In a digital market it’s assumed that the primary way to get the word out about your business is to create a landing page, send a newsletter, post a blog post on your site, or on LinkedIn, and that’s about the gist of it.
However, just because you publish it, they will not visit.
People need an incentive to pay attention. It’s not like it was in the days of Mad Men when everything was new and fresh and uncharted lands were on the horizon. There are no new ideas, at least it seems that way. Everyone has tried everything and just when you think nothing works, you stumble upon new lands.
Creating landing pages, also known as “squeeze pages,” are effective, but not if people aren’t aware about them. So the question is how do I get people to become aware and fill out the form? Because without people taking the time to fill out the form, you’ve got nothing. No name, no email or other contact info, and no idea why they left the page. Drawing attention to the page or offer to begin with is one challenge then getting them to take action is the other half.
That’s why an inbound marketing strategy needs a outbound component.
The online market is crowded, there is white noise every where, and in Louisville, there is an event every day or at least every other day. So what you do offline is almost more important that what you’ve done online to get people interested in your event. Therefore, if you’ve done the work online with a proper inbound strategy, here are somethings to consider now that you’re ready to advertise for outbound.
1) A crowd attracts a crowd.
First off, lets be clear about the idea of promoting your business online and offline. If you can’t draw a crowd of more than 30 people, you don’t have much of an event. A crowd attracts a crowd because it creates curiosity about what’s going on “over there.” The goal is to create a environment that is conducive for networking and business, yet relaxing enough that it doesn’t feel like you are “selling” them. No one likes attending time shares, regardless of the FREE stuff they get after the grueling 3 hour presentation, they would rather get a root canal. So make it fun and keep it light and have food, that always helps.
Without momentum and a healthy attendance, it’s hard to do what’s next.
2) FREE stuff (a.k.a. Swag)
Everyone likes free stuff if they don’t have a lot to give in return. So here is where cool swag comes in handy. Now, if you are not able to spend the money, then get creative, but you’ll need some reasonable budget to do this right and not risk looking like you didn’t try.
Before buying swag, research if your audience is a fit for that type of swag. Not all swag is equal and you could buy a bunch of stuff that you’re not able to give away to promote, because no one wants it. For example, don’t give out Tee-shirts in the middle of winter, or bourbon branded glasses to wine people.
Tech toys are popular, but don’t get the typical swag like USB thumb drives, that’s pretty early 2000’s of you if you do. If you have got the budget go for the universal phone chargers. Why “universal?” Well, that’s because not everyone carries an iPhone, just ask Bill (@BillReyCooks) and you’ll see him rocking the windows phone that doesn’t have an app for that.
The best incentive to use is food and drink, but still mind the crowd of who is attending. Louisville is a foodie town, and you can bet, that if it’s a Element 502 event, there’s food or drink you’re gonna want to checkout. Maybe a surprise guest or two, like our upcoming open house this June. RSVP here by the way and save the date.
3) Mail, then email, then if absolutely necessary, call.
Wedding invites are always mailed, at least last time I checked when this was written. So mail is a really nice creative invite to the group of folks you want to attend. I know a couple of guys on The Fab 4 that can help with that.
People are people not bits of data, which things like Marketers, Google, Facebook and Twitter sometimes make us forget that there is a real person on the other end. Just look at stories about people reaching out to celebrities like Taylor Swift and her responding to the fans surprise. It can happen. I even got a response from the Winter Soldier himself when I tweeted I was for Team Captain America before seeing Civil War this last month.
— Captain America (@CaptainAmerica) April 30, 2016
But seriously, send a personalized email, one at a time, and address it to the person. It may take a while if you have a lot of contacts, but it’s worth it because it shows you care enough to personally invite them. And if they are in your inner circle, and it’s necessary in order to reach them, then call them.
4) Now use social media
Today is about ease of access, or its use, not what it is. Facebook is easy to use, and over 1 billion people are on it, and it’s on their phones. So create a Facebook event and post it. But do one more, make sure you invite your friends and have their friends invite their friends. If you are creative enough, make a game of it, and when the event happens give a prize to the one who invited the most friends to your event. That was free advice, in case you’ve read this far.
Social Media is usually the first thing to think about, and you should. But it’s more important to have a feasible plan on how to use it. Make sure your page is verified, and spend reasonable amounts of money on sponsored ads.
Most importantly use video, because if you have a phone, you’ll notice that is almost 90% of what is on the feeds now. Studies show that video leads to a person spending more time on a web page and more likely to interact. Twitter and Facebook are becoming filled with videos and animated GIF’s to attract clicks and likes and retweets.
I hope all of this helps as you think about your marketing and online strategy this summer, and we hope to see you at our open house event this June 24th. Click the link below to RSVP.