How Small Businesses can Benefit from Local Newspaper Advertising and other Local Networking Opportunities

Creating a local advertising campaign as a small business owner  can be hard.  It can be a challenge figuring out what to do that effectively builds credibility and your brand image all while bringing in customers.  While it sounds impossible it doesn’t have to be.  Often there are quite a few different opportunities with in the community already that you may not realize exist. For instance, local newspaper advertising has many benefits for small business owners besides just the ability to place ads that can really help you tie all your efforts together.

As a small business owner, while our first goal might be to get the community to appreciate US and shop more, it can be beneficial to first remind community members how much you appreciate them!  Reminding your local community that you do give back  can be done in several different ways though the help of  your local newspaper and existing community networks .

Build Connection

Local shoppers will be more inclined to shop with you if they feel a sense of connection with your brand identity. Often local communities appreciate genuine attempts to give back and stay involved.  Participation in local charities and events and keeping the public informed about where you will be next is a great way to start.  Consider placing signage, sponsorship opportunities or partnering with other local businesses for mutual representation.  These are great ways to endear you to the community and build brand recognition as well as create more awareness and sales opportunities. These things also have a dual purpose, and can  make your business seem like a fun and inviting place to work. All of these things make your business something that the community will want to make sure sticks around.

Small businesses may also consider having a press release written the next time you win business award, or sponsor a local charity or school function. Press releases can be about anything newsworthy and are often times picked up by local papers  who love to make news out of local accomplishments. Community members appreciate what happens within their city limits and surrounding areas and find local newspaper advertising to be more credible.

A press release about a heart warming cause can help build the character of your brand identity and endear you to your audience.  Newspapers stories like these provide newsworthy  common interest articles, that are just as important as news and  a local events articles.  A press release can be a valuable way of reminding your community you are there and giving them insight into the values of your company. Press releases are also distributed online which is great when people are searching for you. Playing an active presence in your community and representing your brand consistently through local newspaper advertising and social media can be a positive way to draw sales both in store and online.

Create Incentive

Running ads that offer the latest deals, sales incentives and coupons are great ways to get people to shop. Also consider    giveaways,referral opportunities and  frequent shopper programs, that encourage additional purchases and invite people to to create more conversation about your product or service with others.

These are all fun ways  which are great way to create online involvement that include a  ” call to action ” that tells people  what you need them to do. Make sure to include verbiage that invites people to  visit you online or on Facebook , or  participate in a giveaway where they must be present to win. These are great ways to go about creating exciting opportunities that get people enticed to buy.

Stand out

Advertising is a great way to highlight what makes your business stand out from the others like it.  If your community  or region has several businesses similar to yours (perhaps your a dentist office, or a lawn company). Your ads should work at highlighting what you do different from your competition and what may make you more appealing to your audience.  If your business has something about it that you feel makes doing business specifically with you especially inviting, letting your community know can offer you your own unique niche. Stand out qualities could be environmentalism, frequent shopper or referral programs programs; even  an office that is family oriented, pet friendly, or percentage of the profits going to a unique cause.

And above all ,

Be Consistent

Running consistent ads and being a reliable presence in a local newspaper can provide the frame work to an improved and enticing brand image. Newspaper advertising can remind people of their local business store and increase sales by reminding the community to shop there and support the local economy. Once your ad has begun to run, leave it there! The biggest mistake that advertisers tend to make in advertising is pulling an ad too soon.  People begin to look for and expect ads that they recognize in papers that they read.

Studies  have shown that for many types of advertising like online and TV,  the response begins to diminish shortly after the first time that it runs. This is much different for Newspaper advertising where response actually begins to increase the more consistently it runs. Additionally studies show that the addition of print advertising increases the effectiveness of other types of media.

For businesses that want to reach “ local” consumers but also want an ad that covers a much broader region, consider something like the USA Today networks. This is a  local edition that goes into local newspapers across the country.  By running ads in larger groups of newspapers or those that have well known reputable titles,  you can also help increase your credibility and encourage online sales on a larger scale through  the credibility of the paper. Placing an ad in a well known publication allows your business the benefit of its reputation and the the extended reach of the newspaper reader ship in much the same way as if the newspaper had referred you themselves.

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