Online vs Offline Marketing — How Each Impacts Your Local Business

As a business owner, you often face difficult decisions that can have a significant impact on your company’s ability to grow. One decision many owners struggle with is choosing where to spend their money – online marketing vs offline marketing.

All local businesses have a set marketing budget, so you can’t just promote your business everywhere. No one can. 

But how and where you market your company can have a huge effect on whether customers choose to buy from you or a competitor. That's why it’s imperative to put effort into learning more about which is right for your business.

[Related: Top Tips for Your Small Business Marketing]

Why Your Choices Matter for Offline Marketing vs. Online Marketing

When trying to gain and retain customers’ attention, every second counts. 

According to the Association of Psychological Science (APS), on average, it only takes a person seven seconds to form an impression of your brand. The wrong marketing decision may end up costing you potential business in a matter of moments.

While digital and traditional marketing practices continue to evolve, it’s essential to understand these changes in order to make the most informed decisions possible. Let's look at offline and online marketing, and how each type can have an impact on your business. 

Armed with this information, you can better decide how to market your brand and reach your target audience.

[Related: Why Your Business Needs Multichannel Digital Marketing]

Online Marketing

Online marketing has changed substantially in recent years. 

What most businesses saw as just having a website has transformed into multi-faceted, attention-grabbing online marketing campaigns that can establish your brand, drive sales, and build customer loyalty. 

As online marketing continues to grow, the impact it can have on your company grows as well. Understanding how to effectively utilize it for your business can help it grow beyond your wildest expectations.

[Related: The Extraordinary Results of Integrated Digital Marketing Solutions


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO marketing has developed in recent years to allow your business the opportunity to stand apart from your competitors on online platforms. 

With proper SEO strategies in place, your company can gain traction in organic search results and a significant amount of traffic to your website.

By using SEO marketing strategies for your business, you can help get your site appear high on the search engines – and that can bring in a wave of new consumers you'd never see if you relied solely on offline marketing strategies.

Alongside a smart website, online ads, email marketing, and various online channels, SEO supercharges all your digital marketing efforts. Traditional marketing — no matter how broad — just doesn’t have the same reach.

[Related: How To Promote Your Website Online and Offline]

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has also become a major component in how businesses are able to develop a consistent consumer base. 

Check out these stats from a 2023 marketing report:

  • Over 90% of U.S. marketers at companies with 100+ employees are expected to use social media as part of their marketing strategy
  • More than two-thirds of consumers expect brands to maintain a social media presence
  • 38% of respondents say they've purchased a product or service from a business after seeing the brand's social media ad

Looking at these numbers, it's clear that effective social media marketing can help your business in major ways:

  • Promote products and services
  • Cultivate and build relationships with your customers
  • Boost sales, conversions, subscriptions and more

According to LinkedIn, 78% of businesses that use social media platforms to make sales outsell peers who don’t use social media.  It opens up so many doors that traditional marketing methods simply can’t.

With an effective social media strategy, your business can leverage the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to boost brand awareness, traffic, and sales. It will also make interacting with customers and learning about their wants and needs simpler.


Offline Marketing

Online marketing is clearly powerful, so judging online vs. offline marketing seems easy. But,  even as technology continues to grow, offline marketing still manages to be a popular way to attract customers' attention. 

Outdoor advertising (like billboards), print ads, direct mail, and radio and TV commercials can keep customers aware of your brand. They can also play a role in helping consumers decide which businesses to support.

According to Fast Company, approximately 65% of people are visual learners, making visual content an important, effective way to convey a message and gain attention.  This helps to highlight how impactful this form of marketing can be for businesses.

Another benefit of offline marketing is the effect it can have in your local area. 

Your company’s signage, and even the physical location of your business, are constant reminders for people passing by. While your business will need additional marketing in order to grow a reliable consumer base, having a presence in the local community can certainly help you grab people’s attention.

[Related: Is Your Marketing Stuck in a Rut?]

The Downsides of Offline Marketing

Of course, it's no surprise today, that offline marketing has its limitations. 

For example, people outside your immediate advertising area may remain unaware of your company. Even if you pay to have traditional advertising placed in a variety of areas, you’re limited in the number of people you’re able to reach.

Additionally, this form of marketing doesn’t give your business a chance to interact directly with consumers. Also, the information in your advertising is locked and cannot be immediately changed, even after customer feedback. 

This lack of interaction may keep you from understanding your customers' pain points or their response to your offerings. Without this information, a business can’t pivot to match the desires of its consumers. 

Plus, customers are unable to obtain additional information unless they put in the effort to find it themselves. 

In today’s age of advancing technology, relying solely on offline marketing alone may cause your business to miss a large part of your customer base – and you could fall behind your competition.

[Related: The Offline Marketing You Need To Succeed Online]


Key Takeaways: Offline and Online Marketing

Understanding the differences between online and offline marketing is just the beginning. 

While many businesses employ a combination of both, it's clear that online marketing is essential in today's digital world.  

Neither offline nor online marketing are foolproof. Without proper strategies in place, your business might struggle to stand apart from the crowd. 

Additionally, just maintaining your brand's social media presence – creating and sharing valuable content, keeping up with customer comments and messages, and running ads on a variety of platforms – is a full-time job. 

Without help from an experienced digital marketing provider, you may soon find you're in over your head – struggling to recover your ROI or your brand reputation.

Get the Online Marketing Expertise Your Business Needs

As online marketing continues to evolve, it’s important to make sure your business is keeping up with these changes. By working with a digital marketing partner, you can ensure you're getting the advantage of the most up-to-date online marketing solutions to improve your online presence and maximize your results.

For the best results, you'll want to work with a provider you can trust. 

To learn more about Hibu can help you get the most from your digital marketing, contact us today at 877-237-6120 or request your no-obligation consultation.