[Part 2] The A,B,C's of Local Marketing
-- Part 2 of 7 Series on Local Marketing --
For those of you who haven’t yet read part 1 of this 3 part series on the A,B,C’s of Local Marketing, you can check it out here.
I’d highly recommend reading that post before this one, as they are organized chronologically according to the actual steps you should take in your business in order to become a local marketing legend.
Step 3 - Brand Awareness (Part B)
Congrats! You’re now officially a content marketer. Whether it be blogging, podcasting, or the recently popular vlogging (video blogging for those who’ve never heard this term), you’re now on your way to reaching a wider audience. An audience that is much larger than your current customer counts, that’s for sure. Of course, I am not trying to be cynical here whatsoever. I am just saying that once you are creating internet-friendly content that is easily shareable, you have the potential to reach so much more than your current audience. That’s the power of content marketing!
After you have a consistent schedule of building content, now is time to focus a bit more on the marketing side of it. To start, you can begin by opening up a facebook page for your company’s brand. I have a whole post on this topic that you can find here.
The basic idea with your facebook page (and/or any other social media profile you choose to build based on your target audience), is that you share content on a consistent basis. You can share content just as often, or even sometimes more than you create content. What I mean here is that for every piece of content you create, rather than sharing it just once on your social media profile, you may want to share it 2, 3 or even 10+ times.
You are building your brand awareness, don’t forget. In order to build a brand, it’s very similar to how radio stations work. The radio station operator selects among thousands of options a specific new song that he wants to feature on his radio station. Of course, lots of payments and probably even bribes are given, but let’s put all of that to the side.
Eventually, that new songs gets on your local radio station and you hear it for the first time. You hear it that first time and you’re not so impressed. Same thing happens the second, third, fourth and fifth times. But, on the sixth time (this isn’t actual statistical information, but rather just an example), suddenly you find yourself starting to hum along. The seventh and eighth time you even start remembering some of the words and singing it back. Then, the next day when you’re working, someone plays the song, and you mention to them how many times you’ve heard it recently and that it’s new. Now that other people listen to the song, you don’t want to miss out. So you keep listening to it and listening to it and eventually you start to convince yourself that you actually like the song. That’s the art of branding, my friends. The radio station operator has used the brand name of the artist plus his ability to control what songs are played on the radio, in order for you to become addicted to the next biggest pop song and sensation.
You have to take this same theory and apply it to your local business. What was the first thing the radio station operator checked? The quality of the music and the artist. Work on your best piece of content. Spend time on it, review it, and make sure you love it! Once you’re done with that, it’s time for the release. Like a radio station release, the first, second, and third time you release the content, there may be no to little response. But it’s the fourth, fifth and sixth time that you share that content that you start to see some real results. People start to notice you more in their social media feeds, and you start to interest them. They then eventually click on your content, and voila, you’ve been found!
Like I said above in the post, make sure you are posting and active in the right social media channel. Not every social media channel is relevant for everyone. Think back to who your target audience is and where they are most likely to be during their free time. Target them there, through whatever social media channel that is. Bingo!
Step 4 - Online & Offline Ads
There is so much to be said about online and offline advertising. In fact, within our first 25 blog posts here on the Aadly blog, we’ve already written about the topic more than once!
To get started, I’d say there are a few very basic ways to try out both online and offline advertising.
- Facebook Advertising
- Google AdWords
- Local & Affordable Signage
I will touch on both of these options lightly, since all of them will be expanded on much more in future posts.
Facebook offers you a wide array of advertising with the ability to target locally. You can read more about it of course in either of the two blogs posts that I had hyperlinked above. In general, you can quickly set up a campaign within an hour by creating an audience based on a few parameters. You can use an audience that has visited your website, visited your facebook page and liked it, or you can create what’s called a lookalike audience - a term I will get into in the future. Once you create that ideal audience, you will then decide on your daily budget, the length of the campaign and build your creative.
Creative building is quite simple although there are always new types of creative options that Facebook releases. Some of them can be confusing at times especially when they’re brand new and you aren’t used to seeing them, but I’d still recommend playing around with it a bit and finding the right solution for you. Like I said, I will touch more on Facebook advertising in a future post.
Google AdWords is very similar to Facebook in the sense that you have the ability to target very specific audiences of interest. The one preferred element of Google Adwords which in my point of view makes it better than Facebook advertising is that it is hyper targeted.
You only pay on Google Adwords when someone clicks on your advertisement. They only find your advertisement when they are searching for something that you defined as a keyword relevant to your product/service. This means that the people who clicked on your advertisement have a well above average chance of converting into a customer (if you had an e-commerce business) on your website, because they were probably already searching for the product/service that you were offering.
Assuming you are not an e-commerce business, then you can still work on collecting their information and reaching out to them with personalized offers. You can use the same form that is mentioned in this post, which helps you build a membership list and offer specialized unique discounts for your customers based on their interests. Don’t overcomplicate things. If you think it’s something that you can handle, try it out and see what kind of results it yields.
I will do my best to here to not be too biased, considering my product, Aadly is the #1 website for buying offline advertising in your local business space.
One of the biggest misunderstandings and one that you will hear very often is the idea that offline advertising is very expensive and is not measurable. There couldn’t be something farther than the truth.
Let me start you off by telling you that offline advertising, unlike online advertising, is always on. It immerses audiences and cannot be blocked by any kind of popup blocker. It cannot be clicked on by any bot, and you will never ‘waste’ advertising money. If you put an offline advertisement up in your local market, it WILL be seen. The question is, what is your budget, where is your audience, and how long are you willing to let the advertisement run for before getting direct results.
I am not saying that every offline ad has to go live for 3-4 months in order to be effective. Please do not take that away from this post. What I am saying is, if you want to reach the ultimate and ideal effectiveness of an offline advertising campaign, you will focus on a hyperlocal advertising space, you will budget $250-$1,000/month and you will run the campaign for a minimum of 3 months.
From my expertise, this will give you the best chance of reaching real results with offline advertising. Because you are there for 3 months, you are reaching people more than once, twice and even three times. Common passerbyers will see your advertisement multiple times and eventually will respond. Whether it be an internet search, a phone call or alike, they will see your advertisement and if the creative is quality, it will definitely spark interest.
One of the biggest mistakes local businesses make when starting to do offline advertising for the first time is that they spend way too much money. If you are new to offline advertising, there is no reason to spend so much money. Don’t call the largest local offline ad space vendor and ask them for average prices in their area. They will tell you almost always that the minimum budget in your area is at least $5,000. You can’t blame them, because ultimately they own that advertising space, and it’s their job to sell the advertising space that costs the most, but don’t be fooled. There are many other wonderfully converting and quality advertising spaces in your area, and it’s all about finding them. To start out, you can definitely try out the Aadly website.
There you will be able to browse, select, and book a campaign straight from the platform. We do not own any inventory, therefore we have absolutely no interest in pushing any specific medium, but rather providing you with the absolute best selection according to your needs, your audience, your budget and your goals. Moreover, we’re not one vendor, but rather an aggregation of many vendors. We want to save you time by not having to go and call each individual vendor and negotiate prices. We’ve already done that. Sorry about the shameless plug, but I had to push some of Aadly’s pure value :)
This is the second post from a seven-part series on the A,B,C’s of local marketing. Make sure to follow along this series by subscribing to the newsletter below.