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Old-school Advertising Techniques in the Digital Age

In the age of the Internet and social media, companies often prioritize online advertising rather than traditional methods. But even in the age of digital media, traditional advertising and promotions remain effective.

Freebies and Merchandise

Branding is extremely important in any business. While you would normally pay people to advertise your brand, sometimes people would actually pay to have your brand in certain merchandise. Coca-Cola has been one of the most successful companies in this regard. They market their brand through shirts, commemorative bottles, coolers, toys, and even makeup. Loyal customers will gladly pay for branded merchandise, even if it has nothing to do with the original product. While shirts and mugs are some of the most common, custom promotional products can range from the small but intricate USB card to large ornamental display pieces.

Marketing your brand as souvenir items, especially if they have a functional use (umbrellas, power banks, etc.), will make them small advertising platforms that people carry around with them. The people who buy your branded merchandise are also passively endorsing your products—simply by wearing or using them.

Local Sponsorships

Visibility is key to any business’ success. The more people who know about your brand, the higher its chance of hitting it big. While ads on TV, on the radio, in print, and on the Internet can be effective, a local sponsorship can be a more legitimate and substantive way of introducing your product to a particular base. Pick a cause or initiative that you believe in and give your company’s support. You’ll be gaining a bit of goodwill while also having a platform to market your products. If you’re lucky, your company might even get a blurb in the local paper.

man using smartphone

A few freebies should go a long way, especially since you can write them off if you’re donating for a worthy cause. Engaging with the local community will also give you and your people an insight into the market and how they view your product. People are (surprisingly) more honest about giving their thoughts on something they receive for free.

Tie-ins with Local Businesses

Tie-ins with other businesses can be as subtle as saying a positive word or two when asked or displaying a non-competing business’ flyers on a bulletin board. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective means of advertising and promotion. The endorsement of a fellow business owner bears weight as their clients or patrons already count them as authority figures. Of course, you’ll have to be careful about your little partnerships. So put a little time digging in and check their backgrounds before committing to a tie-in.

Stronger tie-ins can involve reciprocal discounts when availing of the products or services of a certain group of businesses. Members of a certain gym can avail of a five percent discount at a vegan restaurant, a purchase at a music store gives you an extra hour at a music studio, and so on.

Traditional promotion methods are still quite effective in the age of social media and smartphones. Balance your online advertising with traditional methods. Two approaches are better than one.


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