4 Non-Digital Marketing Channels for Small Businesses (and Why You Still Need a Digital Strategy)

4 Non-Digital Marketing Channels for Small Businesses (and Why You Still Need a Digital Strategy)

As a small business leader, you have read about the value of digital marketing for small businesses — but you want to set your business apart with a few marketing techniques based in the real world. Non-digital marketing requires creativity, but you can increase the visibility of your small business brand using the following channels:

Direct Mail Can Be Magical

Direct mail — which is also called snail mail by much of the population, due to how long it takes for messages to travel from senders to recipients — feels like a marketing technique that went out of fashion with horse-drawn carriages. However, direct mail has an ROI of 29 percent, putting it behind only email and social media as the marketing channel that gives you the most bang for your buck. Inexpensive and remarkably effective, direct mail could add balance to your overall marketing strategy, reaching members of your audience who are not as invested in online channels.

The opportunities within the field of direct mail are almost endless. You might send postcards with coupons, thank-you and holiday cards to loyal customers or brochures and catalogs before your peak season. You should experiment with different types of direct mailers to discover which strategies best suit your needs.

Don’t neglect the power of flyer marketing either. Eye-catching flyers with clear calls to action can be a great addition to your direct mail strategy. Consider including a smaller flyer tucked into your postcards or brochures to promote a specific sale or event.

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Billboards Receive Big Views

Billboards are massive advertisements placed in high-traffic locations. Because consumers tend to see billboards while moving at high speeds, their advertising messages must be quick and effective. As a result, many consumers continue to think about billboards during the remainder of their travels — and 68 percent make shopping decisions right there in their cars.

The cost of advertising on a billboard tends to be low; in fact, all billboards in North America make up less than 3 percent of the advertising spend of North American companies. If there are no traditional billboards in your area, you might consider billboards of a different sort, like mobile billboards on vehicles or posters adhered to building exteriors.

Event Marketing Is Exciting

Event marketing involves organizing an event which customers, members of your target audience, industry partners and more may enjoy. Events should deliver some value to their guests, be it education about products or trends or else fun, exciting opportunities to relax and meet new people. While many events have moved into digital spaces in recent years, traditional in-person events can be more engaging to certain types of consumers.

Event planning might sound daunting — because it is. However, you can start small with a meet-up amongst loyal customers and work up to multi-day conferences with hundreds of guests. As you are developing your event, you need to think about the interests and needs of your target audience, so they will feel more connected to your small business than ever before.

Businesses Need Networks, Too

Many young professionals learn early the importance of building a professional network, and the truth is that small businesses need to build and tend to their networks, as well. The larger your business’s network, the greater your audience reach. Therefore, you should spend some time networking with other small business leaders in your area and in your industry. You can join membership organizations, like your local chamber of commerce, and attend industry conferences to make valuable connections for your business.

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Digital Marketing Still Reigns Supreme

There are many non-digital marketing avenues for your small business to consider — but that doesn’t mean you can or should abandon digital marketing entirely. The number of people you can reach with a non-digital campaign pales in comparison to the many millions who might interact with a social media post or digital ad. What’s more, many consumers are online with the intention of making a purchase (or converting in some other way) so if you can find them with the right digital marketing strategies, your business will benefit.

If you have struggled to see success with digital marketing methods in the past, you might work with a firm that specializes in small business marketing. Experienced and dedicated digital marketers are more than willing to integrate non-digital channels into their overarching strategies to achieve client goals and ensure mutual success.


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Shankar is a tech blogger who occasionally enjoys penning historical fiction. With over a thousand articles written on tech, business, finance, marketing, mobile, social media, cloud storage, software, and general topics, he has been creating material for the past eight years.