With all the buzz about digital marketing, it’s easy to forget that taking advantage of local media opportunities can still make a major difference in how your business and brand is perceived in your community. Without a strategy to unlock this channel, you risk getting lost in the digital marketing noise. With it, however, you can establish yourself as a premier business and go-to resource in your area.
Below are 5 essentials allow you to launch a local media campaign that only takes 60 minutes and will make a tangible difference in your business success.
1. Scout Your Options (20 Minutes)
Any local media strategy has to begin with knowing just what options you have to get your message out there. Does the neighborhood in which you seek to build your brand have a local newspaper or community magazine? What are other options that you could take advantage of to reach your audience?
Scouting your options depends in large part on knowing how far you want to reach. A community magazine will have a very different impact (and price point) from a major newspaper in the neighboring metropolis. Knowing the available media channels helps you set expectations and lays the groundwork to everything that comes next.
2.Know Your Budget (5 Minutes)
This step should not take much time, because it only consists of understanding how much of your marketing money will be available for local media. Don’t dedicate all of your budget to this strategy, but make sure you have enough to cover at least some of the options you shouted as viable in the above steps.
3. Understand Your Audience (20 Minutes)
Next, it’s time to undergo an audience analysis. Which of the local media outlets you scouted above does your audience actually read? Which are most effective in getting your message to your target audience? Many of the media outlets you scouted in step 1 likely have audience statistics that allow you to determine the right fit, which is why this step should not take longer than 20 minutes.
4. Develop Media Relationships (15 Minutes)
An effective local media strategy makes sure that the media also covers your business and highlights your brand on an ongoing basis. That, in turn, is only possible if you can develop relationships with key members of the organizations you want to pay attention to your business.
Developing these relationships, of course, takes more than 15 minutes. This initial time allows you to find out who you should get in touch with, and send an initial note to them to invite them for a visit or simply introduce yourself. What happens next will depend on how the relationship develops from there.
5. Stay Strategic (Ongoing)
Finally, your last essential step to launch a local media campaign is to remain strategic throughout the process. That means not just placing some ads and hoping they work, but analyzing their success on an ongoing basis and making sure that they return the desired results.
Over time, you can analyze the success of your local media strategy by measuring your brand awareness in your core area. You can also measure the impact of your developing media relationships through the average number of ‘earned’ (i.e. non-paid) media pieces in your core area over a given time frame. The more strategic you are in your approach, the more likely your local media campaign will be to succeed.
Are you taking full advantage of the opportunity that your local media environment presents? If not, it is time to evaluate the above steps to make sure that you leverage the environment.