There are many situations, both in life and business, where “newer” does not necessarily equal “better” – it just means “different.” A prime example is in the field of content marketing, which has existed for around 100 years, way before the computer or the internet were invented.
Many brands forget that content marketing is not just done on the internet. Before the era of online marketing, content marketing included such elements as advertising in newspapers and magazines, direct mail, billboards, and so on. While there is no getting away from the fact that we live in the Internet Age, and technology has revolutionized virtually every aspect of business, to ignore the established and proven methods of content marketing is not only detrimental, it can also be dangerous.
Those who neglect offline marketing do so at their peril.
TrueLine Publishing, a leading trade journal publisher, finds offline practices are still a key to business, and should be an integral part of every business marketing plan. They believe that in a world where almost every brand is depending on online content marketing to meet specific goals, offline marketing can give a company the edge over the competition.
The problem with the internet is one of diminishing attention span. This phenomenon has been exacerbated with the growth of social media sites, SMS texting, and the like. It is best exemplified with the huge success of Twitter, where every message is reduced to a maximum of 140 characters!
These limitations of time and space have seen a new language evolve, which can only be truly understood in its entirety by dedicated aficionados of these forms of communication – although some call into question whether that word is an appropriate description for the mixture of abbreviations and emoticons that are commonly used.
Why is all this relevant to traditional content marketing? Because it relates to the age group and generation of decision makers in business who make the major choices as to how marketing budgets can best be optimized and allocated.
That is the major reasoning behind the contention of companies like TrueLine Publishing that content marketing offline still matters, and it’s one of aspects they point out in the following list of reasons illustrating the relevance and importance of content marketing offline:
- Although we live in a digital era, 75 percent of C-level decision makers are over the age of 45, and still prefer some form of hard copy material to show legitimacy. Why isolate an important client pool when you don’t have to?
- While it is true that many deals are closed over the phone and via email, many others are still closed in person, and being able to hand someone something about your firm that they can flip through and study, which parallels your online content, will help you secure the most business possible.
- Trade shows, seminars and exhibitions are great marketing tools when used properly, and offline marketing collateral is critical in gaining maximum impact at a trade show.
- Humans are tactile creatures. Giving a person something they can touch and feel that is glossy and professional-looking is useful in winning business, even if your prospect never reads it. It’s the equivalent of wearing a nice suit to a business meeting. It’s all about company image.
- To secure long-term business you should not only email, but also direct mail clients something regularly so that your company remains on the forefront of their minds.
To fully integrate your offline and online content marketing efforts, you can add Quick Response (QR) codes to all of your offline content marketing material for your customers to scan with their smartphones. You can choose to take them directly to your website, or any other landing page of your choice. Offline marketing is a terrific way to point your customers to the right online content.
What if your business has a brick-and-mortar location?
While it may be important for some of your customers that your website looks good, they will be judging you and your brand based on how the physical stores or outlets that they visit look. There are many small businesses, such as restaurants, bakeries and cafés that have very special and interesting content inside their premises.
For example, the history of particular food items, the brand itself, delicious recipes, funny anecdotes and silly tag-lines can all be printed out and utilized in one form or another in a physical location. Customers who walk in can amuse themselves by reading such offline content which can then be linked to your online site.
These are just a few examples of why TrueLine Publishing, and companies like them, understand that offline content marketing is not only important, but is absolutely essential as a tangible alternative in a virtual word.