Customers’ minds only perceive one brand, and will work across multiple channels, connecting the dots as they go from platform to platform, to piece together a picture of a company as a whole. Many studies have been done which show that people often multitask their leisure time, researching or playing on their phone, laptop or tablet whilst simultaneously watching TV or reading the paper. So how it is that so many companies fail to connect their offline and online marketing together?
Whilst having beautiful leaflets, witty adverts and a stand out shop front are all important parts of a marketing portfolio, if they do not connect with and enhance your website (and vice versa), then you run the risk of losing customers in the marketing funnel. After all, the most precarious jump is from offline to online.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, here are five ways in which you can make sure your offline and online communications are hand in hand:
- Match the branding – this might seem obvious. However a lot of companies will use different agencies for online and offline marketing, and for different activities as well. Therefore there is the risk of marketing comms looking different; customers might not associate one with the other and you’ll end up losing them due to confusion. Make sure that the creative and other, less obvious elements like font type, are consistent across everything.
- Match the messaging – the best way to get people to remember your brand is consistency. Make sure your main messages and strapline or slogans are the same across all your marketing materials. Key words from particular offline campaigns should be carried over into digital activities. This repetition will make it hard for your potential customers to forget you, and make sure they recognise you from one piece of marketing to the next.
- Website aware – obviously, an easy way to integrate online with offline is to put your web address on everything. After all, there’s no point having a website if you aren’t telling anyone about it. With the online competition being so high for many industries, promoting your site offline will help reach more of your target market and drive traffic to your site. More eyeballs should only mean more sales. It’s amazing how many companies overlook this.
- Be specific – having bespoke landing pages for particular campaigns not only makes the users’ experience much better but helps increase leads. For example, if you advertise an offer on TV you can direct people to a particular landing page which has all the information they need and urges them to take advantage of the offer. Creating bespoke landing pages for each campaign also helps you to track how well those campaigns are going, which in turn helps fine tune future activities as you can evidence what works.
- Up your conversions – finally, once someone has found you online, the key to getting a potential customer to become an actual customer (convert) is to make sure that each element they experience in their encounter with your brand online has a clear and easy succession. In the same vein that you would make sure that your store is laid out in a way that will help your customers easily find what they want, make sure that your website is easy to navigate, functions smoothly and that the the online check-out is streamlined. In the case of landing pages, make sure that there is a clear call-to-action (CTA).
Make it easy for people to cross the divide between offline and online communications: clear messaging and CTAs which are consistent across all your materials are a must. Undoubtedly the more marketing activities that you do, the harder it can be to make sure that everything connects properly. Before any activity, work out what you want people to do as a result and decide key words and messages that you’ll use as integrating activities and channels is almost impossible to do effectively in retrospect.