Marketing success with community-based promotions

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If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve likely participated in some type of community-driven promotions. You may have even hosted one yourself. They’re a useful tool that businesses can use to help grow their community recognition, sales and online presence.

The key to local marketing success is community-based promotions. Community-based promotions started with a simple idea: if you provide some sort of value to your audience before you ask anything from them, your audience will become receptive to your marketing efforts.

If you’re launching an online business and trying to get traffic to your website, you’ve probably realized just how difficult it is to get attention and generate sales. With hundreds of thousands of websites online and social media channels too, it’s a big competition for your consumer’s time.

As online marketers and business owners, you know that effective content syndication and local marketing are vital components of your digital strategy. You see, every day, you are competing for people’s time and attention. They have a million different things vying for their clicks, their time, and their business. With so many different options at their fingertips, you need to find ways to make your company stand out in the crowd. How can you take advantage of the power of online marketing without making yourself crazy?

community-driven promotions for your online business
Host a street fair or carnival is a great to build community recognition.

The answer is community-based promotions

A community-based promotion is a promotional effort that depends on participation from members of your community (through social media or other means) to succeed. It can be as simple as a contest or as involved as a street fair. Getting other local businesses involved is also a great way to network.

Community-based promotion requires the members of your community to participate in order for you to receive the benefits. The best community-based promotions are free to participate in and offer something in return. Contests and raffles are a great example; you offer a prize from your business (a gift card is best) for entering a raffle. When the community member joins the raffle, have them opt in to your mailing list.

Street fairs are more complicated but offer a far better return on your investment. From promoting your brand on printed materials and banners to having live entertainment mentioning “event sponsors” from the stage. You can also get other local businesses involved and delegate duties or even sell sponsorships.

These types of promotions are one of the most effective ways that small businesses and influencers can grow their audiences, gain new customers and work together to compete against the major players.

Know your audience

To get started with community-based promotions, it’s important to know your audience. If you’re trying to grow your Instagram following, you’re going to use different strategies than if you’re trying to drive people into your new yoga studio. Once you’ve figured out who you’re trying to reach with your promotion, it’s time to find content that resonates with them and tailor your promotion around that content.

For example, a restaurant trying to drive people into their store for lunch might offer a $15 gift card raffle through Facebook or another social media platform. For a yoga studio trying to get people to sign up for classes, they might hold a contest where the winner gets a free one-month membership.

Once you have selected the winner and they have redeemed their reward, be sure to ask for an online review via Yelp or Google. You can also ask the winner for permission to use their picture and maybe a quote for online promotion. These additional tools will really help when you are crafting your next promotion.

Another simple tip is to network outside your age group. Younger and older audiences may be seeking what you have to offer; the only way to find out is to communicate with them.

You are only limited by your initial promotional budget and forecasted ROI

A lot of businesses start using promotion tactics out of necessity and build their businesses with the belief that they’ll somehow get bigger results further down the road. What happens is that a lot of business owners don’t track and measure the results of each promotion they run and then they’re completely lost on what promotions work and which promotions don’t. In order to make promotions a part of your business instead of just a “quick way to grow” your business, you need to plan out each individual promotion and how you will track and measure its ROI (return on investment).

No matter how many pieces of content your business may be producing, you will always want more. All business owners want more high-quality backlinks and bigger promotions to help boost their website traffic and search rankings, in turn attracting more customers and improving conversions.

Top Local Promotional Ideas for 2023

  • Gift card raffle – could be your product, a partner, or Starbucks. The key here is to get an email and possibly the mailing addresses of everyone who enters.
  • Photo contest – gift card prize, same as above.
  • Art contest – gift card prize, same as above
  • Street fair/carnival/craft market – you can market your name and web address all over this event, from the website to the Facebook page to the printed materials.
  • Sponsor and participate in a kids’ sports league – this is not only a great way to get some community recognition, but really the contacts you can make with young parents and other business owners can be indispensable.
  • Create a street team – young people love free stuff, offer them some things to promote your business at school, parties, and concerts.
  • Sponsor a bar/club night – this isn’t for everyone, but it is a proven method for growing your brand’s awareness. Huge companies like Scion and Liquid Death are highly invested in these avenues.
  • Sponsor a podcast – this can be pricey, but it can also be a bargain if you get in at the right time. The right content producer can really boost your brand and make your products go viral.

Author: Michael Winchester

Website developer, field recordist, instrument builder. My background is largely based in design for the music industry; websites, micro-sites, and apparel. With that experience, I bring a fresh approach to corporate and construction-related web projects looking to stand apart from the competition. My goal is to help clients better understand different aspects of SEO and website development; I write short, easy-to-digest articles on search engine optimization and website performance-related topics.In my free time, I enjoy field recording, sound design, and building unusual musical instruments.Michael Winchester is a website developer and search engine consultant in Southern California. Michael Winchester Design | (562)283-5688