If you want your local marketing in Northumberland County (where I live), or whatever other location you are, to be effective, you need to create online content. There is no getting around it; people are going on the internet to find local products and services. And when they are looking for something you can provide, you better have something out there for them to find. Online video is just about the easiest and biggest impact kind of content you can offer. Think about this. You have a retail outlet offering women’s clothing. You get new items in 4 times a year, to mark the seasons. Each time you get new stock, you can take 16-24 pictures that demonstrate the new items. You have several options.
You could group the photos into albums, over the course of the year, and feature them on Flickr or Picasa, free photo sharing sites online. The albums would have descriptive terms; even something as simple as “new women’s clothing in Warkworth, Northumberland County, for spring 2014, at MyStore.” Someone searching for “women’s clothing Warkworth” is going to get your photo albums as a result.
Now fire up PowerPoint, in your Microsoft Office 2010, or newer Office Suite, and create a PowerPoint presentation with the photos. If you wish to get a little creative, add a music track to the presentation, add simple transitions, include a little text describing the photos and export the whole thing as a video. Now upload the video to YouTube, along with an optimized description, and there is another piece of content for your local marketing in Northumberland County that can get found by someone searching for “women’s clothing in Warkworth (or Trent Hills, or Northumberland County etc.). Now turn the PowerPoint presentation into a PDF and upload it to some document sharing sites.
I hope you are getting my point. You want to create a ton of online content for people to find and put it online for them to find. All of the content can point back to your website, which helps people find your website. Each piece of content is optimized so it can be found by local people searching for local products and services. The easiest way to do this is to just make it part of your regular schedule. The smartest way to do it is to include some kind of special offer in each piece of content. Ask folks to mention where they saw the information for an opportunity to get a discount on a second item, or 5% off any purchase or to get their name entered into a draw for a $200 gift card at your store, or whatever makes sense for you. Then keep a record of how they found you. That will allow you track results. You can then see what is working, and what isn’t. It will easily be worth the small cost involved for you to find out what forms of marketing you should immediately shut down, and what you should ramp up.
I was recently talking to a client that spent $15,000.00 in magazine and newspaper advertising last year, and he just didn’t know how much of a return it created for him. He only knew for sure of $5,000.00 in business generated. Look, you aren’t doing “Branding” nationally, you are doing local marketing in Northumberland County, or Peterborough or Oshawa. You need to be able to track results. And you need to make sure you put your offer where people are looking. More and more today, that is online. People are looking for local products and services by using Google search and YouTube. Ask yourself this: when was the last time you used the Yellow pages? What medium did you use when you wanted to find something and you didn’t already have a favourite local supplier?
As a business owner, you need to make sure you have an online presence. Creating content and putting it online can mean that when someone looks for a product or service you can supply, they could see your name could show up 3, 4 or even a half a dozen times on the first page of Google. You just need to make content creation a regular part of your business activities. Or pay for it to get done. It is not expensive. Compared to a $300.00 a month charge to pay for your Yellow page ad, or that insert, or the little display ad in the paper, creating an online presence is a bargain. I asked the Post Office what they charge to deliver flyers to people. They told me it’s seventeen cents. When you consider the cost of printing, design, and delivery…and the fact that you have just mailed out something most people will consider junk mail you might want to start shaking your head. Compare that to any online effort. Create it once and then it’s there, 24/7, 365 days a year, just waiting to be found when people go looking.
Do it yourself or pay someone to do it, but get online, and keep getting online. You could dominate your market niche, and there is something to be said for being the only game in town.
I hope you can use the info in this article. Content creation and getting your content online where it can be found is something I cover deeply in my six module workshop “Your Own Online Marketing Department.” Go to Google and do a search for “bootstrap local marketing” to see what attendees think of the training, then give me a call about signing up for the next session.
Paul Stevens, Bootstrap Local Marketing