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12 reasons why Halloween is the same as a clever Local Area Marketing strategy.

What if Halloween was just a clever local area marketing exercise?

local area marketing, tim stannage, your business help desk

 What if Halloween was just a clever local area marketing exercise?

Local Area Marketing (LAM) is a little or no cost opportunity to market and promote your business within your local community, that requires you to go out and simply engage  with individuals, groups, organisations, businesses and where possible local media such as newspapers, local radio and TV stations.

As an owner operator of a small business or franchise, you live and breathe your local community and you should have the knowledge to customise marketing messages for your local area. The key to creating a successful Local Area Marketing campaign is to ask yourself what are the events, dates, and celebrations that people hold where the community comes together and make sure that your business is actively involved in them in a way that helps you build your brand and ultimately sales.

Building relationships with other local business and customers, many of whom have lived in the area their whole life, is the key to successfully building credibility and trust. By ensuring you have some local area marketing strategies in place and keeping abreast with what is happening within the local area, you will continue to grow your share of the market.

So what Local Area Marketing lessons can we learn from a centuries old tradition like Halloween?

Regardless if you support it or participated there is a lesson to learn for small businesses. What are the key points we can take away from a local area marketing perspective:

  1. Halloween parties and dress up costumes are planned well in advance to make sure they are successful. – Do you have a marketing plan with a calendar of your monthly promotional activities?
  2. Those who really get behind it, dress up their houses- First impressions are important and help attract your ideal customer.
  3. Kids young and old dress up to go out. – Do you dress to impress?
  4. Everyone participating put in the effort and tend to have a ball – You should be excited by the prospect of conducting a local area marketing exercise if it is well planned.
  5. Kids are supervised by their parents when they go trick or treating. – However, they dont just knock on any door, they go to those most likely to give them a treat. – The same is true for local area marketing, you have to plan for which door you are going to knock on and actually go out and do it, if your not sure get a mentor to guide you on your first outing.

A tip I use is the local directory, I create a map of where the customers are located that I want to target and place them into categories. By visiting only one category at a time I can be more focused with my message relevant to their business. As a kid I bet you didn’t walk up to just any door, some looked scary and unwelcoming, no we picked the ones who in most cases had dressed their yards in Halloween.

As kids we had our “Trick or Treat” script ready for when the door opened, make sure you have your script ready to to make a great first impression. What are you going to say that will get them to invite you in. I find it is better to let them talk about their business first and them talk about solutions you have that will suit their needs. A script something like this works well. “Hi I just want to introduce myself and find out more about what it is you do and look at ways we may be able to work together”

6. People’s whose doors we knocked on willingly filled our bag full of treats. – What sort of memorable treats will you leave behind?

Do you have professional business cards made? 

Maybe you could have a treat of your own to hand out, a unique give-away for them to remember you by. Check out promotional give-away websites for ideas. Sites such as www.aliexpress.com offer some fantastic low cost solutions. Make sure you grab their business cards can follow up on later.

7. Friends are invited around for dinner – Have you ever held a networking event hosted and catered for by your business?

8. Photos are taken and shared on social media channels -wouldn’t this be great for your business your customers will be tweeting and posting on Facebook about your event!

9. Great parties are talked about long after the event is over. – Great source of content for your post party blog and reasons to stay connected with your guests, (clients)

10. If you are partial to a party, clubs, pubs and restaurants hold Halloween functions that are extremely popular – Attend local Networking events.

11. Many home owners go all out and make up  treat bags,stickers and other Halloween themed giveaways. – Make sure you have a local area marketing promotional give-away pack with your brand on it that is memorable?

As a start do you have professional presentation folders with your brand on the front? a business card that matches and a flier outlining what it is you do and how you can add value to their business. Dont get all fancy with technical jargon, use words that will clearly demonstrate the value you bring to the table.

Using cheap printing companies may be a great way to boot strap your business, but in most cases will come at the expense of having a consistent brand image and message.

12. Some pubs and clubs run promotions and offer giveaways and  prizes for attending and participating. – Do you have an incentive program to attract repeat customers?

Trick or treat, you decide.

Imagine if you treated your local area marketing as a year long Halloween party, what would that do for your business. How will you use these tips to tie in your promotional activities for other annual events such as Easter and Christmas?

Local area marketing is not difficult and should be fun, if you feel you need some guidance in putting a unique local area marketing campaign together feel free to get in touch with me at getconnected@workslocal.com.au. or check out ou new look website www.workslocal.com.au. 

Would love to hear what unique #LocalAreaMarketing strategies you have used in your business.