The digital environment we live in today works at a swift pace. And there is little to no room for compromises when it comes to putting a spotlight on your company. And so, plenty of companies, small and big, are faced with the same challenge – “how do I advertise my business?“. Should you focus your marketing efforts on offline or online advertising channels? What are the best strategies for promoting your company? Which are the best places to advertise a company? These are all simple questions without simple answers. But there are always guidelines to follow – and we will take a closer look at some of them right here.
Online vs. offline marketing tactics – which wins out?
Given the modern age we live in and the fact that 8 in every 10 Americans shops online, we can safely presume that online marketing takes first place. However, this doesn’t mean that we should completely shut down offline marketing. After all, there are still countless companies that rely on traditional marketing tactics to make their business stand out. And the target group for offline marketing channels still numbers in millions. So, as far as places to advertise a company go, going off-road from the digital path is always an option. It really depends on the type of business you are running, as well as your customer base.
Then again, as we mentioned – in a rivalry of online vs. offline marketing, online advertising is miles ahead. So, for all those old-school marketers and traditionalists that believe in “good ol’ American capitalism through billboards” – time to change your mindset. By declining to take your business online, you deny yourself a truckload of business opportunities. Time to face reality – digital marketing is here, and it’s not going anywhere. However, your company might if you don’t board the online money train like most of your competitors.
Finding the perfect combination comes down to knowing what your options are. So, let’s look at both sides of the marketing coin – and try to find the best places to promote your company in all aspects.
Best places to advertise a company offline
Although not as much as before, the concept of advertising on television can still work for companies. As far as places for advertising your business are concerned, TV ads can influence roughly 44 percent of viewers. That is how a well-placed ad can bring in an entirely new audience to your business. In fact, popular research made the following conclusions when it came to the best places to advertise a company offline:
- 39% of consumers claim that word of mouth led them to search for a company online.
- 31% of consumers said that magazines/newspaper ads were the reasons why they search for a company online.
- 19% referred to the radio as their source of information about a company they reached out to.
- 11% decided to look up a company online after seeing a billboard advertisement.
Rather than merely leaving you with terms and imagination in how to advertise, I decided to go a step further. So, I will go ahead and explore some of the finer ways to make traditional marketing tactics work for you today. So, here are some brainstorming ideas on how to take a simple offline marketing approach and expand it to modern audiences.
1. Creating a buzz that will revolve around your business
We’ve all heard it: “No such thing as bad publicity” – and time and time again, it proves true. For every ten positive marketing campaigns out there, there is a negative one. However, the surprise is when that negative approach creates a more significant buzz than the positive ones. It all comes down to the path you take. Are you going to leave a mysterious one-word ad on a billboard? Or are you going to create a dramatic story about how your company came into existence? Perhaps you will take it a step further and use guerrilla marketing strategies to boost brand awareness. It really doesn’t matter, so long as you find a space visible enough for people to notice the message you are trying to convey.
2. Publishing newspaper ads
As far as low-cost places to advertise a company offline go, this is probably one of the most budget-friendly ones. Whether you are publishing ads in the state, local, high school or college newspapers – you can appeal to a large number of people. All it takes is a well-thought-out ad that will pop in the eyes of the readers. Consider using a stronger design, or perhaps a short comic, or an easily recognizable illustration. Think about what gets your attention most when you are going through hard print.
3. Using promotional products is always welcome
People always welcome the notion of free stuff. Although some are reluctant to admit it, we all love to get promotional products. No matter how useless to us they might be, we will still take them because – hey, it’s free. So, gifting products or sample that serve to advertise a company offline is definitely a good approach. It’s just a matter of finding the right type of items to give out – something that will correctly define the connection between potential customers and your business. The more practical, the better.
4. Use business cards for advertising a company offline
Sometimes, the right timing and a well-designed business card are all it takes to make a sale. I know – it sounds so simple that it’s impossible to believe. But it actually works. Your typical business card has all the basic information people need to find your business – address, email, phone number, logo, and slogan. Add to that a great and appealing design, and you get a slam dunk for spreading your brand in person. Whether we’re talking about public events, conferences, seminars, or everyday situations – a business card should always be handy.
5. Offering free lunch to potential customers or partners
If you are running a company in a larger city or near one, chances are that there will be plenty of conferences, trade shows, and fairs in your area. That gives you the perfect opportunity to talk up potential clients by taking them out to a good diner or restaurant. Just think about all those businesses lunches and how significant a role they play in completing a deal.
Millennials would say that online products and services sell themselves. However, older marketers and salespeople know the importance of in-person contact. Whether you are looking to sell a piece of moving company software, an e-commerce app, or simply a new car – doing it over lunch is a great way to do so. Plus, it presents your business in the best possible light, as modern with traditional values and beliefs.
6. Using printed promotional materials to advertise a company
Coupons, handouts, and flyers are always an excellent way to remind people that your business is there and ready to do business. Using colorful brochure templates or simply implementing desktop publishing is all it really takes. It’s even better if you put some creative thought into it all, and make your promo material in practical shapes such as doorknob hangers, bookmarkers, etc. Once you have that, it’s just a matter of finding a large enough crowd to hand them out to.
Best places to advertise a company online
Modern marketing trends imply that paid ads are 50% more likely to convert leads into clients than organic links. However, a lot of this has to do with the fact that paid ads target smaller and specific audiences. So, there is an upside and downside to it all. Of course, with so many online users today, you can’t ignore the potential for promoting your business online. As a matter of fact, you have companies that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on digital marketing services. Since mobile device users multiply daily, making an effort to appeal through their devices becomes essential in modern-day business.
So, when we consider all that, the decision to advertise a company online becomes all the more apparent. But there is still the question of where precisely online to advertise. Well, let’s see whether any of these places make you think:
1. Google – the obvious choice for any business today
Google AdWords, also referred to as merely Google Ads today, has become the standard online advertising choice for companies, big and small. The revenue speaks for itself. When compared with the combined 19.6% of the runner-ups (Facebook and Instagram), Google took 37.2% of digital ad dollars.
If you had the chance to follow the Google Marketing Live 2019 conference, it would be clear why it is so dominant when it comes to online advertising. According to data from 2017, “businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.” Today, that ROI is even more significant. Therefore, the decision to invest in promoting your business on Google is a decision that makes perfect sense if looking for places to advertise a company online.
2. Bing – the runner-up among places to advertise a company online
Although it uses a system similar to that of Google, what separates Bing is that their user base is much smaller. As the third-largest share of the search market, Bing is among the top choices for all those online users that find Google not to their liking. That is also why it presents such an excellent opportunity to advertise to an entirely new audience.
Another vital differential of using Bing as one of the places to advertise a company – its audience spends 36% more time shopping online than other search engine users. As a result, Bing can easily benefit the development of your business in terms of quality and quantity of leads. You end up:
- Competing with fewer companies for keyword placement,
- Creating custom bids for relevant keywords,
- And your ads can appear on the side, top, and bottom of organic searches.
3. Facebook – great for targeting specific audiences
If you are looking for optimal access to industry-specific audiences and demographically-oriented ads, Facebook Ads are definitely an ideal choice of places to advertise a company. Although it can be costly, it offers an excellent ROI so long as you set all the parameters right. The sheer diversity of the ads and their placement is what makes Facebook such a severe contender in this category. Ads that you bid for can include videos and images, and they can appear in the:
- Side panel
- Messenger area
4. Instagram – the advertising choice of millennials
Instagram has become known as the extension of each millennial. The downside of using it is the sheer cost it can amount to. However, the platform has proven exceptional for brand-supported or sponsored posts. Another way to boost your presence is to partner with influencers, popular Instagram users, other brands, etc. And given the fact that Facebook owns Instagram, the ads follow the same methodology, the only difference being that Instagram emphasizes photo and video ads through stories and feeds.
5. LinkedIn – the perfect choice for a B2B approach to advertising
If you are more interested in a B2B approach to advertising, then LinkedIn is the solution for you. As a social network for business professionals, you can use sponsored or dynamic ads to promote your company. And given the business-oriented character of the platform, you can easily reach the decision-makers.
You can target your ads based on industry or location. Then again, you can also make them specialized to business size, position, seniority, and more. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn ad auctions operate on audiences.
6. Pinterest – for the more visual and creative ads
As a visual platform for seeking out creative ideas, Pinterest is excellent for promoting your digital brochures and other similar materials. Usually a combination of texts and images, your ads appear as promoted pins. Using Pinterest in terms of places to advertise a company can bring in engagement, traffic, and awareness for your brand.
7. Twitter – great for securing well-educated and well-to-do leads
Despite the diverse range of users it has, Twitter attracts plenty of professionals and business-oriented people. So, Twitter Ads have plenty of options to offer, whether your target audiences are other businesses or young people. Although primarily a text-oriented place to advertise a company, this platform also offers other tactics such as hashtags, tweets, trends, even pictures and videos from time to time. And most find it appealing due to its vast targeting opportunities when it comes to advertising.
In conclusion – the choice falls to your creativity and expectations
As I explained here today, as far as places to advertise a company go – the options are limitless. And I have no doubt in my mind that the future will only open more doors towards online channels of advertising. However, this does not mean that you should absolutely give up on offline advertising. In fact, my advice would be to find the perfect balance – focusing most of your advertising efforts on online while always leaving some room to expand your visibility in real-time.
Ultimately, the solution lies in figuring out the budget you have to work with and the type of leads you are aiming for. Once you have that, everything else will easily fall into place.