August 14th, 2017
Local Area Marketing (LAM) is about maximising your marketing efforts close to home and engaging with the local community in a positive way. So, does it actually work? Absolutely! LAM builds brand awareness and credibility. It helps you establish your reputation and position yourself as an expert in your local community. It’s also a cost-effective way for smaller players to compete against the big guys who have huge advertising budgets! Here are some tried and tested LAM strategies to help you build your local advantage.
Sponsoring local talent is a great LAM technique, as it shows you care about your community and want to provide support at a grassroots level. You may decide to sponsor an up-and-coming athlete or sports team, a musical group, a kindergarten or school – the opportunities are endless. Promote your support online and in-house, and ask the individual or group you’re sponsoring to do the same for you and your business.
It’s a great idea to team up with other local business owners and cross-promote one another. For example, as a mortgage broker you could form an alliance with local service providers who complement your business activities, such as accountants, conveyancers, or financial planners. However, it also works to associate yourself with any highly respected business professionals or charities who are active in your area.
Include each other’s business cards or brochures in your reception areas, share each other’s blogs and social media posts, and actively promote each other’s services.
These arrangements can be casual, or more formal if you exchange information on potential customers and/or want to share commissions. For more info on making formal referral partnerships, visit Connective Wiki.
Hit the headlines
If you have something newsworthy in the pipeline, pitch it to your local media outlets. Most councils have a community magazine and there are usually local newspapers you can approach too. Do you have a special milestone coming up, or perhaps you’re launching a new service? Maybe you’re sponsoring a local sporting team, or you have just won a national mortgage broking award (congrats!)? If you have anything at all that might be considered newsworthy, put together a compelling press release and, with a bit of luck, an editor will take the bait! Don’t forget to make posts about your news on your social media and website to back up any article that may be published.
Be a community player
Participating in community activities and running your own events is a great way to engage with your local community. Many brokers enjoy great success by setting up a stand at local community fairs and sporting events, attending any local home shows or car and caravan shows, and going along to local networking events. You can also be active in your community by sharing your experience at local high school career days, taking on students for work experience, or offering a study prize to encourage students to consider a career in finance.
Another great way to build your reputation in your local community is to run free financial education sessions – consider how you could help local people with debt consolidation or managing their credit facilities and put together a presentation! You could also consider creating workshops for your different audience groups – first home buyers, next home buyers and property investors, for example. The key is to get involved and be proactive.
Signage can work wonders to build your brand’s reputation and nowadays, there are some really great options available in addition to the standard sign for your office front. For example, you could apply magnetic panels to your car (they’re easily removable if you don’t want to advertise 24/7) or offer branded pens, umbrellas, bags, magnets and stickers to customers. One of our brokers attends local property auctions carrying an umbrella sporting their company logo and contact details. It’s a great talking point and often ends up being a people magnet. Ingenious!
An oldie, but a goodie! Letterbox drops are an affordable, efficient way to reach potential customers. They provide a tangible pamphlet or brochure outlining exactly what you do and how to get in touch. If the prospect happens to be looking for a home loan, it could be a match made in heaven. Include a fridge magnet with your letterbox flyer and if they’re not in need of your services right now, you’ll be the first one they call when they do need help with a home loan.
Social media is an amazing tool for connecting with your local community and building your brand. Some platforms, such as Facebook, allow you to create targeted advertising campaigns. You can reach customers in key locations (by city or postcode) and refine your ad’s target audience based on content people have shared about themselves (age, gender, relationship status, education and profession), their interests, hobbies and pages they like.
Writing online testimonials is another great way to expand your local network and build online links. Make a habit of reviewing local businesses you may use personally or in your business. And don’t hesitate to invite others to review yours! Register your business with Google, then invite people to leave reviews about your services. Lastly, be sure to respond to any reviews efficiently and professionally, as it shows you care about your customers.
By making the most of these LAM techniques, you can solidify your brand’s reputation, expand your local network and ultimately generate more leads. And if you need help with your social media, ask us about our Connective Socialise service, which posts regular updates to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Topics cover everything from finance and property research to home ownership and property purchasing. To find out more, please visit Connective Wiki or talk with your local Broker Support Manager today.