With the prevalence of social media, it’s easy to forget that you can still promote your business in the local media and that local media remains a powerful way to inform the public about your services. Some promotional services, like advertising, require you to spend large amounts of money. But there are other less costly ways to get your business noticed, and in some cases, they are entirely free.
Here are six ways to promote your business locally through media.
1. Issue a press release
One of the best ways to get local media to cover your business is to issue a press release when you’re announcing something. These can be issued when your business first opens, celebrates a milestone, announces a new product or service, or makes a significant change such as moving locations. A good press release will pique the interest of local news editors, and may convince them to write an article about your business. If you’re not comfortable writing a press release, hire someone to write one for you.
2. Create videos
The media loves stories about locals getting noticed online. You don’t necessarily need a video to go viral, but even posting one that gets a moderate amount of attention online could encourage the media to do a story about you and your business. If you have talented and creative people around you, try making a video about your store or your products—these always tend to generate a lot of publicity. Here’s how to add a video to your Yelp page, for starters.
3. List on local directories
Online directories such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Foursquare and Yelp all allow customers to search for local businesses. This way, both customers and the media don’t have to know the name of your business to hear about it—all they have to do is a general search for the services you provide to find you. To help, we’ve compiled 16 places your business needs to be listed online.
Depending on your budget and your target market, it can still be worthwhile to purchase advertising space in a newspaper, or time on radio or television stations. If you’re looking into advertising with a local newspaper, costs can range from $60 to $200, depending on the size of the advertisement and the circulation of the newspaper. For local radio stations, expect to pay up to $500 per week for an effective campaign that consists of commercials airing during some of the most desirable times. If your target market is online, find out if there are popular blogs that accept advertising and consider buying ad space, usually between $5 and $25 per 1,000 ad impressions. Prices for advertising on blogs are highly dependent on the advertisement’s size and location, as well as the number of page views the blog receives.
5. Get reviewed
People still turn to local reviews to help make purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to finding a place to eat or searching for a specific service provider. Encourage local reviewers—either in the newspaper or online—to visit your business and see what you’re about. An article in the newspaper or on a local blog can go a long way and is sure to generate publicity about your business. Check out this webinar on how to get more reviews without breaking any rules while doing so. (If you’re strapped for time, here are the key takeaways.)
6. Get involved
Reporters frequently cover local events such as fundraisers, community gatherings or celebrations, so try sponsoring or hosting an event that is relevant to your business. Restaurants can collect donations for a food bank, women’s clothing stores can host an event for breast cancer fundraising, and pet stores can sponsor animal spay and neuter clinics. This is the ideal win-win situation—not only are you giving back to your community, you’re bringing forth positive publicity about your store.
Top photo credit: Harvey Fitzhugh/Shutterstock
Barb Dittert is a contributor to the Connectivity blog. She also is a Content Marketing Specialist for Connectivity partner, Volume Nine.