The rise of the online market has led some marketers to the assumption that traditional or offline marketing is dead (or at least dying).
Among other reasons for prioritizing online marketing, these companies make the mistake of assuming that social media and digital advertising are the only way to track public engagement and measure the success of their ad campaigns.
But these companies can miss out by not considering offline marketing in their product planning and service campaigns. Offline marketing tools such as magazines, TV commercials, billboards, vehicle wraps, and more can be a great way to interact with the consumer in a more tangible way, as well as reach audiences that online advertising can sometimes leave out.
The expansion in recent years of tracking tools and online presence customization have made it very feasible for companies to track engagement with their offline advertisement. Read on to learn about 4 easy ways to track offline marketing campaigns, primarily by using one such handy tracking tool– Google Analytics.
Custom Landing Pages
One of the best methods to track offline marketing campaigns is by creating a custom landing page. A custom landing page tied to the specific campaign you want to track allows you to monitor the number of times a person visits that page. It can also allow you to target your campaign toward a specific audience.
For example, if you have a retail store that sells outdoor equipment and you place an advertisement in a magazine dedicated to hunting, you can create a custom landing page focused specifically on hunting.
To create a custom landing page in Google Analytics, go to Content > Site Content > Landing Pages. There you can track the number of visits to the page and how long visitors stayed on the page.
Another effective method of tracking offline campaigns is by using shortened URLs. Shortened URLs allow you to track visitors from offline sources without having to create a new landing page. Instead, you use Urchin Tracking Modules, or UTM parameters, to track your campaign through Google Analytics.
To do this, you’ll first need a URL builder like this one. Once you have a shortened URL, place it in your direct mail campaign or other advertisement to begin tracking user traffic to your site.
To view tracking results in Google Analytics, go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns. You can also use the Goal Sets at the top of the window to see how many conversations you have received.
If you’re not quite ready to create a new landing page or generate shortened URLs, another option to track offline campaigns is to create custom discount codes. For example, the promo code GLASSES15 could allow customers to receive an additional 15% off their glasses purchase.
With these custom discount codes you can track redemptions as well as the revenue generated from orders using the codes. You can also customize your discount codes to track redemptions from different sources– so you know how many customers got the code from your direct mail campaign, and how many got it from your newspaper ad.
There’s one option for tracking offline marketing campaigns that’s even easier: annotations. Annotations in Google Analytics allows you to leave a note to yourself about something that happened on a particular date, such as the release date of a direct mail campaign.
Once you have created an annotation, direct traffic in Google Analytics shows you visitors to your site that cannot be traced to other online sources, such as social networks. If you see a significant increase in traffic around the time of your marketing campaign, you can at least get a sense of how much impact that specific campaign had.
Importance of Offline Marketing
So offline campaigns can be tracked just like online ones. But these days, many companies forgo print or broadcast marketing entirely, instead focusing on the best way to use social media or click-bait to generate consumer interest.
While the importance of digital marketing can’t be denied, it’s a mistake to prematurely decide that it’s the best or even most effective way to market your brand. Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing some of your company’s marketing budget in offline campaigns, as well:
- Offline marketing can be used to boost your online marketing
- Non-digital marketing can make your company stand out in a crowded field of internet ads
- Print materials can be ordered on short notice, and are reusable
- Face-to-face interactions establish a relationship with the consumer
- Offline ads create a more tangible experience for the consumer and stick with them longer
- There are some audiences that online marketing just won’t reach
Get Started with Offline Marketing
Measuring offline marketing can be extremely important to your brand and overall marketing goals. By not considering options such as custom landing pages, shortened URLs, custom discount codes or annotations, you may be missing out on significant opportunities to attract and retain valuable customers. At Pel Hughes, our team can help you bring your brand’s marketing vision to fruition. Visit our website to learn more.