When it comes to advertising it is easy to tell exactly where traffic is coming from as most of that data is captured by your analytics platform. While there are many new and innovative ways to advertise online, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage some of these new techniques on more traditional platforms.
Create Custom Landing Pages
Create custom landing pages to market to the physical location you are marketing to if you have a billboard in a city use mydomain.com/cityname if you are attending a trade show you can use mydomain.com/tradeshow. Customize the content on these landing pages to your expected audience for maximum conversions. It is highly recommended to also include a phone number as part of the landing page in case your visitors feel uncomfortable with all-digital marketing.
Add noindex Meta Tag to Your Landing Pages
If your objective is to use a landing page for offline marketing campaign it may be a good idea to mark your page “noindex” so it is not visible for search engines. Also, this allows you to have duplicate content from your online campaigns for your offline campaign without getting penalized for said duplicate content. Plus, it makes your offline analytics reports easier to read without detailed UTM data.
Create Short URLs for Your Landing Pages
Long and complex URLs are inconvenient to type. Shortened URLs can make your landing pages more accessible to offline audiences. Other advantages is you can append UTM tracking parameters to attach additional metadata to your short URL links. You can either use a URL shortening service like Bitl.ly or use a script like YOURLs to host your own branded URL shortner.
Utilize Domain Redirects or Alias Domains
Similar to the strategy of making short URLs for landing pages you can register a domain for your offline campaign, either hosting your landing page on the custom domain or using the strategies in the URL shortener to setup redirects from your campaign domain. Be sure to make your custom domains easy to remember, easy to type, and related to your offline audience.
Integrate QR Codes in Offline Marketing
QR codes are an easy way to pass digital information in offline marketing materials. Scanning them is easier than manually entering URLs and as URL is encoded, you can easily combine your QR codes with the other techniques of UTM tracking parameters, short urls, or alias domains. If you chose to use YOURLs to brand your shortened URLs check out this plugin to add QR functionality.
Discount Coupons or Promotional Codes
Using discount codes are another easily measurable way to track offline marketing promotions online. By giving each part of your campaign, billboard, magazine ad, flier, etc. their own unique code you will be able to precisely track their performance during your checkout process. Make sure your codes are easy to remember and descriptive. Publish similar, yet different codes to online coupon sites, both to promote yourself online and to not cross contaminate your offline campaign tracking.
Non-Referral Traffic Analysis & Geofilters
Not as precise as the above methodology, but you can also process manual reports against your analytics software. Spikes in non-referral traffic, people directly typing your domain, or in geographies you know you are running a campaign in, can be inferred and related to an offline campaign if they spike against previous trends. It’s not the most elegant solution, but you can read into the data if you have already run a campaign before thinking of doing any of the above.
Tracking the effectiveness of offline campaigns can be tough, there are always the intangibles like brand awareness and market positioning, but with the right strategies & tools, short urls, redirects, aliases, QR codes, and discount coupons it is at possible to measure how they interact with your website. Be sure to properly have your analytics setup and have unique UTM codes for each campaign. What success have you had tracking your offline campaigns? Let us know in the comments!
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