Tag Archive : events

Summer is the time for family, friends, fun, and community. Many local communities organize concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events to celebrate the warm weather. These are the perfect opportunity for small business owners to gain exposure and meet locals and other event goers.

Here are some tips on how to get started marketing your small business at local events:

Do Your Research

Your first step is to research what events are occurring in your local community (and the nearby communities) in the upcoming months. Some examples of events you should look out for are festivals, art walks, farmers markets, and flea markets.

Prior to choosing an event to attend, make sure to know your target audience. While researching local events, research what type of customers it brings in. Choose an event/events that are a good match!

When you have an event in mind, contact the organizers to get the details and see what opportunities exist. This could range from sponsoring the event, having an information booth, or actually selling your products. Be sure to ask about all of the costs and requirements involved.

Prepare Yourself and Stand Out

Decide what your goal is at the event. Are you planning on selling products? Make sure you have enough stock and that there are several ways to accept payment. Generating leads? Make sure you have enough literature to hand out and you have an easy way to collect information.

Make sure you have several energetic, well-trained staff members to work the event. Your business’s presence shows that you and your staff are actively engaging with the audience. These details can make or break effectiveness and help you to stand out.

Assess Your Results

Like any marketing effort, you need to track results to see if the event was worthwhile. Set goals for how much you want to sell, how many prospects you want to talk to or how many leads you want to capture. Track them and assess your results afterward. Fine-tune your approach depending on what you learned.

Make Sure to Have Fun

Above all enjoy yourself. Customers are more likely to approach people who look like they enjoy what they are doing. Whether your booth is successful or not, it’s a great way to connect with your local community and build a great reputation for your business.

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in our community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. The Chamber of Commerce encourages all residents to shop small and support our locally owned businesses! Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different; it’s unlikely that you’ll find the same thing at a local store as you would the mall. Save Local Now, the Chamber’s “Buy Local” program, highlights and promotes Chamber members and the deals and promotions they create. Locals and tourists alike can download the FREE Save Local Now app to access deals, events and accurate business information. Saving money and buying local has never been easier!

Save Local Now was built by a Chamber exec specifically for Chamber members (especially small to medium sized businesses). Many of us are confused by digital and social media marketing. Without spending a fortune, how are we supposed to compete with larger companies with a much larger marketing budget? Email marketing costs money. Search engine optimization costs money. Social media management costs money.

While these components of digital marketing cost money, they are also essential for survival in the online market place.

That’s why Chambers of Commerce choose to partner with Save Local Now; to bring FREE digital marketing tools to their Chamber members.

With Save Local Now every member has access to their very own digital marketing platform. This platform lets members publish business promotions like: “BOGO for First Time Customers!” – “We’re open late on Wednesday’s” or “Check out our new product now sold in store!”

The SLN platform allows members to 1-click share those business promotions to their own social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

With the SLN digital platform members are also able to share those business promotions through SLN’s free email marketing. SLN reminds us that SOCIAL MEDIA IS TO REACH MORE CUSTOMERS, EMAIL MARKETING IS TO GENERATE REVENUE.

Lastly, SLN provides FREE search engine optimization to each and every member’s profile. SLN will help place your members higher and higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, allowing local consumers to find their products and services more quickly and efficiently.

Note for members: Regardless of if you have a small business or big business, there is benefit here. Online marketing for your business that you can do quickly, easily and completely free of charge.

Struggling to come up with campaign ideas for your medical business? Not sure what to promote? Look no further! Here are a couple of ideas we’ve put together to help you out:

  1. Learn More About our Services – by using the platform to promote your various programs and services, you’re giving the consumer an easy way of familiarizing themselves with your business.
  1. Questions About Healthcare? We’ve Got You Covered – Everyone appreciates talking to a real person when it comes to their health and wellness. Promote your customer service department in order to show your community you’re there for them whenever they need you. 
  1. How to Protect Yourself this Flu Season – Using SLN to promote interesting articles, recent findings, and informative materials is a great way to keep your content fresh while also keeping the community informed.
  1. Meet the Physicians- Highlighting your staff is just one of the many ways you can give your business a more personal feel. Creating relationships with members of the community is essential when it comes to keeping clients happy as well as gaining new ones. 
  1. Apply for Jobs Online- Don’t forget that SLN is a great way to post job listings! This is just another way you can use SLN to reach your community while also benefitting your business.

Keri Senderak, Director of Marketing and Communications at Save Local Now, was interviewed on the importance of supporting local. See her full interview  here.

Why is buying local so important to businesses and the economy as a whole?

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in the community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. By shopping at the local “mom and pop” style store instead of these “big box” corporations, consumers can rest assured knowing that they’re doing their part at keeping their communities unique and thriving.

How does buying local save money?

Buying local saves people money in several ways. These small businesses are close to home, meaning that many people don’t need to travel far to get to them. Products (like fruit and produce) are made or grown at local locations, so they don’t have to travel far to get where they’re going. This means that, in many cases, there is no middle man. This translates to lower prices for the business owner and, of course, the consumer.

What are the current trends you’re seeing in local communities?

Saving money by buying local. I’ve noticed that many chambers of commerce (more specifically those that have partnered with Save Local Now) are encouraging “buy local” initiatives. Now more than ever chambers and their small businesses recognize that when consumers buy local, they are also assisting in the creation and retention of jobs.

Where do you see local businesses in the next few years? Few decades?

I only see communities and their local businesses growing stronger. Many of us concern ourselves with “what’s trending.” These “buy local” promotions are most definitely trending, but I also believe they’re here to stay. People genuinely care about their communities; they want a booming downtown area, safe streets to walk on, job opportunities and friendly atmospheres. Honestly though, who doesn’t? I don’t see small business going anywhere any time soon.

You partner closely with chambers of commerce. What are some things you do together?

We partner exclusively with chambers of commerce to help their member businesses. We discovered that many of these small business owners didn’t have the tools they need to ensure a successful business. We void that gap by partnering with the chamber. The chamber pays for SLN services, and their members get SLN as an added benefit for being a member of the chamber. Currently, Save Local Now is in 27 states, and more than 80,000 member businesses have received SLN as a NO-COST member benefit. Here at Save Local Now, we are all about the small business owner, and will do whatever we can to guarantee the success of that business, the community they’re in, and the chamber of commerce that supports them.

You can follow Keri and Save Local Now on Facebook and Twitter.

Young people these days…always submerged in their smartphones, tablets and laptops for hours on end – never taking time to appreciate the world and all it has to offer. Well, not only are these young people (“Millennials”) accessing more content and learning more information than ever before, it turns out they have something to teach us about marketing and publicity. Thinking like a Millennial can actually help promote your business’ next event or outing.

Here are some tips to harness the marketing power of the Millennial:

1.)  Millennials like short and sweet messages

The reason so many younger people are flocking towards Twitter and away from Facebook is because the platform offers concise content with less clutter. Millennials know how to tweet something catchy and bold in 140 characters with smart hashtags to emphasize their message.

Use Twitter to build excitement around your next event and engage your community. Create a hashtag for the event that people will begin to recognize and repeat. Smart, short tweets with clever hashtags will intrigue your target audience and create a buzz around your event.

2.)  Millennials are anywhere and everywhere online

So why shouldn’t your business be, too?  Millennials have shown us that using one social media platform to get out a message only covers a small portion of the audience and restricts the type of content they can post.

If you have the means to do so, use different types of social media to promote your next event. Post pictures, messages, hashtags and links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  If the Ice Bucket Challenge has shown us anything, it is that video content is a great way to get attention and support.  Post a short video about your event and business to show your audience what it’s all about!

3.)   “But First, Let Me Take a Selfie.”

We all know of the obsession younger people have with taking selfies, but let’s be honest, you’ve probably taken some too.

During your event, take pictures of what’s going on and post it to social media. Even commission one of your employees to go around and take pictures of themselves or other people doing various things at the event. A live stream of activity will encourage more people to come and check it out.

The bottom line here is to be engaged in and passionate about your event. People will notice your enthusiasm if you post correctly. It will increase community engagement and heighten curiosity about your business and the event.  Be smart.  Be clever.  Be excited.  And embrace your inner Millennial!

Citation: DiRoma, CJ.  “Why You Should Think Like a Millennial to Promote Your Next Event.”  17 Aug. 2014.  <http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/08/millennial-promote-your-event-online.html>.

Introducing one of the newest perks to the SLN platform…..(drum roll please)…the Save Local Now Widget!  We never stop trying to improve our platform for chambers, businesses and consumers alike; and this is just another great way to keep everything local and promote your members.  Not sure what a widget is or how it works?  No need to fear, we’ve got you covered!  

What is the Save Local Now Widget?

The Save Local Now Widget allows chambers of commerce to take the content they and their members post on Save Local Now and embed it directly within a website.  It’s a great way to add quality substance and drive more traffic to a chamber and its member businesses.

Need a visual?  Check out one of our partner chambers, Boost Fayetteville, for an example!  http://www.boostfayetteville.com/promote/

How does the widget work?

There are three separate Save Local Now widgets: Local Businesses, Local Deals and Local Events.  You can use all three widgets or any combination of the three, depending on your need.  We provide chambers with a customized code for each one, which just needs to be copied and pasted into the website framework. It’s that easy!

Anything else I should know about the widget?

The widget team at Save Local Now has worked with a variety of websites and chambers, providing suggestions for each one to make sure everything functions perfectly.  Bonus: once the widget is installed, our team can color match it to fit the look of any chamber’s website.  

How do I get started?

Interested in learning more about the Save Local Now widget for your chamber’s website?  Visit http://blog.savelocalnow.com/widget/ to set up a brief call today!  We’ll go over all the details and answer any questions you have.                                                                                                 *You must be a signed chamber partner with Save Local Now to use the widgets.*

This is a win-win for chambers and businesses alike.  Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

July is a great month to plan some fun and fresh campaigns for your business. Even though Independence Day has passed, there’s still a lot of great ways you can get your customers to celebrate with you!

1. Christmas in July

Everyone loves to celebrate Christmas, but now you can do it without the chilly weather! Host a Christmas in July party at your place of work. Have people dress up in their santa hats and ugly sweaters! Here in Ohio we love our Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale and some businesses even save a keg or two especially for this time of year. Don’t forget to promote your event on Save Local Now for everyone to see!

2. Health and Wellness

Everyone likes to have fun and stay fit during the summer. Host a day that encourages health and wellness. Whether it’s a fun game at the office or a field day of activities, anything that encourages friendly competition can make for a fun day. The best activities will also take advantage of the weather. Why not invite customers and clients and go on a company hike! Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

3. Join the Community Events

Is there a fair or festival coming up? Join in on the fun! Share updates on social media and take some time to enjoy the activities. If you’re a retailer or restaurant see if you can set up a tent. You’re guaranteed to get new customers and get more involved in the community. These things only come once a year!

4. BBQ

Don’t forget about the food! Grill out with some hot eats and cool treats. Take your office out for ice cream or have a cookout! Invite your loyal customers over for a BBQ. You could also get a gift certificate to the local ice cream place and have a sweepstakes. Our experience is almost anything you can do with food, will make people happy! 😉

5. Summer Romance

Summer is the time for love! Take advantage of that opportunity by offering up exclusives. Have an enter-to-win date night package complete with movie tickets and a gift card to a local restaurant. Promote a special pre-date spa package for your clients. Whatever type of business you have, see if there is something special you can do for couples.

Not only will all of these ideas help build stronger relationships within the staff and with the customers, it will also give you stronger ties to the community. A little planning goes a long way to make some fun for everyone! Best part of all, you can use the Save Local Now platform to promote all these events. So log in, get started, and get out there and enjoy the season!

 

Spring is in the air! The sun is coming out, birds are chirping, snow is melting…it’s time to do some spring cleaning! Here are some tips to get organized:

1. Clear Out That Inbox

We know you get a lot of spam. Over 200 million spam emails are sent out PER DAY. Take some time at the end of each day and sort our your inbox. Delete junk mail. Create and organize folders to help you navigate your inbox better. Create a Save Local Now folder for all your impression reports! Before you know it, you’re inbox will be squeaky clean, and you will thank yourself for having a tidy email system.

2. Give Your Save Local Now Business Profile a Facelift

You might have updated it a few months ago but you might have also added a new service or popular product to your business. Give it a quick once-over and look for places that need a little refreshing. Update your hours if they are different in the summer. Check out your keywords and add some more. Post your business’ profile on social media again if you haven’t in a while. It’s a simple way to freshen up your image.

3. Create a New Spring Deal or Event

There’s a lot going on in spring. Some of you might have customers looking for landscapers, new hair styles, new cars or new houses. Put up a deal relating to spring to help drive more business. If you want new customers, offer referral discounts to encourage your already loyal customers to bring in more! If you want to throw an event, think of all the great things you can do with the nice weather; weddings, sidewalk sales, outdoor games, you name it. Lots of customers are looking for reasons to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. There are many great opportunities and it only takes a minute!

These are just a few things you can do for spring. Of course there’s still some windows that need to be wiped down and some floors that need some scrubbing, but your marketing strategy is just like that closet that needs to be cleaned out and reorganized. Out with the old, and in with the new. Keep things updated and keep things going!

 

 

Now that the big consumer holidays are over you may be having some trouble deciding what to offer your customers. Have no fear, we’ve got some great tips on how to build a campaign strategy to get you through the year.

Seasonal campaigns drive consumer buying patterns. Developing a marketing strategy early in the year will make you prepared and allow you to develop meaningful, creative campaigns that can help drive revenue even during some of the slower months. Take a look at a calender and make a list of special holidays or events that are happening each month. The goal is to make sure your deals and events are relevant to what’s going on in the world so they create a universal connection to all your consumers. Here are a few tips to help you achieve success in your seasonal campaigns:

1. Encourage in store visits

It may be obvious but encouraging people to physically come into your store can develop a better, more personal experience for the customer than just focusing on online sales.

2. Choose Wisely

Check out your records and select the months or occasions where your customers are most likely to shop. Then cater your deals and events so that they relate to your business. For example, if you are a clothing store, do a special Valentines Deal on everything red or pink just for that day. Choosing wisely will make your deals thoughtful and relevant.

3. Get Personal

It’s not always about the sale. Sometimes your customers just want to know that you’re genuine and not a faceless corporation. Use social media to show your support for certain charities and fundraisers or to comment on current events. Show your support for national events like the Winter Olympics or the Super Bowl. It’s fun and it shows a personality that your customers will appreciate.

4. Sharing is Caring

Get your customers to share your deals and events on social media and make sure you share everything on your end too. Save Local Now gives you and your customers social media buttons on everything to make this easy and convenient, so take advantage of them!

5. Plan Ahead

Timing and planning is everything when it comes to developing your marketing strategy. Make sure you give your customers plenty of notice about upcoming sales. If you have some spare time, you can plan all your campaigns ahead of time on Save Local Now and publish them later.

6. Review

Make sure you are monitoring the results of your campaigns. Identify the things that were successful as well as the promotions that may need to be improved. Save Local Now conveniently provides all the statistics on your campaigns you need to help you review and reorganize.

Planning out your marketing strategy may take some time but if done right, it will bring in more revenue. If you make the time now to schedule your deals and events, then it will save you time when you need it the most. Save Local Now provides everything you need to create a profitable and meaningful marketing strategy for your business.