Local News Interest Is Good News For Small Business Marketing
Facebook's growing value as a local business promotion tool is no secret. A big part of the company's near-term growth strategy is tapping into the local advertising market.
But small businesses looking for a savvy marketing and promotional branding strategy should digest this recent report from the good folks at Pew Internet & American Life Project. The Twitter-length summary: local news outlets are a big deal to a lot of folks, especially adults, which makes them great vehicles for your marketing and PR messages.
The Pew Internet survey concluded that 72% of Americans follow local news closely. And a good chunk of folks lean on local news sources almost exclusively. Said Pew:
When it comes to sources of local news and information, 35% of local news enthusiasts say that local news sources give them all of the information that matters to them, 10 percentage points higher than those less interested in local news. They also use more sources of local news and information per week than others (mean of 3.77 vs. 2.84).
And there there's this little nugget, which should please those who favor competition on the local news front:
The youngest local news enthusiasts, those age 18-39, use the greatest number of local news sources weekly, with a mean of 4.38.
So, how can small businesses capitalize on this trend? The first answer is obvious: advertise. Both print advertising and digital (banner) advertising with a local news outlet offers the built-in advantage of a geo-targeted market. (While community news websites surely draw traffic from outside their editorial coverage areas, the guess here is that it's a small--dare I say insignificant--figure).
Any small business marketing plan worth its salt will inclue public relations. (What's that, you ask? Aren't PR and marketing completely separate entities? Not anymore.) And there's no better outlet for your story pitch or even well-crafted press release than a local news outlet.
Short on editorial staff, most of these publications welcome meaningful content; provide them with well-written, hype- and jagon-free release on something relevant to the community, and it just might end up running.
In our hometown, we're fortunate to have several local publications. The Fauquier Times-Democrat is our backyard newspaper, and it has a free (advertiser-supported) online supplement. FauquierNow, pictured below, is an all-online outlet that often runs pieces based on releases, like this one for one our clients. Efforts like Patch.com are making an impact in lots of micro-targeted communities.
Facebook, Google AdSense, and other digital strategies are excellent small business marketing strategies. But when it comes to reaching a focused local market, don't dismiss the small businesses in the business of delivering news.
Want to get the local press and its readers talking about you? Contact us and let's see what we can do.