Offline Marketing For Startups

In the past, businesses could effectively market themselves through mass advertising such as television commercials and newspaper ads. While this approach still has some merit, it’s not as effective as before because it only reaches a limited audience. Today, with so many competing businesses out there, it’s more important than ever to be where your potential customers are looking for information – online.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Offline Marketing For Startups, offline marketing ideas for events, offline marketing ideas for college events, and examples of offline marketing.

Offline Marketing For Startups

If you’re a startup, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. You might have a great product or service, but if no one knows about it then what good is that? That’s where marketing comes in. Marketing is how you get people to know about your business and want to do business with you. It’s important for every business owner to understand this concept because even though marketing can be expensive, not investing in it can cost even more money down the line when new customers aren’t coming through your doors. In this blog post we’ll go over some basic concepts of effective online marketing for startups so that you can start building an effective strategy today!

Go to the Chamber of Commerce

A good place to start is the Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great resource for small businesses as it offers networking opportunities, information on events, and information on local legislation.

Pose with your product

  • Pose with your product.
  • Have a backdrop.
  • Use social media to share it.
  • Share on a photo sharing site.
  • Use hashtags and tags, and make sure those photos are visible to the public so that people who don’t follow you can see them too!

Go to local events

  • Why it’s important: Going to local events will help you reach new people who may not have heard of your startup before.
  • What kind of events are best for startups? Startups should attend events where there’s a lot of foot traffic. This means that if you’re at an event with 200 people, it is less likely that 100 or more of them are looking for a product related to yours. Instead, go to an event where there is a large number of single attendees—people who might be interested in what you have to offer and could potentially be customers later on down the line.
  • How do I find local events? There are several ways to find local startup events near you:
  • Search Eventbrite for “Startup Weekend” or “Hackathon” (these are two common names used by these types of gatherings). You can also use Google Search Tools’ “near me” function ( which allows users to search for businesses and other places within a certain distance from their current location

Get a billboard

The cost of a billboard varies wildly, but generally falls between $5,000 and $25,000 for a month’s worth of ads. The average price is about $12,500 per month for a single billboard in major cities like New York City or Chicago.

For a more targeted audience, you can rent space at bus stops and train stations (these are usually cheaper), or even put up your own sidewalk signs near bus stops and train stations.

Of course, where you put the billboard depends on what kind of message you want to convey. If it’s an ad promoting your app or website then putting it close to home will be more effective than plopping it down on 5th Avenue in Manhattan—unless that is where all your customers are based! A good rule of thumb is if they can see it from their front door then they might be interested enough to click through.

Give away media in a public place

Giveaways can be an effective strategy to get your name out in the community, and it can also help you build relationships with people who may not have heard of your business otherwise. When it comes to giveaways, however, there are some things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Be careful about how many giveaways you do. You don’t want to give away so much that people start getting annoyed by them! The key here is moderation; if people see a giveaway on Instagram every day, they will probably lose interest quickly and stop paying attention altogether. Try giving away something once or twice per week at most—more than that and risk losing all credibility with potential customers.

Put flyers on car windshields

Flyer distribution is one of the most effective marketing tactics for startups. A good flyer should be eye-catching and informative enough to make people want to read more. The best flyers are placed in high-traffic areas such as parking lots, street corners and busy intersections. Flyer distribution can also be used to advertise special events like launch parties or product launches.

Go to a trade show

Going to trade shows is one of the best things you can do for your company. It’s a great way to get your product in front of customers, get feedback on it, meet other entrepreneurs and even get press.

Trade shows are also an excellent place for networking with people who have similar interests as you. You can find someone who can help you make connections with companies or individuals that might be interested in working together.

Get interviewed for the news/blog/magazine

Here’s what you should do if your startup gets an interview:

  • Congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’re now officially “famous!”
  • When the interviewer calls, be very polite and professional. Say things like “thank you so much for this opportunity, I really appreciate it. I know how busy you must be and I really appreciate the time you took to call me back.” These are things that people like hearing when they take time out of their day to talk with someone else on the phone. It makes them feel good about themselves and helps build trust between the two of you which will make them more likely to write something nice about your company in their article or blog post or whatever else they’re writing about it for media exposure purposes etcetera etcetera etcetera…

offline marketing ideas for events

Inspire your marketing strategy with this list of 25 creative offline marketing examples. Featuring examples from Facebook, Starbucks, Nissan and more.

In the 1990s, online marketing—the practice of driving actions on the internet—exploded. Marketers suddenly found themselves in race to optimize and outcompete with banner ads, search engine optimization, social media, retargeting and a slew of other digital marketing channels.

While online marketing isn’t going anywhere soon, offline marketing—formerly known as just “marketing”—has had a recent resurgence.

According to the Event Marketing 2018 Report, 95% of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.

Of course, live events are just one form of offline marketing. Other types of offline marketing include:

We have compiled a list of 25 creative offline marketing examples from a wide variety of leading brands to inspire your marketing strategy.

To learn more about how you and your team can unleash the power of offline experience, download the Moment Marketing Ebook.

1) 2014 Winter Olympics – 30 Squats for a Train Ticket

As part of the 2014 Winter Olympics Sochi promotional campaign, a special train ticketing machine was built in the Vystavochnaya station, west of Moscow. Passengers could save a buck for their train ride by doing 30 squats in exchange for a free train ticket. This was an attempt at promoting an active lifestyle as well as the upcoming Olympics event amongst commuters.

Main Takeaway: Everyone likes free stuff. But you can always give your audience something to do before they can receive that prize. It can make your your marketing campaign more fun and memorable.

2) IKEA – Inspiration Boxes

In Montreal, Canada, there is a specific day dedicated to moving houses for the residents. IKEA, the mega furniture store, has always supplies free IKEA-branded moving boxes. But in 2014, they decided to innovate on the current campaign by designing theses free moving boxes as actual-sized replicas of IKEA furnitures. Montrealers were able to move into their new home and then test out IKEA products before committing to a purchase.

Main Takeaway: Sometimes, you don’t need a new marketing campaign, you simply need to revisit an old or current campaign and give it a new splash of creativity to kick it back into high gear.

3) Burger King – McWhopper

Burger King conducted a daring guerrilla marketing campaign by unexpectedly offering a truce with McDonald’s to support a non-profit called Peace One Day. Burger King took out a print ad in the New York Times with an open letter to the McDonald’s CEO and also bought billboards next to the McDonald’s restaurants to publicly offer a collaboration with them. The campaign took McDonald’s by surprise and McDonald’s actually turned down the offer. But the campaign generated a significant number of fans who followed an online instructional video by Burger King to create and share content of themselves eating a self-made “McWhopper”.

Main Takeaway: Consider ways to leverage your market share leader or competitor’s brand name and popularity.

4) Starbucks – Loyalty Rewards Program

Loyalty Rewards Programs are a dime a dozen these days, but the program at Starbucks really stands out from the rest. Customers can earn stars for purchases at Starbucks coffee outlets. These stars can then be used in exchange for free drinks in the future. As they continue to do so, they can unlock free drinks and other perks. Taking this to the next level, the program may offer free drinks to delinquent customer. The end-result is a full-funnel customer retention initiative.

Main Takeaway: While investing in attracting new customers, don’t neglect opportunities for retaining existing ones. As the adage goes: It’s a lot more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep the ones you have.

5) PepsiCo – Nationwide Blind Taste Test

Since the dawn of time people have debated one question: Coca-Cola or Pepsi? In the 1980s, Pepsi entered the soda market against the market leader, Coca-Cola. As part of this aggressive their aggressive entry strategy, the brand launched a nationwide blind taste test with both products. Incredibly enough, consumers were picking Pepsi over Coca-Cola by a significant margin. Pepsi touted the results across the country and generated enormous publicity from it. Subsequently, the Pepsi brand saw a huge spike in their sales.

Main Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to go toe-to-toe with competitors, especially if your brand is a newer entrant in a particular market.

6) Fox TV – A Living Poster

To promote the new show, The F Word, the marketing team at Fox TV peppered an interactive posters throughout the streets of Los Angeles. As unsuspecting people walked by, Gordon Ramsay (the show’s host) spoke to them through the poster. The interactive poster was built with a video camera and microphones for passers-by to see and converse with Chef Ramsay in real time.

Main Takeaway: Incorporating different digital and technological influences in your offline strategies can be effective ways in engaging your audience. Especially if it’s novel.

7) Tomorrowland – Invitations Sent Through Treasure Chests

Customers are often the best ambassadors for a brand. Consider Tomorrowland, an annual music dance festival held in Belgium that is easily one of the biggest electronic dance festivals in the world. Tickets are sold out year after year and mailed straight to the doorstep of the registrants. The “tickets” are wristbands packaged in an extravagant treasure chest. The feeling of exclusivity along with the extravagance of the chest entices many attendees to film and share videos of the unboxing online with their friends and family.

Main Takeaway: Give your consumers something to feel proud or exclusive about, and they’ll return the favor through through their own promotion.

8) Minnesota State Fair – Bingo Cards

Bingo cards are making a comeback. You heard that right. At the 2017 Minnesota State Fair, organizers encouraged attendees to explore different stalls and participate in different activities by providing them with a bingo card that they could mark off for each completed action.

Main Takeaway: You can gamify an offline experience in many different ways, not just using by using bingo cards. Whether it’s through a scavenger hunt, a business card rase, or networking bingo—event gamification can help drive audience engagement.

9) 20th Century Fox – Revitalizing Age-Old Advertising Platforms

The marketing team behind 2016’s Deadpool movie took a unique offline angle by putting the film’s titular character front and center in the ads design and tone. They launched a series of campaigns that channeled the character’s infamous 4th-wall-breaking irreverent humor. One of these campaigns involved billboards that spelled “Deadpool” in a…creative way. Soon the billboard made the jump from offline to online to become a viral sensation.

Main Takeaway: Don’t overlook conventional or “out-of-trend” methods as lost causes. Even the most tired marketing channels can be approached in unique ways.

10) Virgin Atlantic – First Class Park Bench For one experiential marketing campaign, Virgin Atlantic placed a First Class Bench in Manhattan in an attempt to recreate the experience New Yorkers would have when flying with Virgin Atlantic. When passers-by sat on the bench, they were greeted by air stewardesses offering them lunch and champagne, while the “in-flight” entertainment was recreated with live performances.

Main Takeaway: Sometimes, your audience may not be able to physically demo or experience your product. Use offline methods to bring that experience to them instead.

offline marketing ideas for college events

Long gone are the days when you could find everything you needed to know in the humble newspaper. We live in a world where you can find an abundance of knowledge with a few taps.

In fact, over 51% of smartphone users said they use their phones to discover new companies and products.

But this wealth of online information can pose a challenge for businesses. Instead of competing against a handful of local companies, your competition is the entire world.

There are times you need to step offline and use real-life marketing techniques to increase your brand’s exposure.

But how can you build a strong brand offline? Read on for 10 event marketing ideas.

Offline Event Marketing IdeasIs offline marketing worth the effort?

If you’re only online, you may come across as a faceless machine. But if you don’t touch the online network that gives you exposure to the entire world, you’ll be limiting your customer base.

Most businesses will succeed when they use BOTH online and offline marketing strategies. You’ve probably got your online strategy sorted. But what about offline?

1. The Traditional Business Card

Even though we live in a digital world, business cards are still essential to any business to inform potential customers about your business.

You’ll not find a company without them. In fact, 27 million business cards are printed each day!

That’s just under 10,000,000,000 billion business cards printed annually.

Business cards are a quick and efficient way to introduce someone to your company and the services you provide.

Your business card should direct them to your physical location and your online presence and should be kept simple. Overcrowding your business card will confuse your prospect and he or she will toss it out.

Less is more, don’t clutter your business card with all of your business information and services.

A good design balance can be achieved with minimal and basic information and design.

The Long Beach SBDC business card example is easy to read with just their basic information that includes their name, title, location, contact number, and web address.

Each business card should include the following information.

Hand them out wherever you go and leave them in strategic locations. You never know who will pick one up and need your professional help.

2. Flyers that Fly

Like business cards, flyers are one of the best local marketing ideas around.

But they can give a lot more information than a business card.

But first impressions are key. So make sure it’s designed to entice your prospect with an offer they can’t refuse.

Perhaps your offer can be a buy one get one free or a 10% discount when they bring in the flyer to buy your product or service.

Like business cards, leave them anywhere and everywhere. At promo fairs, at other businesses, parks, washrooms…anywhere and everywhere!

In the video below Carmen Sognonvi goes over 3 important tips to get your flyers looking right and to generate leads to your business.

When creating your flyer think about who you’ll be targeting. What are their behaviors? Where do they hang out at?

What kind of movies do they like? Comedy, Romance, Action, Drama, Horror? Where do they go to get informed? What do they like to eat? What do they do for a living?

Ask yourself these questions to start brainstorming ideas to craft your message and get the people that you want to attract with your flyer.

3. Walking Advertisements

Create walking advertisements by giving out promo t-shirts.

Using t-shirts for marketing is one of the most fashionable ways to promote your business and ideas that do the work for you.

After you’ve handed out your attention-grabbing t-shirt, the person wearing it will walk around and advertise for you for free!

If it’s a great quality t-shirt we can bet that the person will wear it every week without you having to ask him or her to wear it.

All you have to do is sit back and relax.

But make sure the t-shirt actually looks stylish and not a cheap throw away tee, otherwise, they won’t wear it!

The most popular color t-shirt is Black and the second most popular color is White, so make sure your logo or design can work well with these colors.

But if you really want to catch someone’s attention a Red color t-shirt with a simple white color logo can really stand out if the most popular colors are white and black.

We’ve reviewed 5 of the best quality t-shirts that people love to wear. These t-shirts are super comfortable and stylish so make sure you pick the right tee that your customers will love to wear.

4. Successful Signs

You can also do offline marketing through signage.

You might not be able to pay for a huge billboard, but banners, flags and sidewalk signs all have the same effect.

The key is to grab attention. Be bold, funny and FORGET ABOUT BEING BLAND!

People will most likely remember a funny or bold sing that will get their attention.

The most successful signs will make people do a double take. Use bright or contrasting colors if you can that will pop out.

Place your signs where they have the highest visibility possible or where there is a lot of traffic and preferably a busy intersection where there are red lights.

Add your website or a QR code to direct customers to your online services or products if they don’t have time to stop by your store.

5. Tis the Season

Another creative marketing idea is to send out seasonal cards.

Sending seasonal cards used to be a common thing for businesses, but now it’s a rarity.

Surprise your clients with a thank you card or holiday card that will remind them of you throughout the holiday seasons.

On the card, you can invite them to a specific event. Or simply remind them of the services you provide and a thank you for their business.

Greeting cards are a small touch that most businesses do not take advantage of to make a stronger connection with your customers.

A seasonal card is like the cherry on top.

This personal touch may help them to be more inclined to choose your company over competitors the next time they need your services.

6. Influencer Collaboration

Another creative marketing idea is hiring a brand ambassador.

Of course, they work online using social media platforms. But an “influencer” can do many things offline too.

They are hired to promote and talk about your product or service to their following on social media.

Look for influencers that have a large online following typically ranging from 10,000 to 100,000+ followers.

Ask them to come by your restaurant for a month of free meals, shop at your boutique, get free tires if you have a tire shop or in exchange for your services to get their existing audience attention to your business.

In the video below, Neil Patel goes over the basics of finding the right influencers that can help promote your business to a wider audience.

You can offer them free products or services or pay them for posting on their social media pages that have good engagement.

They can wear your swag, talk positively about your business and your services. They can also use their influence to advertise any special events you are organizing.

You can reach out to them on Instagram, Facebook or Youtube by looking for related hashtags, videos related to your industry or tweets that match what your looking for.

7. Promo Trade Shows

Head to a trade show to build brand awareness, meet with other vendors, clients, and network with suppliers.

Although it’s more of an investment than other options, it’s worth the knowledge and information you’ll get about your industry.

You can use trade shows to market and advertise your company in several ways.

For instance, you can give away freebies, create competitions, speak at workshops, and make presentations about your products and services that will position you as an authority in your space.

Make your brand stand out. Use customized tablecloths with your branded logo, vendor tents, backdrops displays for sponsors and guest pictures or specialized trade show displays.

Even if you’re not big enough to set up your own booth, you have to attend industry trade shows to know what your competition is doing and not doing.

If you can’t afford a booth like your biggest competitor, you can simply hand out business cards and flyers.

Examples Of Offline Marketing

When done badly, billboards, flyers and coupons in the post can sometimes feel outdated, especially when you want to stand out from the competition. It can be tempting to stick to online marketing as it’s new, modern and exciting – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most effective.When done right, printed materials can make just as much of an impact as online campaigns. 

By turning traditional marketing methods on their heads and getting creative, you can still attract customers and clients to your business and they may be even more receptive than your online audience. Here are eight offline marketing examples that intrigue buyers.

1. Catch Their Eye with a Billboard Ad

Because we live in a digital era, many believe that billboard ads are an out-of-trend method. However, it’s important not to overlook this traditional marketing method, as it can be approached in a unique way that catches the eye of passersby. 

Take a look at this billboard ad by The Economist. 

Not only is it bold, but it’s also interactive. When people walk past it, the lightbulb turns on. 

Creating a billboard like the one above may be out of your budget, but that doesn’t mean your billboard can’t have an impact. Just take a look at these statistics:

2. Do a Taste Test

Whether you offer delicious pastries, luxury gin or subscription-based products, taste tests and trials are a great way to entice more customers to your store. With taste tests, prospective customers can enjoy a sample of your food, embracing the smell, taste and texture of your produce. It’s a great way to show off your high quality produce while also getting any feedback from prospective customers. 

For subscription-based services, offering a trial period gives customers a chance to see if your product meets their requirements. They’ll have the knowledge they need to decide whether or not to commit to subscribing for the long term. That way, you’ll have customers who really want the product, increasing customer satisfaction. 

3. Send Out Seasonal Cards and Gifts

There are seasonal holidays, national holidays and your own special company milestones throughout the year that are ideal for reminding customers who you are and what you offer. 

For seasonal and national holidays, sending out a card is a great way to celebrate with customers. And when you’re celebrating your company’s 10th, 15th or even 30th birthday, sending out gifts to your customers to thank them for their support will go a long way in making customers feel valued. 

You could even accompany these cards and gifts with a discount code. 

4. Memorable Freebies

Everybody loves getting something for free – even more so if it’s something they can use in their day-to-day life. By creating merchandise such as pens, pads, mugs or tote bags and offering these to prospective customers, they’ll become walking adverts for your business. 

With a high-quality print on your branded travel mug, not only will the customer be reminded of your business on a regular basis, but people they interact with will be exposed to the merchandise too. 

For example, here at B&B Press, we created some diamond inspired notebooks and merchandise to celebrate our 60th year. It was a great way to mark the occasion and everyone loved receiving their free gift. 

5. Welcome With a Branded Gift

Got a new client? Show them you care with a creative welcoming gift, just like B&B Press did for the University of Salford.

It may seem quicker and cheaper to simply send out a welcoming email to your prospective client, but with the average inbox being filled with 50% spam emails, only 20% of emails are ever opened. 

But by sending a welcoming gift in the post, you can almost guarantee that your new client will see it.

The above project was created for potential students who had received an offer from the university. This eye-catching gesture was sent out in the post containing a lanyard and an information pack to help reinforce that the University of Salford is the right choice for them. 

Here at B&B Press, we know consistency is key when it comes to strong branding. That’s why we completed this project on our LED UV press which keeps the colours bright, vibrant and consistent with the rest of their printed materials.

6. Put Their Name on It

Unique, one-of-a-kind, perfect-for-you – personalisation. In 2014, Coca-Cola kicked off its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign which was an instant success, particularly among millennials. The campaign consisted of Coca-Cola replacing its iconic brand name with the most popular names in America and around the world. 

Around the world, people found a very special bottle of coke with their name written all over it. And for those who couldn’t find their name on a bottle, Coca-Cola invited people to customise a mini can for themselves.

This campaign prompted people to connect and share a coke with family and friends, driving up sales. 

Personalisation is a powerful marketing and sales tool. In fact, a study by O2 found that adding personalisation experience to shopping could lift sales by 7.8%. Not only that but 56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer if it offered a good personalised experience. 

7. Creative Window Displays

Your window display should make passersby stop, take notice and come into your store. 

If a person walks by your store every day and the display never changes, they’ll never take notice. But by updating your display every season, you’ll create an engaging, inviting, eye-catching display that makes people think “that’s new, I’ll just pop in to take a look.”

This window display perfectly captures the move from summer to autumn. Warm and inviting, the natural plant decorations are easy to replicate and are perfectly placed around items for sale so they don’t look out of place. 

8. A Classic Catalogue

From furniture to clothes, printed catalogues provide a unique tangibility that’s just not possible with online marketing. With offline marketing, there are no ads, pop-ups or notifications. Your customers can immerse themselves in your catalogue and spend time flicking through pages, creating ‘dog ears’ on pages they want to return to and circle important information.

Created with a deliberately minimal cover and finished with black foiling, this catalogue exudes style through its simplicity. Plus, not only is it a beautifully designed and printed brochure, but it’s also completely Carbon Balanced. This means the average CO2 created during the entire paper production and mill delivery have been offset. 

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