Look beyond adwords for your local market ad spend.

Many of you have brick and mortar retail or service businesses, including health and wellness. AdWords and boosted posts are good for online, but where does your target audience really hang out? What do they read? What do they pick up and dog ear as reminders of events, resources and more? LOCAL GUIDES. We have two geared toward parents in our area: NW Parent and PDX Parent. They put out resource guides each year. If that is your target market, time to explore ad rates with them. If you are part of one of their bigger issues, remember your digital ad will continue to be displayed in that posted issue in their archive for as long as they keep their site structure. A tip, make sure you give them a trackable link for these ads. There is a FREE, wonderful add-on to Chrome for this called, UTM FTW (for the win!) from Confluent Forms. The article will give you a link to the add-on and a link to download a custom dashboard to view in Analytics. You can read about it here. The reason it’s important is you need to know which ads are pulling for you, what is being shared from what originating source. Tossing things at the wall and hoping it works will eat through your budget and not gain you any sales growth. 

So that covers online ideas, but consider the ideas below for their online version and printed versions:

Another idea are local school sports directories, church bulletins and local attraction brochures and maps. How about your local zoo? Do they have special events where there is a printed guide? Local attractions such as museums, or a place such as “The Grotto” here in Portland have thick keepsake types of brochures that people are given when they arrive. If your ad is appealing with an easy to see image that has a FACE looking at you, or an outstanding graphic to grab them, humor, solving a problem prompt – you may get them to call you.

Remember, if they are calling you, someone has to ANSWER the phone – a HUMAN for your business at all hours. If you are only 9-5 M-F you’d better be checking messages and returning calls RIGHT AWAY.

If you send them to a short link in the ad: bit.ly/binkypdx or something like that – easy to type – that landing page needs to reflect that you know where they came from and have ONE call to action on it – JUST ONE.  You have to follow the full journey. If they register for your newsletter, set up demo – what is the return URL thank you for that registration – continue the conversation and prompt them to keep exploring your site at that point. If they get added to a list, immediately they should receive an attractive welcome that carries through the same image from the ad and landing page – matchy, matchy.

What about your local movie theater? I know my vet gets great leads from this, as do restaurants since they made people hungry before the movie. People have time to kill, even before the previews start. Consider your full screen ad and a joke or something engaging they can talk about with their date. Word Scramble – something like that.

Are there local events you can help sponsor and get your logo out there, be allowed to be on the trophy? Local bowling league, baseball team? Where does your target market hang out? If you support their kids, chances are they’ll consider supporting you, or at least checking you out. What do you do? Make food? Sell yarn? Where do your customers hang out? Why not ask them what they are involved in to get a direct idea of how you can participate more and increase your visibility in the community.

How about a high school podcast station? Could they use new equipment? I bet they’d read your car commercial to their soon-to-be car owners during their broadcasts. We had a morning radio show at our high school – MANY years ago. Steve, our student DJ, played country music and promoted local companies that helped furnish the studio with equipment. He was happy to do it.

Think about how you can reach people when they would be receptive to your message. How can you make your message or call to action memorable? You may want a few opinions on this before you commit.

I’m here to help if you want to explore options and create a plan.

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