Getting Free Offline Exposure For Your Business

There once was a time when entrepreneurs and small businesses were experts at getting – and harnessing – the power of free press. These businesses found ways to put their name in news stories and their brand in people’s heads without having to pay a dime for the benefit. It was certainly a harder feat to pull off than a paid marketing campaign, but obviously it was a far more cost-effective one.

But, with the rise of the internet, businesses suddenly forgot how to secure free marketing in the offline world. They focused instead on the free benefits they could receive in the virtual world through online reputation management. These businesses created Facebook pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts. They turned to SEO tactics, web analytics, and site design. All of these tactics can help a business’ exposure, to be sure, but for many companies they come at the expense of worthwhile offline strategies.

So how can a business market itself and get free press offline? How can the exposure conferred by social media be matched in the real world? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

-Generate a news story. On the most literal level, a company can get its name in the newspaper by being involved in a news-worthy story.  This can be most easily-accomplished by offering an unusual promotion or making a commitment to a social cause. Becoming a cited source is another good route to pursue.

-Establish a local presence. A small business can easily gain exposure in a local area without having to incur any costs. For example, it could set up a booth at the Fourth of July festivities, hand out water at an area 5k race, or put signage or stickers on the backs of cars.

-Follow the niche. If a business markets its products to a niche demographic, there’s a good chance that this niche comprises a company that connects and interacts in the real world. Such connections may occur through conferences, events, newsletters, meet-ups, and other forms of interaction. By becoming a part of this community, by going to conferences and contributing to forums, a business owner can gain heightened levels of exposure for his brand.

These are just a few of the ways that a business can market itself offline – and do so essentially for free. While internet marketing may at times be easier and more effective, it is a missed opportunity when companies overlook offline potential even in a digital world.

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