June 26, 2024 |

Anna Lawrence

Five Ways to Get Customers IRL

You’ve worked with a professional marketing partner, built an advertising budget and a strategy. Your media mix is solid – with a blend of traditional and digital platforms to gain attention and build top-of-mind awareness. Hopefully, you’re tracking those leads so you know what part of your budget is working and where adjustments may be needed. Now it’s time to focus your efforts on getting customers IRL (in real life).

Getting customers IRL goes beyond advertising and into marketing. These efforts may cost less money but will take another valuable resource – time. But these efforts are essential to making sure your money is well spent. Let’s look at five marketing strategies for getting customers IRL.

Social Media

Social media is a digital platform that invites real life interaction in real time. When social media first became considered a viable marketing tactic, many business owners thought “it’s easy – and it’s free!” But the truth of the matter is, a well-executed social media strategy, i.e. one that engages your target audience, is not something you can just… do.

For one thing, you need a strategy. It starts by taking a close look at the audience you want to engage to determine who they are and what sort of content will be found valuable. Then, you are tasked with finding or developing that content. You need to have enough content to support regular postings (ranging from several times each week to multiple times each day) and you have to be tuned in so you can respond to interaction in a timely manner. These things may seem simple enough, but require careful follow-through and planning, which all takes time.

A social media team can be helpful to take the burden off a single individual. Once you have your team, spend some time identifying each person’s role and content specialty. Discuss what kind of metrics will be important to watch and move. Check your analytics for insight on how your audience is responding and make changes accordingly. Look at brands similar to yours for ideas to be successful. And engage with your platforms daily.

If you feel like managing social media in-house is something you and your team can handle but need some guidance and help putting a strategy together, we can help.

Content Marketing

Content created by your business for your audience will typically live on your blog and/or website, but those reading your content are in the moment. By devising content relevant to your audience’s lives you touch them in real life.

How many times each day do you search online? Chances are, it’s multiple times and multiple sources. There’s basically no question today that you can’t find an answer to at the tip of your fingers.

Where did the phrase “spill the tea” originate? Why are so many barns painted red? What would a chair look like if our knees bent the other direction? If you can ask it, there’s an answer online. And today’s generation will never not be in the know.

Providing content that answers the questions your potential customers are asking is a great way to engage them, build awareness of your brand and position your business as an expert. Again, you must dive deeply into the hearts and minds of your intended customers to discern what questions they are asking, and what questions they aren’t asking but should be. Give them the information that makes a positive difference in their lives.

Do you have knowledge to share but aren’t sure how to formulate it or get it out there? We can help.


IRL has taken quite a hit since the pandemic of 2020. On the upside, many of us have been able to lessen the time we spend commuting or attending meetings and are therefore able to build more meaningful time into our day. On the other hand, we’ve become less versed in the face-to-face interaction that makes us all human. And how do we sell to humans if we can’t connect with them?

A good “old-fashioned” event could be just the thing to reconnect you with your audience IRL. Allow adequate planning time to get into the heads of your audience and determine what will be fun and valuable to them. Resist the urge to build your event around selling, and instead, build it around sincere interaction. Plan activities that will give you insight into your customer’s preferences and how to make their lives easier. If possible, incorporate into your event something of value that they can take away.

For example, if you own a local furniture store, perhaps a “Day with a Designer” event could be engaging to your customers. If you run a financial institution, you could host a technology day to help older clients get set up with online tools, or a financial advisory day to help younger customers with financial literacy. Get creative and think in terms of services your customers will find valuable. Then make it lots of fun!

Does an IRL event sound like just the ticket for your business, but you need some help with planning and logistics? We’ve had lots of experience executing events and can help.

Community Involvement

In a world that gets forever bigger, consumers are drawn ever more so to supporting local – local businesses, local causes, friends and neighbors. How you decide to give back really does make a difference. And it should get noticed.

Sometimes business owners tell me they don’t want to promote their charitable involvement because that takes away from the charity side of it. I would argue that when a brand gets behind a charity publicly, it adds credibility and support for the charity. In this case, the charity benefits from you publicizing your support.

Also, your customers want to know who you are supporting, so they can choose to do business with like-minded individuals and use their buying power to make positive changes in their community.

Community involvement and support is a great way to connect with your customers and potential customers. After all, what’s more IRL than the community where you live and work and make your life?

Need some fresh ideas on how to support your favorite causes? We have lots of ideas!

Associate Training

There’s nothing that supports your team more IRL than providing hands-on experience and training to equip them to succeed. And there’s no better way to ensure your customer’s expectations are met than by training your front-line people to deliver.

Associate training is one of the best investments you can make for your business. By investing in your people and supporting their growth, you demonstrate that you value them and you foster investment in your company. Not only are they more likely to deliver the ideal customer experience, but they are more likely to stay with you long-term. And we all know how hard it is to find good help these days.

Vantage Consultants has helped many businesses with associate training and can cover a variety of topics. We’d be happy to tell you more and connect you with clients who have utilized our training services.

The key to getting customers IRL is to make sure that the advertising you are spending your budget on is reinforced by real life touchpoints. It’s important that each of these touchpoints delivers on the same brand expectations as your advertising messages are setting, and that your focus is always on how to add value to your customers’ lives. Yes, advertising is important. But make sure to strengthen your investment by also interacting with your audience IRL.