Monday Marketing Minute
In case you haven’t already heard, Stingray Branding is now doing a weekly Monday Marketing Minute on our Facebook page. Tune in every Monday at 3:00 pm EST for a quick Facebook Live marketing tip of the week from your team of Stingrays. We would love to hear any questions you have and help you learn how to improve your marketing strategy. In case you’re busy on Mondays though, we will also put together a blog discussing what we talked about on the Facebook Live and post the marketing tips on our YouTube channel for you to check out at your leisure.
In this article, we will be reviewing the first half of our series on Local Branding, with the topics of Your Business Community and Supporting Your Local Community. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have!
Your Business Community
What is a Business Community?
A business community is a group of professionals in your area that want to help you and see you succeed. These are people, like you, that are passionate about what they do and want to grow their business through networking with those around them. These people can serve as a resource and a sales tool for you as long as you build a relationship with them.
How Do I Get Involved with My Business Community?
Attending local business events and networking at these events is the best way to get involved and increase brand recognition for your business. These events may be anything from business expos, lunch and learns, networking group meetings, business happy hours, etc. Do a Google search for “Networking Events” or “Business Events” in your area, and you’re sure to find something that interests you.
You want to make the most of these events by networking with other people and creating relationships. Networking is a great way to generate business leads and also provides you with a wealth of knowledge from which to draw ideas, gain perspective, and ultimately grow your business.
Tips & Tricks for Successful Networking:
- Be yourself
- Don’t try to sell yourself immediately
- Get to know the person you’re talking to for who they are, not what their name tag says they are
Why Should I Be Involved with My Business Community?
No one can do business alone! Your clients and customers, the people that make your business successful, are all part of the local community and/or business community in one way or another. Getting involved with the community allows you to connect with like-minded people and build your brand awareness. If you are going out and introducing yourself to people, attending events, hosting events, and things like that, people will very quickly get to know you and your brand.
You never know who knows who. Say, for example, you own an accounting firm. You go to an event and meet someone that owns an electrical company. It turns out that this person just opened their business, hasn’t had a whole lot of sales and doesn’t have an accountant yet. They meet you, and because you are a part of their local community, you were able to talk to them face-to-face, and they have now developed a relationship with you, they are more likely to work with you over a remote company or one they just found online. Then, once they are out in their community and their circles if someone they know is in need of accounting services, they are likely to refer them to you. Essentially, by networking, you are getting to know people that then turn into sales tools for you.
How Can I Find My Business Community?
Most every city around the nation has some form of business networking community. Look into joining your local Chamber of Commerce or research other networking groups in your area. The most important thing to remember is just to find a group that suits you and your business needs. You need to be networking with people that you like and trust, and that trust you. No one is going to refer their friends or colleagues to you if they don’t trust that you will take care of them in a professional manner.
Make sure you are networking effectively. You can grow brand awareness all day long and people can see your logo and know who you are. But if they don’t know what you do, what services you can provide them with, who your ideal clients are, you’re still not going to get any leads.
You ARE your brand. When you walk out of the office with your nametag on, a shirt with your logo on it, or you introduce yourself to someone and tell them the name of the company you work for, you are your business. Everything you say and do is a reflection of your company. You are a walking sales tool with a whole community full of people to meet!
Supporting Your Local Community
What is Local Branding?
It includes the logo, design, and marketing that is put out to the community, representing your company. The stronger your branding, the easier it is for consumers to recognize your business, understand what your business does, and develop trust in your business.
Does your community have a popular sports team, annual event, trade show, or expo? Find a reputable, established event or group in your community and reach out to them for possible sponsorships. The credibility of the group helps to establish the credibility of your brand. Also, depending on attendance, you have the potential of getting your brand in front of a lot of people. Choose events, sports teams, and community groups to sponsor that appeal to your target market. Not only is the audience more motivated to learn about your brand, but you’ll save time and resources by weeding out those who are less likely to use your services/buy your products.
A sponsorship doesn’t always mean you have to pony up a lot out of pocket. Often, you can offer an exchange of products and services to support the event. Sponsorship marketing for the event could include social media, print, banners, signage, and other sponsorship material. At different events, like Expos and Trade shows, you have the chance to give away promotional products with your logo on it to a large number of visitors – which is a very easy and inexpensive way to market your brand in the community!
Targeted Ads (Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio Stations)
Local radio is known to reflect the community. Listeners use these stations to learn about events, weather, traffic, and more while also jamming along to songs on their commute. Also, different radio stations usually have targeted, well-defined audiences. You can choose a station to run your ads that will reach the ears of the audience you want to engage with. Again, making your marketing highly efficient.
Contact your local radio stations and you will find a variety of advertising options that will work with your budget and make the biggest impact. Is there a big event coming up in the community? Offer a ticket giveaway! Then, advertise it on the radio.
You can also advertise in local newspapers and magazines. If you offer event services, put an ad in the local wedding magazine. Running a special for your HVAC company? Put an ad in the weekly paper to reach people who love to save money and find specials.
The benefit of newspaper and magazine ads is they can be highly targeted – reaching those in your community that are most likely to want or need what your business offers. This makes it super-efficient and gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Another benefit? You get your brand in front of the community, increasing recognition and establishing trust.
Support Local Non-Profits
Supporting local nonprofit groups is a fantastic way to build brand recognition, mainly because you are helping your community. When you get your team actively involved in helping a local nonprofit, you build morale within your business. You also help out your community. And what does this do for your business locally?
You’re helping to make your business more personable and reputable in the community. It shows you have heart and care about your neighbors. Yes, you also gain great publicity. You can sponsor an event the nonprofit is hosting or run a yearly or long-term sponsorship. Your team can volunteer, such as at a food drive, and take pictures to share on social media and other marketing material for your business. It also offers the chance for you to promote the nonprofit to your audience and encourage them to support as well. Win-win!
Choose a reputable nonprofit that you can be confident in attaching your brand to. You may also be able to choose a group/groups that align with the values and concerns of those in your target market. All of this will help to build your brand recognition in a good way while helping your community!
Your Marketing Team
If you have any questions about how to get involved with your local business community or how to grow your business by supporting the local community, reach out to our team at Stingray Branding. We are networking gurus and love to support our community! We can get you set-up with some awesome branding and then teach you how to go out and run with it!