Are your brochures, flyers, and television advertisements working for you?

Some customers will see your product advertised and will immediately make a purchase, but the majority of today’s consumers need more information before they invest in a product, hence the importance of having a company website that offers more information to aid in the customers’ purchase decision.

Every marketing effort made should be towards influencing the customer to make the purchase. They should send people to your website to get more information and, ultimately, make a purchase. Many businesses are questioning whether offline media is increasing traffic to their website or if they should focus more on digital marketing efforts.

Without tracking the efficiency of advertising efforts, it is hard to know if it’s working in your favor or a waste of your resources. There is a lot of information on the importance of tracking your marketing campaigns, including manuals on how to do it. Many businesses are already actively investing in this and it is improving their online marketing effort.  But what about offline traffic? How do you know if that highway billboard that cost your business a small fortune is bringing traffic to your website?

Social media metrics, like Google Analytics, are making it easier to track leads generated by offline traffic. The list below looks at the best strategies to determine if your offline marketing efforts are effective.

Quick Response Codes

Quick response (QR) codes are ciphers that consist of a display of black and white squares. They typically store website information readable by smartphone cameras.  QR codes have become extremely popular and are easy to use, so they are a great option to track your offline traffic.

Google Analytics can put tracking codes into your QR codes so whenever customers scan your QR code, you will receive information on the marketing product that generated that lead.

Customer Landing Pages

Another way to track your offline traffic is by creating a unique landing page for each of your offline marketing efforts.

For example, if you have an organic food store that just opened a restaurant, your organic food store’s main website will be ‘www.organicfoodstore.com’. You will then create ‘www.organicfoodstore.resturant’ as a landing page for the restaurant. The landing page will be explicitly focused on the restaurant, instead of the rest of the store. When you pass out flyers or place newspaper advertisements for the restaurant, the QR code and URL’s will lead to the landing page, not the food store’s main website.

To see how well your offline media efforts are performing, have the landing page URL available only on the particular media you want to track for a specific time period.  For example, have your landing page URL only available in the magazine advertisement you are placing for a month. Then check your analyzing metrics to find out how much traffic increased through the landing page that month.

Redirect Domains

You can also set up domains that redirect visitors from custom URLs to a landing page in your main website. These domains are usually catchy and easier to remember. They would then be placed on all your offline media.

For example, if your organic food store sponsors a ‘Get Fit’ marathon, you could use a domain getfitorganicfood.com. This domain would be placed in all offline content marketing used for this campaign: banner, flyers, posters, etc. A redirect will be set so when people type this domain, they will end up in www.organicfoodstore.com/getfit. You can then analyze metrics to see the rise in website visits coming from the redirect domain.

Direct Hits

People are likely to go online and search for your brand if they see an offline advertisement that spikes their interest. This will increase your website’s direct hits. Direct hits represent the people actively searching for your brand name or typing in your URL. To get more accurate statistics on the number of direct hits from offline media, run the campaign exclusively offline for a short time and get a sample to analyze.

The Google Analytics screenshot above shows the increase in traffic during a timeframe of intense marketing promotion for an event. Direct hits (Sessions) increased significantly compared to previous periods and a large number of these direct hits were from new users. This shows that the offline marketing efforts that were implemented during this time reached many people who had not accessed the website before.

direct-traffic

Customized Discount Codes

Discount codes are a popular and simple method that many businesses are using to track their offline marketing efforts. Magazines and other print media carry a lot of discount codes. A newspaper advertisement will have a 10% off discount code to enter when making a purchase on a website. Another method is to print coupons for gifts to be redeemed from the company website. Reports based on the use of these codes will show you how effective they were in driving traffic to your website.

Tracking offline marketing efforts can be overwhelming, but using the right tools and strategies, like those mentioned above, can help you determine its effectiveness and make decisions on where to focus your marketing programs.