While there’s no official verbiage that defines “community marketing”, Healthcare Success proposes this definition:
Community marketing seeks to engage with and attract prospective customers on a very local level, through their cities or even neighborhoods.
Okay, that makes sense. But why put time and effort into such a narrowly -focused market? Because word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools out there, and this tried-and-true method is the most effective closest to home. Sure, you want and need online reviews and a social media following, but the local crowd singing your praises? It doesn’t get any better than that.
Consider these ideas for beefing up your local marketing plan.
1. Get yourself on the local news
If you view TV as yesteryear’s media, you need to rethink that theory. Why? Because three in four American adults watch local television news. And anyway, local TV is a fun way to reach your most local audience.
Find a way to link your business with the local aspect of state or national events as well as trends. Whether you’re a prime example of the latest trend or a staunch opposer, either way, it’s news-worthy. And don’t forget seasonal happenings and their potential tie-in to the services and products you offer.
2. Sponsor local events
Whether related to the mission of your business OR a totally random and unrelated event, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is your brand supporting an event or activity that benefits the community. Sponsorships that involve education and children/youth events tend to get a lot of traction. Investing in the next generation is its own reward.
Want to get really crazy? Lend leadership and/or volunteer time to something that offers little if any opportunity for a return. Do it just because. Folks will notice. It will create an ROI in the form of a positive, neighborly, they-really-care image.
3. Serve on boards, join civic groups, participate!
You’re a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, right? That should go without saying, I know. But would you believe a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude can prevent local companies from partnering with their fellow businesses? Beyond membership in local organizations, seek opportunities for a rep from your company to serve on the board or chair an event.
4. Check out local bloggers
Aaron Black, Co-founder, DiamondHead Strategies, shares a really cool idea. “Every city has local bloggers with a few thousand local followers. Without a huge national audience, these local bloggers don’t expect quite as much and, even better, they’ll speak directly to your local audience. Do a giveaway and product review with them. As these local bloggers grow, you’ll get more traffic. Better yet, blog traffic from these sites can last for years or for as long as any posts mentioning your business are archived somewhere on their website.”
Your corporate identity differentiates your business from your competitors. Are you standing out from the competition? ASJ Partners specializes in creating unique, customized, compelling marketing plans. Contact our team today.