It’s a complete understatement to say small business owners are bombarded with limitless options in regards to marketing strategies and ideas.
Our rapidly changing world, particularly in technology, has been both a blessing and a curse for local small businesses.
In the not so distant past, marketing a business to the community was a simple decision based on what was available at that time; radio, television, the local newspaper or direct mail.
Back then, broadcasting your message into the community was the most effective method to grab a few ready-to-buy customers.
But now, with the growth of the Internet, capturing the attention of prospective customers can be a small business owner’s nightmare.
It’s a literal “fight for attention” that every business, including your competitors, wants to win. And to succeed, your business HAS to rise above the noise.
So in this post, I want to cover 5 super effective local community marketing strategies and ideas that will help increase your brand’s awareness.
I have researched the latest trends in local community marketing and feel you’ll be excited to try one or more of these ideas to promote your small business.
My Top 4 Effective Local Community Marketing Strategies And Ideas.
1) Local Digital Events & Community Entertainment -
Local community events have always been a powerful promotional strategy for small businesses. And that’s NOT changing anytime soon.
In a recent survey, by bizzabo, it was discovered that 41% of marketers believe events are the single-most effective marketing strategy over digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing.
This is attributed to the fact that live events have been proven to generate the most leads for business owners who incorporate them into their marketing mix.
And now with social media and the internet, businesses are no longer limited to hosting live events; they can also create digital events!
What’s a digital event? It’s an event that is strategically planned to be delivered primarily online using social media platforms and the internet.
Digital events operate within set dates, just like live events, with the major difference being that participation takes place online instead of at a local venue.
This offers a huge advantage over live events, because local participants can experience your online entertainment at their own convenience, right from their mobile devices.
You can use online tools like webinars, short videos, a series of emails, private groups & forums, landing pages and more to create a digital event.
And unlike live events where unforeseen glitches sometimes pop up, a digital event can be 100% setup and tested to eliminate potential mishaps.
The key to hosting an effective digital event is entertainment. You don’t need an online circus, but you do have to know your target audience and their interests.
If hosting a digital event sounds like an idea you could go for, I suggest reading over my article on “Local Community Digital Event Marketing Ideas ”. In it you’ll be given some awesome tips to spark your imagination.
2) YouTube Advertising -
To be honest, before doing my research, I’ve never really payed much attention to YouTube as a marketing platform.
Yes, I know it’s the second largest search engine behind Google and over 5 billion videos are watched daily, but for getting local customers to patron local businesses I didn’t see the value.
But now my thoughts on YouTube advertising has definitely changed. And I should’ve realized it long, long ago, because the proof was hidden right in front of my eyes.
Here’s my story…
About 8 years ago my wife and I decided to cut out cable because we hardly ever watched television.
That decision thrusted YouTube to the top of our list for leisure entertainment. And after speaking with friends and family members, we found YouTube to be the top media channel within our own personal network.
My children even tune in their favorite YouTubers on a regular basis right from the living room TV set.
Putting all the mind blowing statistics aside, I know first-hand that YouTube’s prominence in the average home is astounding.
Take just a moment and think how often you, your close family members and friends watch videos on YouTube. I’ll bet you will see a rising trend as well.
And when you consider all the times you’ve used that “skip ad” button to get back to your video, you’ll begin to understand the tremendous value YouTube offers for local small businesses.
With YouTube ads you can position your business’s message right smack in front of residents in your local community.
In the last few years YouTube has made their platform more accommodating for local small businesses by improving on location and geographical targeting.
Not only can YouTube advertising target a specific audience by their interests, favorite channel categories, language and more; you can have your ad shown only to the geographic market you service. This is a game changer!
Keep an eye out for more local marketing features from YouTube and be one of the first to use this strategy in your local community.
3) Local Social Media Micro Influencers -
Isn’t it marvelous that we now live in a time where the “little-guy” has just as much influence as a Hollywood star?
They may not have as many fans or followers, but the playing ground has been levelled by giving average creators the necessary digital resources to quickly expand their own personal brands.
Did you know that by 2020 influencer marketing is projected to become a $10 billion dollar industry? And 63% of brands plan to increase their budget for influencer marketing.
It seems we’re in the beginning stages of a huge upset in the marketing industry, where individual influencers are being sought out over large agencies.
Who Are Local Micro Influencers?
Micro influencers are online creators having anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
They are specialists within a particular niche or genre and have built a sizeable community of fans that look to them for great content.
You can find micro influencers in your local community who run niche blogs, are on Instagram, have a YouTube channel, are local celebrities, manage a thriving Twitter account or have a podcast.
The reason influencer marketing is on fire right now is because it gives small business owners the opportunity to hire a well-known personality to strategically place “Word-Of-Mouth” marketing messages to attract a targeted audience of followers.
Statistics show that for every $1 spent on influencer marketing businesses receive $5.20 in earned media value. How’s that for a return on investment?
In the last 3 years, the Google search for “influencer marketing” has increased by 1,500%! And it’s just getting warmed up!
Using a popular local micro influencer to promote your business could be one of the most cost effective strategies for reaching new customers.
83% of consumers have said that they would likely follow the recommendations given by a local micro influencer. Which means influencer marketing is like Word-Of-Mouth on steroids!
4) Referral or Affiliate Marketing -
Another quickly growing multi-billion dollar industry is referral or affiliate marketing.
In case you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, Entrepreneur.com defines it as Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission.
For a small business, it means you digitally package your product or service with an irresistible offer that converts.
And then, you pay local followers & influencers a small commission when they get you new leads by sharing your digital offer on social media.
Affiliate marketing has been around since 1989 and has blossomed into an industry where now 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage its power.
As a matter of fact, local small businesses are arriving fairly late to the affiliate marketing party.
Larger corporations like Wal-Mart started their affiliate program in 2002, Amazon’s was in 1996, eBay’s partner network launched in 2008. That’s over 10 years these mega companies have used an affiliate program to generate effortless revenue from referrals.
The perfect combination for a small business owner should be creating a lead generating affiliate program and recruiting a team of local micro influencers to promote it.
While they do the social promoting and become advocates for your business, you can reap the benefits of receiving a steady stream of referrals.
How To Easily Setup An Affiliate Marketing Program
Surprisingly, it’s not complicated at all to set up your own referral or affiliate marketing program. You’ll only need two tools to do the job.
• GetResponse — This is my “go-to” digital marketing software that I use to create landing pages, manage customer email lists and execute ongoing followup.
GetResponse has attractively designed landing page templates making it extremely easy for you to setup an affiliate promotion page.
With it, you can collect contact information from leads and add them to a email nurturing system with automated follow up.
Side Note: List building should be top priority for any business. If you’re not actively working to grow your customer list then you’re missing out on the most effective marketing strategy there is. Learn about the importance of email marketing by clicking here.
• LeadDyno — This is an affiliate marketing and social media sharing software that tracks your programs clicks, leads and sales.
LeadDyno’s simple setup process can have your affiliate program up and running in less than an hour.
Once setup you can begin signing up local partners to promote your new program on social media and the internet.
I wholeheartedly believe these 4 local community marketing strategies can get you more customers, expand your brand and help to make you an authority.
Want to get started? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work together to create your custom local community marketing strategy.