After the past year and a half, people are more than excited to gather for local events this summer like festivals, golf tournaments, and benefit concerts. This also presents an opportunity for your organization to be visible in your community. Below are five ways to make the most of the summer event season through brand recognition, but first—why?
“It’s not too late to sleep like a baby, Mattress World. *ding*”
If you’re like me, you just sang that jingle in your head. Why? Because you know the brand, you remember their commercials from years ago, and it’s catchy!
When you go to purchase a new mattress, you are more likely to think of this jingle and thus choose Mattress World simply because they have made it into your long-term memory. This Mattress World scenario is a perfect example of brand recognition at work.
How to use local events this summer to boost your brand recognition—
1. Sponsor Local Events
Chances are high that your community has a number of charity events slated for the next few months. Find the coordinator of one of these benefits, and ask what sponsorship opportunities are available. Choose an option where you can place a banner or ad in front of the attendees. Even if you weren’t planning on spending marketing dollars in that way, the rewards are two-fold: you help out a local cause and increase the visibility of your organization. The more you do this, the more likely people are going to think of you when they are in need of your product or service.
2. Add a QR code to your banner
Whether you end up with a banner or ad space in printed material, having your website spelled out isn’t enough anymore. People have their cameras out at events and will likely hover over the program when lining up that perfect Instagram shot anyways. If you have included a QR code, they will be prompted to visit your website then and there. This means people will see your organization name, logo, and content yet another time. Each touchpoint is valuable—the more touchpoints, the higher chance you will end up in community members’ long-term memory.
Talk to your local print shop or graphic designer about adding a QR code to any ads or banners you create, and make sure you’ve checked your website to see if it is up to date, too. Any impressions are helpful, but good impressions are always preferred.
3. Check your Google My Business listing & other directories
Let’s say someone sees you at an event and is reminded to search for your organization later that week. If they search online, will they find accurate, helpful information? Try it out, and see what you find. If the results are inconsistent, inaccurate, or no information across different directories (Google My Business, Facebook, Sircles, etc.), that could be another sale lost. Now is a great time to confirm your hours, phone number, address, and website link are correct.
4. Get involved with your Chamber of Commerce
It is important to be present in your local business community, so we highly recommend making the effort to show up to your local Chamber Greeters networking event every week for months at a time. We were worried about committing to that much time every week, but we took this advice, “Go to Greeters every week for three months. If you don’t start to see leads come in, stop.” That worked for us because it really is that simple. Take the plunge this summer to invest in local business relationships because it will pay off. Plus, you might meet a good print company to make banners for you or some amazing non-profits you can sponsor!
Most Chambers of Commerce utilize ChamberMaster as a system to track a bunch of details and provide value to their members. This system allows you to enter in deals you are running, post job openings, announcements that might be helpful for other members, etc. Talk to your local Chamber office to receive training on how to enter in those details. Then, start showing off! (within reason) Share deals, jobs, and announcements. These will show up for local online searches and be seen by other community members as they peruse the Chamber website.
One of the benefits of the Chamber of Commerce is doing business with other local organizations and vice versa. By making an effort to eat at member-owned restaurants, call a member-owned contractor when you’re ready for a home remodel, and sponsor member-run non-profits, you will see people reciprocate.
5. Focus on local SEO
Did you know that Google ranks you higher when you have a lot of positive reviews on your Google My Business listing? The popular term for it these days is, “Social Proof.” People searching for a quality house cleaning service are going to be more excited to choose a company with over 100 positive reviews over a company with 3 amazing reviews. Consistently asking your customers to review you helps boost your local search rankings and prospective customers’ trust in your ability to provide quality service. This is just once facet of local SEO, but it is not one to ignore.
As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to make the most of this season (or any season) by getting involved in your community. If you have any questions about how to implement any of these ideas or who to reach out to in the Salem-Keizer area for local events this summer, give us a call at 503.602.9074!