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27th June 2016

4 Ways to Raise Awareness of Your Local Business

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You may wonder how your local paper can help you reach new customers. Using it to spread the word of what you’ve been doing and promote your business or services can raise your company’s profile and help you to reach a valuable, local audience.

74% of people trust the news and information in their local newspaper and the online versions more than any other kind of publication, so if you decide to work with a local news company you can increase the credibility and trust people have in your business.

Newspaper ads may be a cost-effective way to project your message, but there are also many other ways you can make use of your local paper that can be just as valuable.

The following four tips will help you to raise awareness of your business and reach new customers with the help of your local news provider.

1. Boost your online presence with their news site

When we think of local newspapers we tend to think of the traditional printed paper that drops through our door or is picked up from our local newsagent each week. However, most local newspapers also have a website which also have a massive online readership and could help you reach new customers. So if you’re booking an advert into the printed edition, it’s well worth advertising on their news site as well, to extend the number of people you reach.

2. Build awareness by talking to the local community regularly

Local news sites and newspapers reach huge numbers of the local community, and the majority of their subscribers will also follow the paper digitally. If you appear regularly online or in the paper, the local population will be made aware of your business, and even if they don’t currently need what you provide they’ll be more likely to think of you next time they do and become new customers.

3.Create interest in your business by sharing your story

You might think that PR is something only big businesses need to do, but neglecting publicity can mean missing out on reaching new customers. Positive publicity on a local news site or in the paper itself can be achieved even without a budget; all you need is a story to tell and a press release to share. Think about any events you have coming up, for example a milestone or a fundraiser, and how you can use them to grab the attention of your potential customer. Adding a competition to the story, such as the chance to win a product or a free service, will add further incentive for readers to take action.

Remember that journalists are often very busy keeping up with current events so the easier you make it for a journalist to feature your story by creating a great press release, the more likely they are to share it. Here are some quick tips for writing an effective press release:

  • Grab attention with a strong, engaging and accurate headline.
  • The who, what, where and when should all be included within your first sentence
  • Share the most important information about your story in the first paragraph
  • Include relevant figures that support your announcement or new product
  • Where possible include a quote
  • Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes, as even small errors can discredit it
  • Always include your contact details to make it easy for the journalist to get in touch if they need to
  • Provide them with a both a landscape and portrait orientation image

If you submit a press release, it’s also very likely that the newspaper will upload it to the site as well. By ensuring that your story is featured on a website that receives a lot of visitors like your local news site, it is more likely that your business is seen in search results, which could help to boost your sales as research shows that 81% of consumers intend to buy after researching online for information.

Many people also follow their local newspaper on social media to keep in the loop with what’s happening in local news. If you become a regular, positive presence in the updates a local newspaper shares, your business will begin to stand out in potential customers’ minds and therefore you can reach a new audience across social media too.

4. Advertise to the right people by targeting a local audience

By identifying websites which will carry your information to the right local audience is one of the most important steps of any marketing and PR plan.To decide whether a local online publication is right for your business, ask its advertising team about how many people visit their site or what their audience reach is. News sites can target your local audience with sophisticated methods which can be made up of key information such as age, gender or interests. This means that your advert will go to an audience that you want to reach over an audience which may not have any interest in your product or services.

Your local newspaper will have a good grasp of their readership and understanding of your local area and a variety of ways to reach your local community. Therefore, next time you begin to plan a marketing campaign consider these four points and make sure you use all the techniques available at your local paper to reach new customers.

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