*This article was originally published in Forbes*
There are countless ways to advertise your business to a wide audience, from online ads to email newsletters. However, when you’re marketing to local consumers, you have an opportunity to truly personalize your campaign and touch on the things that are important to your community.
To help you do this, we asked the members of Forbes Business Council how to become more focused when it comes to advertising in your local community. Here’s how they recommend cutting through the noise to get your message across in the most effective way possible.
1. Use Geo-Targeting And An Authentic Story
With digital marketing, you can geo-target a very specific region and you can readily connect results with the advertising actions at hand. To cut through the noise, it's important to have an authentic story to tell. And sometimes it's good to think about popping up in places where you wouldn't normally expect to be seen. - David Landis, Landis Communications Inc. (LCI)
2. Know Your Customers
The best promotional advertising is when you have a call-to-action to a target prospect who already wants your product or service. How intimately do you know your target customer persona? Relying on highly targeted data, you can execute cost-effective local campaigns on social media and search engines that will yield the highest conversion. But it all starts with knowing your customers inside out. - Scott Amyx, Amyx Ventures
3. Keep It Short And Sweet
Keeping your message short and sweet is imperative when you’re really trying to be heard. I read that the average attention span is less than a goldfish, coming in at 8 seconds to capture your audience in ads. If your message gets lost in a lot of mumbo-jumbo, people are just going to look past it. Make it meaningful and make it count! - Hoda Mahmoodzadegan, BAḴT Global
4. Keep It Real
As a local company, people will gravitate towards products and services that spell out conservation, community and conscious consumerism. Make it real and show how relevant being alive in a community can be with offerings that cater to the tribe. - Shamini Dhana, Dhana Inc.
5. Identify Local Champions
Finding and recruiting local champions for your product and service is an important part of your localized advertising and marketing strategy. Your localized champions can not only augment your advertising strategy but also become "nodes" as local touch points. It's important to understand that people trust a fellow human more than a generic ad. - Syed Gilani, Safr Technologies Inc
6. Get Involved In Your Community
Digital tools to geo-target in local areas are plentiful, as are the competitors who can access and use them. One thing that cannot be replicated easily is community involvement, specifically involvement that is philanthropic in nature. This will propel your organization through the noise, and provide a platform to relay the driving force behind your good-natured work (a.k.a. your brand message). - Kyle Mitnick, Advertise Purple
7. Be Intentional And Innovative
You should be intentional and innovative with your messaging to be differentiated from the noise. Consumers respond to strong, direct messages from brands. They want to see the congruency of brands backing up their messaging with action. Your brand will not be everything to everyone but it will be special to the people that matter the most to you—your targeted consumer. - David Crean, Objective Capital Partners, LLC
8. Speak To Shared Community Values
Communities often form strong identities and bonds around common values of that community. Speaking to those values in an authentic way not only builds rapport and trust, but also is just a good thing to do. Volunteering for local causes and being a part of events are good methods to build local trust. That way when people see your ads, they already have formed a relationship with you. - John Monarch, ShipChain
9. Understand Which Messaging Resonates Best With Your Audience
Before you try to find the right channel to reach your audience, you need to know who your audience is and what messages will resonate with them best. Don't get caught up in marketing hype; ground yourself in the strategy and audience research so you can reach the most important constituency for your business. Once you know this, deliver messaging that is meaningful and you're off to a good start. - Catherine Merritt, Spool Marketing and Communications
10. Highlight Your Unique Value
An overcrowded market has fewer opportunities for expansion. Therefore, it’s imperative to offer a unique value proposition to your customers, so that you can build your own niche and beat the existing competition. - Beth Worthy, GMR Transcription Services Inc.
11. Use Local Terminology
When focusing on local markets, use the local terminology. For instance, different parts of the country use different terms when they discuss our main offering—bids. Some refer to them as RFPs or grants, some tenders and others RFQs. We customize our digital campaign and marketing materials accordingly as to resonate with our clients and prospects. This takes more time, but it's worth it! - Maurice Harary, The Bid Lab
12. Zero In On Your Buyers' Needs And Challenges
Prior to launching an ad campaign, it's critical to conduct research and understand your buyer's unique needs and challenges. By zeroing in on these exact buyer behaviors, you can create segment-specific campaigns to narrow in on the ways your business can help while cutting through the noise of your competitor's generic campaigns. - Joe Gardner, VentureDevs
13. Out-Advertise Your Competition
Advertising is what differentiates a business from a hobby. If you aren't advertising, your business is dead. There is an abundance of competition in virtually all business sectors and quite frankly, if you don't make advertising a priority, you will never gain the market share you need to sustain a viable business model. Your advertising must be bold enough to eliminate your competition. - Brad Poppie, Poppie Enterprises
14. Create A Facebook Group For Your Ideal Local Customer
I've been involved with small local business for several years. Word-of-mouth is the biggest asset for you when advertising locally. So how can you do this at scale? I would recommend creating a generic Facebook fan page (or group) and labeling this in line with your ideal customer. For example, "MUMS AND DADS IN DALLAS." Grow this group. A larger group equals a larger reach. - Nader Luthera, FURM GROUP LIMITED
15. Be Wacky
If you are working on a smaller budget, the easiest way to cut through and be memorable is to be different, be a little wacky. Remember, you are advertising because you want the attention. So do something that will turn people's heads. Make sure it grabs attention, and is memorable and shareable. - Mikey Wu, MIKOL