One of the things that you shouldn’t neglect, particularly when you start an online business, is traditional advertising. When you have a tangible service or product, at some point you will want to advertise your services offline as well as online. You will be visiting marketplaces and other venues to get the word out about your business. While the internet does provide many cost saving ways to advertise online, you also need to keep in mind the different methods of offline advertising as well.
First, think of the different places that you will be selling your product or service. Will you be visiting any trade shows? Then you’ll want to have some trade show displays handy. Will you be selling your product or service at some location such as a marketplace? Then you will want to have vinyl banners printed with your company name and logo.
You’ll want to print out business cards and flyers to pass out to people so they can have easy access to your contact information. Sometimes people may not buy your product right away, but if you give them a brochure with your website, they may visit your website and purchase your product in the convenience of their own home.
If you go to these venues without the proper marketing materials printed out, you’ll be wasting an opportunity to spread the word about your website.
Before there was Facebook. Before there was digg or stumble upon. There was the marketplace or swap meet. The traditional marketplace is social marketing in its most basic form. The internet just gave people the opportunity to practice this form of social media marketing from their living room.
Just think of some of the methods that you use traditionally with social media marketing. On Facebook, you may create a fan page. On twitter, you might tweet out a one line sales pitch. On digg or stumble upon, you might have an article written that you can use as a reference.
All of these methods have real world counterparts. The Facebook fan page is like the huge banner outside a store. The twitter tweet is similar to handing out a business card. The article that you dugg or stumbled is like passing out a marketing brochure.
If you’d take the time to create the fan page, send out a tweet, or write the blog article, why wouldn’t you put in the same effort to have a sign or banner printed out to advertise your company.
You never know where opportunities might arise for your online business.
Remember, opportunity favors the prepared.