deals and savings that they first learned about in the advertisements.

Website redirection
Of course, the simplest form of hybrid marketing would be any advertising campaign that directs users toward a company website. This is a preferred option for exclusively-online retailers or other businesses, as all the business that they transact is on the website and therefore relies upon the site itself for its continued sustenance.

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