Do your customers live within a 25 mile radius of your business? If you have this type of local business then you have an opportunity to make a big impact with a local blitz.
What is a local blitz?
Like a military blitz attack, a local marketing blitz is a coordinated series of activities focused on a concentrated geographic area within a limited time period. To be really effective, the activities should occur both on and offline. If there is enough activity it will give customers and prospects the feeling you are everywhere.
Start by evaluating your resources and options.
- Website – Are your pages titled correctly to signal to search engines you are a local business? Is there information on multiple pages which speaks to the specific geographic community you are targeting. For example – Roundpeg, an Indianapolis based web design firm, or Business owners in Carmel, Indiana looking for a website.
- Facebook company page – If your customers are consumers, you need to have a presence. Even though Facebook has made it harder and harder to get noticed, you need to be visible where your customers are.
- Blog – Do you have a blog where you can share information about local events and programs?
- Email – Do you have separate email lists for customers in different geographic areas so you can send messages just to homeowners in Greenfield, Zionsville or Noblesville? This is particularly important for home service companies looking to run regional promotions. The purpose of the blitz is to break through the clutter and help you get noticed. Once you do, you need to be ready with follow up marketing to continue the conversations and strengthen the relationships made during the blitz.
- Google My Business listing – Launched this summer, this new, unified interface is designed to make it easier for local businesses to be found within Google. Check out this article from Search Engine Land for more information on how to set up a Google My Business page.
- Signs and banners – If you are going to host an event or sponsor a community program you will need signs to remind people you were there.
- Yard signs and door hangers – If you take your product or service to customers, make sure you have a way of letting the neighbors know you were there as well.
- Truck decals and branded clothing – Like the signs and banners, these things will make you more visible before, during and after an event.
Plan the blitz.
- You want to give yourself about four months to plan a blitz – I know that seems like a lot of time for an impatient business owner hoping to make sales now, but some of the pieces of this program will take time to put in place, and rushing your time frame will mean missed opportunities.
- Pick an event to build around – It might be an open house at your facility or a festival or sporting event you will be sponsoring.
- Craft your messages – The entire blitz should not just be about the event, it should be about you, your company, products and services. Too often, companies get so excited about an event they forget to talk about their company during the blitz. Don’t let that happen to you.
- Create a special offer – Maybe it is a product or service which is only available for a limited period of time or at a special price during the blitz. Consider a Groupon or other community coupon.
- Consider a contest – Run a contest during the blitz that allows you to collect names and email addresses.
- Develop promotional elements – Write blog posts and press releases. And don’t forget to update your specials page on your website. Not only will these updates get the attention of web site visitors, but the content will help you rank for local search terms as well.
- Plan your social strategy – Create graphics for social media and possibly a hashtag if you are active on Twitter or Instagram.
- Check your listings – Look for your business on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Open Table, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages.com, Foursquare and other geographic directories.
- Create a series of emails – Use these emails to promote the offer before the blitz and stay connected after the event ends.
- Design and produce your collateral – Create signs and banners, and any trinkets you want to hand out as part of the program.
- Promote your company on community websites – Consider a short term advertisement on the Chamber of Commerce or local paper. If you are going to do direct mail or radio advertising this year, now is the time to do it.
Many of the pieces of the local blitz are actually things you would do at some point during the year. The benefit of the blitz is the compounding effort, suddenly you seem to be everywhere and people notice.
Join us on October 15 for a lively 2 hour work shop on how to create an effective local blitz.