The world is flat. If you want to know what’s going on in Hong Kong, you can find out without leaving your bed. You don’t have to pick up a newspaper, turn on a TV, or exert yourself in any way. It’s at your fingertips. At the same time, you can check the local weather forecast.
Seeing as the world is flat, you can get ideas on advertising from anywhere. If you want your ad to feel, sound, look like it was made in New York. You can do that. It’s sheep leading sheep.
But where do you get your hyper-local content? What’s going on in the community? How do you know? What are my neighbours up to, and why is taking it so damn long to finish their deck?
I was chatting with the in-laws last night, and the topic of local news, and information coverage came up. With international, and national news at our fingertips, where the hell do you get the local stuff? Local media departments are shrinking as it just as easy to get a fluff, national piece from someone in Toronto, New York, LA, etc… and stuff it in. Social media is supposed to help us find what’s happening at the deli down the street, but it’s not. On social media YOU HAVE TO FIND STUFF yourself. Not to mention, the deli shop owner doesn’t have the time nor does he see the value in updating his Facebook page to his 15 fans.
So your ads…
You want to feel local, like a part of the community. That should be one of your goals as a small-business owner (PROFIT is the #1 goal). You’ll probably get more customers from the community you’re in (say, within a 10 KM radius of your shop) then you will all of the surrounding areas combined.
When someone purchases something from you – do you get their name? Do you take their picture? Do you have an idea of where they live? No? Maybe it’s time to start doing it. Ask, “Do you mind if I include you on my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, brochure, flyer, radio ad, print ad, etc…” Make your customer feel apart of something bigger than the single purchase he / she just made.
In Chip & Dan Heath’s Made To Stick (get the damn book) they reference a local newspaper that has a subscription rate HIGHER than the population of the town. We’re talking a newspaper here! Isn’t the newspaper supposed to be dead? Yet this paper not only has every single household as a subscriber, they’re getting subscriptions from former locals who’ve moved out of town.
The publisher uses this motto with his writers, content people, etc… NAMES NAMES NAMES. He wants as many names of LOCAL people in his paper as possible. If he couldn’t get an article with a local person’s name in it…it wouldn’t run in the paper. Where else are you going to be able to get that? NO WHERE, but that community.
You can do the same with your small business. SHOW the masses who’s buying from you. Put it where ever you can (social media, flyers, brochures, a wall in store, get creative). “Here’s John and his dog Scooter who live in SmallVille. Scooter wanted a new toy, so John came by (name of shop). Have fun Scooter!” Or something like that.
People want to buy from businesses, who other people buy from (it’s a psychological thing – think Boxing Day shopping). If I knew John, and saw this…guess where I’d be going to get my next pet toy. If it’s good enough for John, well then it’s good enough for me. If I didn’t like John, I’d probably one up him and buy two pet toys, but that’s just me.
I know a Realtor in Winnipeg who does this with every single one of his customers who purchases a home: He snaps a happy photo of them, in front of the house, with the SOLD sign. And then he shares it with his audience. It’s instant word of mouth. HOW POWERFUL IS THAT?