Here’s a poser.

Is a lack of sales negated thanks to a rise in footfall?If you were spending a lot of money on online advertising and weren’t seeing anything like the conversions you’d hoped for, but people were coming into your store and buying anyway because they had seen your brand across the internet, would you be bothered?

I ask because a joint report from comScore, Neustar Localeze, and 15 Miles was released last week with an interesting statistic.

According to the report 78 Per cent of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.

So is a lack of sales negated thanks to a rise in footfall? Does it even itself out?

A matter of perspective

It all depends entirely on the results you’re looking for and how it fits in with your overall strategy.

To me these statistics also show the real effects of Google Penguin and Panda, and how marketers are realising the importance of getting the blend of off- and online marketing spot on.

Here’s a great example that may not seem so obvious. Catchphrase was on last Sunday evening and one of the contestants won a prize; a holiday abroad.

The voiceover? “Enjoy your holiday abroad courtesy of IceLolly.com.”

Maybe not a link in the traditional sense but I would love to see the site’s traffic figures shortly after the sponsorship was announced in front of millions of tea-time viewers.

And note how the announcer said IceLolly.com instead of IceLolly. No accident – all part of the strategy to associate the brand with its site and encourage people to visit.

Do you use online marketing to drive footfall to your shop? What tactics do you use and how effective are they? Share your story in the comments section below.

Getting in front of people

Consider these other examples.

Shows such as 60 Minute Makeover take donations from suppliers in the hope that the former mentions the latter’s brand across the airwaves.

The presenter points towards a nice looking wardrobe, talks about how well it was made, how it fits into the décor, and – most importantly – tells us who supplied it to them.

A web destination typically appears on the TV. These shows are also often repeated time and again, also on other channels, making it a worthwhile long-term investment in brand exposure.

Dabbled in the Football Manager series of games? Then you may have noticed that a number of media organisations such as The Telegraph and Football365 have clickable links in the game.

There was another example in the Metro the other week, where What Car? Has taken on-board the need to mix up its data and press awareness to create a story and drive traffic (no pun intended) back to the site.

 

What Car? has taken on-board the need to mix up its data and press awareness to create a story and drive traffic back to the site.

Mind games

The point I’m making is that there are other ways for your links to be noticed other than in a traditional SEO sense.

After all, the practice of SEO is to make your site more visible, is it not?

The above tactics are nothing new, though it’s debatable how effective they are for long-term search campaigns considering that search engines aren’t indexing the links.

The Catchphrase and Football Manager examples would lead to traffic spikes at certain times. So what’s the point?

Think of these tactics like the plot to the movie Inception. Planting an idea in your consumers’ heads.

You hear of the site or see a link associated with a great offer (an IceLolly holiday), visit the site, and bookmark it in your mind.

The site owners hope that they’ve perfected their site to a point that new, unique visitors will become instant fans and stick with the brand for the foreseeable.

Do you combine your online marketing campaign with offline advertising, whether paper, flyer, or otherwise? Let me know below!

PPC problems?

Which brings me back round to the comScore and friends survey.

Because I believe that we’ll be seeing a lot more of the above examples as part of brands’ internet strategy now that the reality of Google Penguin and Panda has bitten.

The much-loved PPC model is also set for change, apparently, and we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground to see how that affects the search game.

PPC is an art that can help get your site on the road to quicker conversions, so any changes in the formula are going to cause some pretty strong rumbles.

So with search practices continually changing brands are going to have to look to spread word of their website and what it can do further offline with more clever, creative techniques.

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all

The survey says 80 per cent of local searches on mobile turned into purchases, with approximately 73 per cent of those being in a physical shop.

For every argument that the high street is dead comes search data that shows searchers and consumers are still in love with the personal touch when shopping.

 

Searchers and consumers are still in love with the personal touch when shopping.

 

Online marketing is, well, evolving beyond online.

That may be for reasons beyond changes in search, too. Factors as simple as a brand not having the resources to maintain a site, but still have enough budget to put into online advertising.

Some sectors may not need a fully-blown eCommerce service. Restaurants – take a look at Manchester’s 63 Degrees.

The site can take online bookings but they want people to visit and have a great dining experience. So it makes more sense for them to have a site that details its menu, has a gallery of its food and the building, directions, opening times, and more.

Doesn’t that sound like plain old common sense?

I can guarantee that 63 Degrees and other restaurants across the UK though have been told of the benefits of throwing thousands at their website…

So before you do anything, plan your strategy. Refine it. Who is your site looking to attract, how is it going to achieve those goals, and what’s the best way of getting the URL across to the general public?

I guarantee the most successful sites will have used a creative mix of on- and offline marketing.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how online advertising can spread word of your brand contact the Webpresence team today!