• Jeff Mayhue

Adding Community To Your Marketing

2020 has been rough on small businesses all around the world. The ones that are still open have seen significant drops in revenue and margins have gotten even more narrow as demand is slowly starting to increase again and costs go up as a result. At the time of this writing, states all over the country are starting to open up again and it’s the perfect time to begin looking at implementing a community marketing strategy. In other words, how can we partner with other small business owners to create a low cost, join marketing campaign that will promote both businesses, generate leads and build an established brand in the communities you serve?

Community based marketing is, hands down, one of the most effective forms of marketing you can do for your business when it’s done right.

So what does a community marketing strategy look like?

Let me ask you a couple questions first:

- What social causes are you passionate about?

- Which of those causes align with your brand or company values?

- Are there other businesses in your community that may compliment that cause?

- Does that business have a product or service they would donate for the cause?

- How can you partner with that business to create an event/campaign that would benefit the social cause as well as your individual businesses?

Once you have clarity on these questions, you can then begin working together to create the campaign.

An example of a successful community marketing campaign might look something like this:

Jon the veterinarian might decide to host a costume contest for the pets in his office. He hopes to raise awareness of all natural diets for dogs and cats. Jon reaches out to various pet supply companies in his area to see if they would be willing to donate all natural pet food and other pet related services as prizes for the contest. Maybe he connects with the local, mobile pet shampoo company or dog training academy for free or deeply discounted services as well.

To be entered into the contest, the pet owners follow the vets Facebook and Instagram pages, post pictures of their pet on social media and tag three people including the vet. Once they do those things, the pet owners must DM the vet to say they’re done and to give an email address for the prize to be awarded digitally (electronic gift cards or discount cards work well with a coupon code).

In this scenario, everyone involved would benefit:

1. The vet because of the social media attention he would get.

2. The local pet based businesses who donated.

3. The pet owners because its fun and they have a good excuse to post more pictures of their pets.

Additionally, the vet and the businesses who donated could have possibly added several hundred email addresses to their list so they can continue to market to them directly via their email marketing campaign.

You could build a strategy around a certain month like mental health awareness month or domestic violence awareness month for example…. Whatever is congruent with your specific brand and social concerns.

You don’t always need a huge marketing budget to get results. Sometimes you just need to get a little creative and think outside the box! I encourage you to begin thinking about how you can implement a similar campaign in your office today or reach out to me directly so my team can manage these projects for you.

What questions do you have?

Jeff Mayhue

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