When you’ve set up a new ecommerce business, why would you want things like banners, business cards, flyers, or exhibition display stands? Whether you run your business online, or from a bricks and mortar establishment, obtaining the maximum return on your investment requires both offline and online marketing.
A professionally built and managed website can be an expensive item, with no guarantee of success. Combining the most affordable website management techniques with some good traditional physical marketing tools, will help keep your start-up costs down, grow your brand, and establish a solid client base.
Business Cards, Flyers and Letterheads
Twenty-five years ago, the first thing any budding entrepreneur did was to pay a visit to his local printers, and get his business cards and letterheads ordered. Today, for the new ecommerce businessperson, it’s often the last thing considered, if at all. Business cards are as important in the digital age, as they were before the arrival of the internet, if new leads and customers are not to be missed. Make sure all necessary information is included on your cards. Website URL, your name and position, email address, physical address including postcode, and telephone number(s).
With personalised business email addresses, letterheads are probably the least required item, but it certainly won’t do any harm getting a few printed up. Flyers though, should always be an option. If you intend to do some serious networking at trade shows and exhibitions, getting a few hundred flyers printed up promoting latest products or offers, should be considered a necessity.
Print advertising is still alive and kicking and, for the small, niche, bricks and mortar trader, can be a lot more effective than a post on Facebook. Monthly trade and hobbyist magazines, although not the cheapest, often run group ads for particular areas. While regional newspaper sales have declined, with many local news publishers running online papers, other publications have appeared to take up the slack.
Nowadays, many local councils and astute printers, are printing monthly booklets to help you, ‘Find a Local Tradesman’ or find ‘Local Businesses in your Area.’ Advertising space is relatively cheap and the publications are free, and delivered through every letterbox in the borough.
Do you spend hours of your time trying to improve your online presence. Joining Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Twitter groups is a necessity if you want to promote your brand and attract new suppliers and customers. Although it can be a frustrating and time-consuming job, your online networking efforts can be greatly enhanced by a little offline networking.
Adding offline networking to your marketing toolbox allows you to be proactive, and approach your targeted audience directly, rather than waiting for them to find you online. Seek out your local business communities, Chambers of Commerce and Business Affiliation Clubs. Book to attend any trade fairs in your area, or farther afield.
Approach local schools. Offering to supply a cup for one of the pupil competitions or sports days will normally get your business a mention in the school’s newssheet and during presentations. Get involved with council organised community events, and offer to sponsor one in return for having a company banner displayed at the venue.
Visit Trade Shows and Exhibitions
Trade shows and trade exhibitions are great ways to market your products and get your brand recognised. All those prospective new clients and suppliers all under one roof. All with the same aim in mind – to expand their client/customer database. Initial conversations can lead to exchanged business cards, improved leads and increasing sales.
Book your own Trade Stand
A step up from visiting trade shows, is to book your own stand. Generally let by the square foot, trade, exhibition and event stands are well worth the time and investment required. With like-minded people both exhibiting and visiting the venue, your offline marketing campaign can slip into top gear with the use of company business cards, flyers and posters.
Personalised exhibition display stands, bespoke company banners, and a whole range of trade show equipment and accessories including fridges and drinks cabinets can be hired, delivered to the venue, and collected on the show’s completion. Give your new online ecommerce business the boost it needs, by indulging in some serious offline marketing.