Advertising is everywhere. Every week, we find stacks of advertisements in our mailbox, watch the newest spots on tv or listen to radio advertisements telling us to check out the latest deals at various retailers. 

At the same time, it feels like every fifth post on social networks is marked “Sponsored,” ads go viral in no time at all, and competing companies diligently comment under their rivals’ ads. Even this brief summary gives an indication that it is no longer possible to go through life these days without encountering advertising here and there.


But on closer inspection, one thing stands out: there doesn’t yet seem to be any real link between online and offline advertising, at least not among companies that sell exclusively offline – or are you aware of many bakeries, craftsmen or hairdressers that rely to a large extent on online advertising?


Online advertising as an opportunity for offline retailers


Now the insider will say, “Of course these companies only use offline advertising, after all, it’s a great way to promote products directly at the point-of-sale!” What if I told you that this can also be done online and they can reach many more people in the process?


But always slow down with the young horses, the first thing to know is what advantages online advertising has over traditional media like print or TV.


Information – quickly and easily accessible


Suppose you see a Facebook Ad that you are interested in – what do you do? It’s simple: you click on it. And are automatically redirected to a page that gives you more information about the product and the company and possibly gives you the opportunity to purchase the product right away.

If you’re still not sure, you can open the company’s Facebook page within a couple of seconds and read reviews there.


And this is exactly one of the great strengths of online advertising: you get all the information you need within seconds. As a result, the bounce rate is significantly lower and the probability of buying something is higher.


Online advertising targeting for optimal budget use


Imagine you run a local grocery store for organic products and you want to make your potential buyers aware of your offers for the next week. For this, you decide to print promotional flyers and drop them in the mailboxes around your store. Not a bad idea in itself! Above all, you have made the most of the local component here, because your offers will only be brought to the attention of people who live in the immediate vicinity and can therefore buy from you without any major effort. But there is one problem with this type of offline advertising: you can well control where it is delivered, but not who gets your flyer. You could randomly just drop the flyer in every other mailbox, but in doing so you lack the ability to target people whose social group and interests match your products.


And that’s exactly the opportunity you have in online marketing. Let’s take Facebook Ads as an example: here, too, you first set the local component and can specify exactly in which radius around your business the ad should be played out. But now you have many more options. Let’s assume that you sell a lot of products that have a “vegan” or “organic” label. Then you can assume that mainly people who are interested in this kind of products will buy from you. Facebook offers you so-called interest targeting for this purpose. You can specify keywords (for example, “vegan”, “organic” or “sustainability”) and Facebook plays your ad only to users who are interested in these topics. The advantage of this is that you only pay for ads that your target group sees and do not “waste” budget on people who see your ad but are not interested in these product categories.


The algorithm as support


Everyone is ranting about the algorithm of social networks. It changes constantly, so online marketers are constantly busy optimizing ads to get the best out of them. But the algorithms also have their good sides. First and foremost, they ensure that our ads are seen by exactly those users who match our campaign goals. In concrete terms, this means that if we want to generate a particularly high number of interactions, i.e. likes and comments, on one of our posts, Facebook primarily plays the ad to users who are known to Facebook as diligent readers and commenters. On the other hand, users who never like or comment are avoided. 

This function of the algorithm can also be put to good use for offline retailers, as awareness and consideration campaigns can also be part of the online marketing strategy here.


Online advertising for more offline conversions


One thing is clear: offline advertising is not superfluous, especially if you sell offline. But online advertising can be a good complement to traditional marketing via print or TV here, as campaign goals can be targeted more specifically and potential prospects can be addressed more directly.


If you want to know even more about the topic, feel free to read what the ROPO effect means for offline retailers and how social media can support brick-and-mortar retail. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us via our contact form.


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