For a successful e-commerce site, you need help? Boom, you have thousands of helpful sites that will tell you step-to-step processes to build SEO or take their help. However, we began to ask the question, What happened to offline branding? Is it no longer relevant?
Online marketing provides the opportunity for hyper-targeting because you know exactly what people are searching for, as opposed to posting a billboard advert in a city center and hoping that a few people like what they see. However, studies have shown that offline well-implemented marketing can boost your online performance by up to 40%. Thus, your offline branding efforts could bring in a huge online return on investment.
How Offline Branding Impacts SEO
Major ad-agencies, as well as the master of all. Google is not turning a blind eye to the impact of offline marketing on online search. Brand mentions are now an important part of Google’s search signals, and there is quite a bit of evidence in its favor.
According to Moz, late in April 2014, Google brought in few tweaks to its Panda Algorithm. There has long been speculation about how Google will measure “brand authority”. Even if it is hypothetically feasible, how is it possible to measure an almost intangible thing at scale and via a complex formula?
A patent filed on the march, which some say could be the Panda patent may have gone some way to answering that question. Though this patent is complex, wordy, and difficult to interpret, it starts by talking about what Google calls reference queries.
“A reference query for a particular group of resources is a previously submitted search query that has been categorized as referring to a resource in the particular group of resources”. It allows Google to look at what terms people have used previously through search to find and then click on a site, or group of sites. In doing so, it would then also allow them to map relevant queries and mentions of a brand to a site in order to further extend an understanding of the popularity of that site.
It means that once a connection is made by someone typing in a brand name or other search query and then clicking on a site it creates a connection in Google’s eyes. The search engine can then store that info and use the unlinked mentions around the web in order to help weight rankings of particular sites.
Due to Panda algorithm updates, the search engine is now taking “brand searches” into consideration. This means that if someone searches for your company through Google, the search engine recognizes that someone has shown interest. The more brand searches, the better your rankings.
Offline branding actually works, and it allows you to expand your brand to the point of full recognition. Many thought that it was useless to focus on offline branding, considering how the biggest companies in the world still take out radio, newspaper, magazine, TV and billboard ads.
On the backside, Google penalizes sites that have built up too many bad links to their website. If a site has thousands of backlinks, but a small number of brand searches, that is unnatural according to Google. The goal is to prompt users to search for your company online, while at the same time, naturally convincing people to write about your company and link back.
Offline Branding Strategies That Work Effectively
1. Speak At Events Physically
Physically speaking at events leverage a huge marketing opportunity. Speaking in front of an audience makes you known amongst a targeted audience that is already ready to listen to your speech and what you have to offer, and can be a highly effective medium to network and obtain leads.
The reality is that face-to-face networking is a great ploy to connect with clientele and reveal the face behind your own company logo and brand. They can also help drive traffic to your website, allowing the contacts you’ve made in person to learn more about you and your firm.
2. E-mail And Direct Mailers
Even though direct mailers are expensive than online marketing strategies, it serves to be effective in generating leads that create a personalized approach and acts a boost for offline branding in place of SEO. Sending email for marketing with direct mail can lead the target audience to believe that you are interested in their needs.
3. Calling Consistently
Phone calls are more personal than any other online medium and receive instant responses from your intended audience. Do make a reason for the call and even be considerate of using the call receiver’s time. Calls help companies to reach out to potential marketing partners especially for a possible collaboration of content together.
4. Guerrilla Marketing
Guerilla or ‘experiential’ marketing relives the brand in a physical space that can attract most of the potential and existing customers. Post-it notes, physical website creations, interactive videos, and larger-than-life product recreations, etc. are effective in boosting online traffic. Guerilla marketing is an effective strategy for offline branding that brings the brand alive.
5. Local Print Publications
Like print ads, publishing an article for a publication, get you more potential customers through offline channels. Although it is expensive to run, one needs to opt for the print ads carefully and within a stipulated budget, but print, when targeted in well-known publications and spaces where target audiences are likely to view the ad and respond to it. Additionally, having a QR code on those ads can bring profitable customer traffic.