There’s a newfound interest in purchasing local, and savvy small business owners take advantage of this “home grown” preference resurgence. It’s important for small businesses to make an impact in the communities where they operate. One way you, as a small business owner, can gain a competitive edge is by becoming widely known and recognized in your community for the products you sell or the service you provide.
Keep these five ways to become known in your community in mind as you plan your advertising for the coming year.
1) Advertise through Local Media
Local media options for advertising are broader than you may might realize. The key is to identify your target audience and select the media that’s most relevant to them. Options include television, radio, newspaper, bus stops, newsletters, community magazine advertising, direct mail, and more. Don’t forget to consider offering Groupon or Living Social specials (or some similar program in your community) to reach out to an even broader audience. The latter is particularly helpful to get the word out on your business if you are a new startup business in your community.
2) Sponsor Community Events
You don’t have to look very far in most communities to find community events in need of small business and corporate sponsorships. From Fireworks shows on the fourth of July to free community days at local museums and 5K sponsorships, there are countless opportunities to sponsor events and gain new exposure. Choose at least one per year, and get involved.
3) Join Local Business Organizations
Whether your community has a local Chamber of Commerce or you prefer more service oriented organizations, don’t overlook the value of local business organizations for getting the word out about your business. Joining multiple organizations allows you to widen the net and expand exposure exponentially.
4) Participate in Social Media
We live in a new day of doing business. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram are becoming essential tools of almost any trade on the local level. It’s important to develop a local social media presence and work at creating a responsive presence in social networks for your customers and your community.
5) Become a Local Authority
It’s important to identify yourself as an expert in your field within the community. There are plenty of ways to do this. Some go the celebrity route, by becoming a vocal personality or advocate in the field (think crazy car or mattress commercials). Others choose to go a more cerebral route by writing a book and promoting that book at local libraries, book fairs, and book stores. Other business owners volunteer as public speakers for community events and even political rallies in an effort to solidify their prominence in the community and establish themselves as true experts in their fields. Even publishing engaging and interesting contact on your blog can help raise your ranks as a local authority in your area.
There isn’t one method of gaining local exposure that’s heads and shoulders above the rest. However, engaging in all five of these methods maximizes local exposure for yourself and your business.