Categories
Business

Increasing Local Market Visibility

One of the first tasks a business owner needs to define is where their sales are going to come from. Where do we get leads? How do we find new customers? The current resources a primarly comprised of lead generation programs, CRMs, referrals, brand advocates, affiliates, local events, networking events. How do you decide what works best for your business? 
Large businesses with big budgets have expenses that typically far exceed a small business owner’s reach. These corporations can spend thousands on their CRM platforms. Their ad spends are off the charts. They can outsource and hire agencies to manage their marketing, social presence and more.
How do you, as a small business owner, compete with this?

Answer: You Don’t!

 

Increasing Local Market Visibility: Your Presence Is Required

Increasing local market visibility is possible with both digital businesses and traditional brick and mortar locations. Your local presence is where you call home; where you live, eat, sleep, shop, work and play. You are a business owner and member of a community. Many small businesses are missing huge opportunities to participate in their local marketplace and increase their visibility. I recently discussed this with a panel on Google Plus, but let’s dive even deeper and discuss your day-to-day local presence and brand experience.

Creating a Brand Experience For Your Clients and Potential Clients

increasing local market visibilityA great place to begin building on this strategy is your city’s local event page. Every city has an event calendar, and is normally quite easy to find. For example: I went to Google searched for “Seattle events.” The first link in results was visitseattle.org, and the link took me directly to the event page. I could choose the type of events and location I was looking for.  I want to see every event happening in and around me to find the best fit for my business to participate in or attend, so I selected “all.” Here is what my search provided me with:  2015 Seattle Events
 
This took me all of two minutes to do. I don’t live in Seattle, but there seem to be no shortage of events that any business could take advantage of and increase their visibility in their local communities.

How To Leverage Local Events

Here are a few ways you can leverage local events to increase your business’ exposure in the local market.

  1. Get a booth at a local event.
  2. Don’t have money for a booth? Be your own brand ambassador, bring some swag or product and pass it out as you walk around and enjoy the event yourself.
  3. Partner with another local business and do product testing or tutorials with them.
  4. Create a free or cheap event for local residents to come try out products, food, etc, to have a hands-on experience.
  5. Sponsor events that are put on by other local businesses.
  6. Is there a new business opening? Can you participate in their opening and help them drive traffic?
  7. I saved the best for last: Large Regional Events. Is the rodeo in town? X-Games? Olympics? Food & Wine? Any big Expos? Tradeshows? Marathons? Cultural Events? These are the best events to involve yourself in, but they are only once a year. These events are a fun way to get creative with your brand experience and provide a unique opportunity to piggyback off of larger brands like Disney, McDonalds, Chevrolet, etc. These companies pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into sponsorship and booths to create a brand experience.

There are a myriad of ways for you to incorporate experiential marketing into your business and not all of it has to cost you an arm and a leg. As a business owner, be prepared to spend money on marketing and finding creative, memorable ways to engage your audience will create a lifelong customer provided you continue to provide excellent service.
 

Gaining a Broader Impact

In conjunction with the utilizing local events, here are a few things to consider incorporating to gain a broader impact.

    1. Hire Brand Ambassadors:Brand Ambassadors can staff event booths for you.
    2. Giveaways: Have branded swag or product samples to give away.
    3. Contests: Run a contest for a big ticket item and collect email addresses for your mailing list.
    4. Beware of the raffle: Do not do raffle UNLESS you are giving away a very big ticket item, such as a car. There are legal hoops to jump through associated with raffles. Tread carefully.
    5. Make It Fun: Create a fun experience for your audience.

increasing local market visibility
The key to building a local presence is to get customers in the door, create brand recognition and provide an experience that people won’t forget. Once you have them in the door, it’s time to cultivate those relationships and those experiences. Deepen them with good service and quality products.
Have I lost you in this crazy world of event/experiential marketing? Are you trying to figure out the best place to start? Reach out to me and we can discuss your marketing strategy and get you on the right path to increasing local market visibility for you. I have connections with nationwide event staffing agencies that provide fantastic, professional Brand Ambassadors, experience with larger brands such as Jeep and Disney, and will build your marketing plan around thinking big.

Categories
Business

Local Event Marketing Catapults Your Business Visibility

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a massive corporation. If you’re not giving your customers an experience they can actively participate in, you’re behind in the game. You’re missing out on a slew of opportunities to get people talking about your business in person and online, and bringing real, actual people into your shop. Think like a customer. Which would you rather have? Something you read on the side of a bus, or something you get to participate in?

Local Event Marketing: The Key To Getting Your Name Out There

Let’s talk about Experiential Marketing. Experiential Marketing, or Participation Marketing, is the strategy of actively engaging your consumers in the growth of your brand. You’re inviting your customers to work WITH you. If you’re a smaller business, you might be thinking right this second, “how on EARTH do I accomplish that?” Allow me to explain:
local event marketing

You Gotta Know Yourself

What kind of business are you? Big, small? Brick and mortar? Once you have a sense of your own business identity, you can start to build a digital plan around it.

You Gotta Know Your Region and What Events Are Happening

If you are a smaller local business looking to get your name on people’s minds, this is huge. Find out what kind of events are going on in your area. Look at your local chamber of commerce website and check out what’s happening throughout the year. What brands are coming to town? Can you piggyback on their event? Can you partner with them?

 You Gotta Have a Plan

You can’t just start to post on social media platforms willy-nilly and magically expect any kind of engagement, following, sales, or growth. Potential customers are going to glance over and then keep right on going. What’s in it for them? What can you PUT in it for them? What platforms can help you with that? (Hint: Twitter is number one for this)

You Gotta Start Early

Start planning as soon as you know about the event. Your crunch time for maximizing effectiveness is three to six months in advance. Brand ambassadors, swag, giveaways, tweets, promotional material, and marketing materials should be ordered and ready to go.

You Gotta Be Willing To Unclench a Little And Give Stuff Away

Giveaways and freebies are going to add value to the customer’s experience. They walk away with something from the event you gave them, and they will be reminded of it and YOU.

You Gotta Go For It

When I worked at an agency, we did a large event at X-Games geared toward children with a very well-known brand during a huge event. We had to reach out to local vendors and businesses to support our event and make it happen. We created an adventure for customers with freebies, treats, and fun. They walked away from the brand experience with memories they will never forget. THAT’S what you want.
Big brands are building their big experiential marketing events up to a year in advance. They decide on venue, promos, prizes, and hashtags. They have teams in the field getting things set up and looking for local brand partners. Brands and agencies are often looking for smaller local businesses to hook up with. Say yes. It drives traffic to your location.
To maximize the potential for you, reach out. It’s harder, sure. But hit the streets of town and ask. Hotels are a great place to start because you want your business in front of their customers while they are attending the big event.

Learn More Here:

I recently was interviewed by Debi Davis of the Plus Your Business Academy on G+. You can watch it below to get a better idea of how you can begin your plan for local event marketing and your business visibility today.

I know. You want it to be easy and it doesn’t sound easy. But if it’s worth having, it’s worth working for, right? You can do it. I can help. With my background in speaking big brand language, I can help you get the right people seeing you at the right events.