Sure, customers may click on ads when they’re all over their browser windows, but in the age of digital, how can you make sure that your offline campaigns are gaining as much traction? To find out, we asked nine entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what strategies have worked best.
1. Include a call to action
Make sure that you have a call to action on your offline advertisement and that you can track it in some way. This will make it a lot easier to see what’s going on offline and lets you assess if it’s worth putting your time and energy into it.
2. Set up offline campaigns for online conversion
Even offline campaigns need an online component. This means making sure there is a way to convert offline prospects into online sales by including a landing page URL with a special offer and a form for capturing visitor information. If the visitors do not buy right away, but opt into your email list, you have a way to build and nurture a relationship and move them along in the buying cycle.
3. Be selective
Many times people will put up ads in subways and on billboards. The key is to be selective as to what type of offline advertising you choose, as you want to make sure you are directly targeting your customer base. By focusing on one offline channel to start with, you are able to better assess ROI and ad performance.
Decide what one thing you want the viewer to do from your advertisement and communicate only information to drive that action. Or, if it is to build brand awareness, what one takeaway do you want the viewer to know about your brand? Hone in on your sole objective of the ad, not every benefit of your product or service. Communicating too many messages will cause none of them to be read or to stick.
5. Track effectiveness through online analytics
Many forms of offline advertising are hard to track direct response metrics from, but all of them have some resulting performance that can be measured. Use online analytics to track offline campaign performance. This can be done through dedicated pages or URLs specific to the campaign or by measuring organic and direct traffic types prior to, during, and after the campaign.
6. A/B test everything
It is difficult—almost impossible—to predict upfront what will stick in your consumers’ minds. So, try to come up with variants for your messaging, graphics, and call to actions to see which combination resonates with your users. Since offline ads cannot be tracked via clicks, you can use unique phone numbers in each ad variant to see which one is the most effective.
7. Ask new customers where they discovered you
We incorporate asking customers about how they discovered us in every step of our sales and post-sale process. When a new customer signs up for our software, we ask them about how they learned about us during the activation setup. When a customer calls our sales line, one of the first questions we ask is where they learned about our software.
8. Convert viewers to site visitors
Don’t try to do too much more than getting users to visit your website for additional information. A focus on trying to convert offline viewers of your ads into buyers may be too aggressive for most users who view your ad in only a few seconds (i.e. billboard). A focus on getting the users to your site/a landing page can help streamline the marketing message options.
9. Look for an increase in brand searches
When you advertise offline, consumers will search for your brand on Google if they are interested in learning more. Use Google Analytics to track traffic and conversions from branded search terms, and measure the change in this traffic before and after you run your ad. This will help you determine whether your offline advertising spend is driving real visitors and customers to your product.
What has your business done to increase the effectiveness of your offline advertisements? Let us know in the comments!