The last few weeks in Queensland has exemplified ‘community’ spirit. This powerful demonstration of communities coming together to get a job done and to help those in need gives evidence to the fact that small business has a massive opportunity to promote their brand, products and service by being more involved in their local community.
In my experience many small businesses find it hard to link giving away money, time or resources to their community and a positive impact on their bottom line. But any activity that gets your brand and your offer exposed to potential customers is ultimately driving business growth.
There always needs to be a balance between revenues and expenditure but Community Based Marketing is the most cost effective type of Local Area Marketing.
Ideas for getting involved in your local community include
1. Sponsorships – of local sporting clubs, community groups or schools;
2. Fundraising – run your own raffle, or contribute to someone else’s to help raise money;
3. Donations – donate your goods or services to help someone else;
4. Giving up your time – donate your time to help someone;
5. Lending your expertise – help a community group, family or someone less fortunate through a difficult time;
6. Being a mentor – help another small or start up business.
You might be thinking this sounds great but how will this help grow my business?
This is the easy part, you need to promote everything you do for the community; this is what we call Public Relations or PR.
When most people think of PR they think of a story in the local paper, but it is a lot more than this.
1. Contact your local paper and ask them if they want to do a story on you or your business;
2. Put a sign up in your shop telling your customers what you do for the community;
3. Get those groups you support to promote you by putting a sign promoting you in their clubroom;
4. Use social media to get the message out; the internet is a great way to get free publicity. Use Facebook, Twitter and your website to promote what you do for the local community;
Giving up your time to help the local community might seem difficult when you are trying to run a small business. However, in an increasingly competitive world these types of community activities might give you the edge by having your brand recognised positively by members of the community.
The great thing about communities is they talk and wouldn’t you rather them talk about you than your competition.
Community Based Marketing is a powerful tool. At Tempt Marketing we use low cost, high engagement marketing techniques like the ones mentioned in this article to grow your brand, business and ultimately your bottom line.