Earlier this year, Gerrit Curran and Emily Wessner opened a Jersey Mike’s Subs in Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania.
To gain traction in their township of 20,000, these entrepreneurs knew that their new business must be intricately tied to a community connection. Curran and Wessner chose to use print as their primary marketing channel. The Jersey Mike’s staff throughout the community, encouraging patrons to enjoy a free sub and also to donate the cost of that sandwich to the Muhlenberg Township Athletic Association.
In the end, the promotion helped raise over $15,000, and the franchise gained an admirable reputation as a devoted community partner.
Stand Out in Your Community
Print marketing can be especially effective in creating a local marketing presence, especially when combined with integrated campaign efforts.
Smart business owners know that catering to a local market can be a point of power. But how do you leverage this connection? Here are several ways to connect your on- and off-line presence in compelling ways.
Demonstrate Community Connection
Integrate your business into local festivals, sponsorship opportunities, and regional traditions.
Does your community host a lobster festival? Find fun ways to weave this crustacean into your flyers or sales. Share pictures or postcards about your brand participating in local fundraisers, theme weeks, or service drives. Start conversations on things that are happening locally and, whenever possible, relate them to your business.
When advertising for your business, highlight testimonies or quotes from real, local customers. Try before and after pictures, photos of your customers in well-loved parks, or advertisements featuring your content in front of an area mascot.
Another option is to tailor your ads to regional events. Is your city sponsoring a music festival? Offer helpful content like advice on cheap parking, a schedule of places where kids eat for a discount, or print coupons that correspond to a felt need of these visitors. Creating ads with local content will connect with your audience on a very personal level.
Invent Reasons to Make a Difference
Too often, organizations focus on community involvement with a selfish perspective: more profits, more marketing, etc.
Instead, take a “community in the front, business in the rear” approach. Whether you build a nature center with other businesses or create a contest for local charities, genuinely help people, and the benefits will follow. Plus, employees and volunteers will love submitting their photos to your company newsletter or your social media pages.
Tell Your Story
If you’re from the area you’re targeting, do your best to tell the story of how your business came to life.
Make a video, print inserts for your bags or envelopes, or have a brand story display onsite. Customers love to support local businesses, especially those founded or run by a hard-working local resident.
Find, Engage, Repeat
While your brand may serve customers beyond your region, an enormous 85% of business owners depend on word-of-mouth referrals, so it is vital to actively influence your friends and neighbors!
When satisfied local customers are committed to your success, your business can do more with less while continuing to succeed.
Need help giving your brand an extra boost in the community? We’d be happy to help with your local marketing needs. Contact us today to find out more!