Combining online and offline advertising


There’s been much discussion on the strategies between traditional marketing and digital marketing – mostly regarding how effective one is over the other. The former practice consisted mostly of dividing concentrations on online and offline strategies, but experts now consider that melding the two together can reap better benefits, as long as both campaigns are focused on a central message.

It matters less the vehicle of the message, but instead what the message consists of. The most obvious reason for combining the two efforts is the reaching out to customers from one mode of marketing to alert them of other methods of marketing (or incentives) in another venue. But how best to integrate both offline and online marketing tools together?

Combining Mobile and Physical Locations

As anyone who has ever glanced at their Facebook feed can tell you, people like to announce their whereabouts by “checking in” on mobile devices. Though the idea was originally created by Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp have also incorporated the idea into their platforms. When users check in, they’re essentially broadcasting to the world their interest in the business and giving real-time reviews that friends and family will trust.

Encouraging customers to check in on their mobile devices by offering incentives provides the best of both worlds. This is especially true when the business offers discounted or free items for certain check-ins, such as a percentage off during the slowest transaction times.

Using Hashtags Smartly

Hashtags are mostly either considered a nuisance or an essential component to online statuses, but there’s no arguing that they’re effective. Originally a concept from Twitter, now users can add hashtags to their Instagram, Facebook, and Vine posts.  Instead of aggregating data to discover who is talking about an organization and how, all the work is done for you. Adding suggested hashtags onto banners, signs, flyers, or any other means of advertisement is a great way to integrate both online and offline means of advertisement, especially, again, when combined with a free or discounted offer that will require audience participation.

Custom URLs

When using strictly offline methods of advertisement, it can be difficult to track it status. But creating a webpage or full website that is dedicated to the business’s campaign and putting the URLs of said pages or sites on your offline advertising can effectively illustrate who your advertising campaigns are reaching.

Teaser Advertising

Such as the name implies, businesses can also advertise teasers or bits of information in an offline setting that leave an audience wondering. The offline advertising should then include information on where to visit a website or social media platform to learn more if the audience’s interest is adequately piqued.

Digital Rewards

Much as in the same vein combining digital and physical locations, using digital rewards, or gamification, can be an excellent resource. Foursquare, Yelp, and a newer app called Mogl successfully pull together offline and online advertising. With Foursquare, users check in at the location, earning them points or even mayorship. And with mayorship, businesses can provide discounts or other privileges, thereby encouraging customers to come by more often. Yelp users also check in and can receive discounts or free items. Mogl focuses primary on restaurants and bars – every time a customer spends money at a location connected to Mogl, the customer can receive 10 percent cash back, and if playing along with friends, the person with the most cash back at that location wins a monetary jackpot, encouraging repeat business to the restaurant or bar. Users can also donate that cash back to a local food bank if they so desire. Combining customer incentive for repeat visits thanks to online check-ins, along with email and in-store advertisements to remind patrons to check in or visit again soon, has proven its effectiveness for any size business.


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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.