Now that you have an online presence, it's important to remember that your website doesn't have to be accessible only on the Internet. A recent marketing trend has been to create offline websites, or stand-alone Flash projector files on CD-ROM. These CDs have an "auto run" feature that launches an interactive presentation, brochure, or catalogue as soon as the disc is inserted into a computer. With these offline websites, small and medium-sized businesses are finding it easier to stand out from their competition and gain brand recognition.
With offline websites, your potential customers don't need an Internet connection. Even bad or slow connection problems are a thing of the past. Graphically-intense content that would require substantial loading time for dial-up users is no longer taboo. This includes music, video-even television commercials can be put on your offline website. Your offline website CD-ROM can be passed out at trade shows or mailed to customers who can explore your website or catalogue without connecting to the Internet.
The offline websites can be on special shaped CD-ROMs, from multi-functional business card CDs to simple geometric shapes, to custom shapes of your corporate logo or a signature product. Talented designers will make your offline website even more successful by making it entertaining, informative, and easy to use. Even simple interactive features like videos, quizzes, and games can make your offline website more memorable and more likely to be shared.
A CD-ROM can hold up to 15,000 photographic images, 250,000 pages of text, over 70 minutes of full motion video, or 650 megabytes of computer programming. They costs as little as $0.60 each, although custom shaped CDs will cost a little more. CDs are light and innovative, and stand out among printed trade materials, and are fairly cheap to mail. As CD-ROMs, your offline website can hold more information, is cheaper to make, and easier to transport and distribute than a traditional print catalogue or brochure.
Here are some suggested ways to use your offline website effectively:
- Train your staff through video demonstrations, games, quizzes, and other interactive media
- Highlight a single new product
- Send out a portfolio with examples of projects completed for other clients and customer testimonials
- Provide virtual tours of facilities or real estate
- Distribute extensive product catalogues with dynamic and interactive features
It's important to remember your existing website doesn't have to become your offline website, too. Professionals can create special content to highlight any facet of your company and make it available at the click of a button, when your competition is still asking potential customers to read through thick brochures or endure long loading times online.