Bridging the divide – why you are missing hundreds of opportunities by not combining the worlds of online and offline

Ian HancockLink Building, Online PR, SEO Regional

While it may seem like a completely different beast, offline marketing can help your online marketing efforts in more ways than you might think.

One area of offline marketing that can be of extreme benefit to your online marketing efforts is face-to-face events.

Think of how your events can benefit you online

Are you an organisation that has a presence at events? Whether these events are national or local, don’t discount their marketing abilities. While at face-value, they may seem like a tool of the old-school, an opportunity to meet face-to-face and network, these events actually can be of major benefit to your efforts online. And that’s not just from handing out business cards featuring your URL.

For starters, events are fantastic tools for link building. Whether you are sponsoring an event, exhibiting at it, speaking at it or simply attending, if the event has a website, there’s an opportunity for a link back to your own site.

Beyond this, events are not only a great way to increase your offline visibility but they are also great for possible news mentions (and of course the links that come with these mentions) and also a way of building citation. Citation is crucial as it is natural mentions of your brand and it shows the search engines that your website is relevant to a specific geographic area and offers a specific service.

Hosting your own event

If your organisation doesn’t have a presence at events, why not consider hosting an event of your own?

Hosting your own event can be of even greater benefit to your online marketing efforts, regardless of how established it is. The reason for this? It’s because anyone making reference to your event will either include a link back to your website or at least make reference to your business. Making reference to your business again comes down to citation. Getting your business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) on a locally relevant website will reinforce Google’s trust in your website and show to them that your business is relevant to that geographic area too.

Reach out and link up

As mentioned above, hosting your own event it also a fantastic tool for link building. If your event is of interest to the community or benefits them in some way, then reach out to relevant news organisations and see if they want to cover it. Any news website coverage will have a good chance of including a link back to your site to give the reader further information about the event. The same goes for any industry relevant organisations you can think of, if you think they might like to cover your event, contact them to get listed on their site. If you create enough buzz around your event you will find that much of this work will be done for you and you won’t even need to contact organisations to get your event listed.

Content, content, content

Events can also be massive sources of content. Whether that content generated by those attending or content you have created yourself, there is much to be taken away from an event that you have presence at.

It may be that you have a wealth of content available that has taken you hours or even days to create, if this is the case, make use of it. Don’t let it go to waste.

Whether you have created articles, presentations or interviews, or taken photos or videos, make use of these on your website. Search engines love fresh content, so make sure any unique content you have is added to your site so that it can be indexed.

Of course this content is also of benefit to your website visitors too, fresh content will show your visitors that you are a constantly evolving business. If they like what they see on their first visit to your site, they will be more inclined to visit again.

Share your content socially

Be sure to also share any content you have via your social media channels. Social media works best in real-time, so whether you are sharing images on Instagram, videos on Facebook or tweeting about the event, ensure you are doing this as it happens. Sharing content via social media will be beneficial to both those at your event and those who couldn’t attend.

And of course the content you share doesn’t just have to content you have created yourself, if people attending have created anything worthwhile, be sure to utilise that too.