When you’re thinking about reaching huge amounts of potential customers, sometimes it can be easy to forget about what’s right outside your own front door. Local media and out-of-home solutions target opportunities in smaller-scale arenas, where you’re more likely to be reaching customers who live in your delivery zone. Here are a few tried-and-true methods for utilizing local media to reach your community:
Local Media Outlets
Getting a story in a local newspaper or magazine can bring attention to your business or hype up an event, but it can be tricky to have your pitch accepted. Journalists often receive over 20 pitches a day, and to stand out, you’ll need to make a compelling argument for why your business deserves coverage. Remember that press is about telling stories; if you’re looking for a feature to be written on your business, frame the story around a milestone like an anniversary, a community event, etc. Make a list of relevant local media outlets — magazines, newspapers, educational publications, newsletters — and craft an email detailing the story and why their readers would be interested to know more. To discover a comprehensive list of local news publications, use the U.S. Newspaper Listing and check with your local Chamber of Commerce to uncover community outlets. By casting a wider net, you have a stronger chance of having your story picked up!
While more expensive than some other types of local media, radio has proven to be very effective — on a weekly basis, radio has been reported to reach up to 93% of American adults. One of the benefits of local radio is that as a restaurant, you don’t have to worry too much about targeting through your ad spot: everyone needs to eat! As long as you ensure that your ad appeals to the demographic listening to the station, you’ll know that you’re reaching the right type of customers. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for a high end, five star restaurant to advertise on a Top 100 station that caters to teens. Pricing for ad spots ultimately depends on how many listeners a particular station gets. You can expect to pay for your ad through an equation like this: Number of People Listening x Cost to Reach 1,000 listeners (CPM) = Cost of Advertising Per Spot. You’ll also want to keep in mind that your ideal listener — most likely ages 24 to 54 — is also in the age bracket with the highest purchasing power and might cost more for that reason.
There are other ways to make an impact on radio besides a simple commercial spot. Local DJs and radio hosts cultivate a devoted following, and you can often make an impact by offering to sponsor part of their morning show, a giveaway, or simply by sending some product over for them to enjoy, no strings attached. You might just get a shoutout for the cost of a single order, instead of thousands you might spend on a traditional ad spot.
Local movie theatres
Movie theatres are a great place to get in front of your ideal audience, especially when you’re representing your business in a local theatre. Many movie theatre chains, like AMC, partner with media companies to produce ads that are formatted for the silver screen. Projecting an ad before a movie captures a hyper-local consumer when they’re most likely to be paying attention (because there’s not much else to do when you’re waiting for a film to start!). Your ad will be presented before the movie previews begin, typically on a loop while patrons find their seats and dig into their movie snacks.
New movers/resident direct mail
Think back to the last time you moved to a new apartment or house. Do you remember the pamphlet waiting for you in your new mailbox? The “Welcome Wagon” approach to advertising capitalizes on new faces in the neighborhood, essentially offering new residents a handful of deals all at once to encourage them to patronize local businesses and to furnish their new home. Welcome Wagon, operated since 1928, offers a variety of postcards and mailers to make your community’s newest additions feel right at home. Ensure a coupon for your pizzeria is included in a packet to build a strong, lasting relationship with new residents — and keep them fed as they unpack!
Lining the side of the highway, billboards are one of the most obvious ways to get in front of your customers. Long commutes spell more hours per day in the car than ever for Americans, and there’s no better time to make someone smile or help them remember your pizzeria than through a billboard. According to the Arbitron National In-Car Study (2009), 71% of people over the age of 18 pay attention to roadside billboards each time they pass. The best ads are simple, often humorous, and have a clear message that’s easy to remember.
Making Local Media Effective
It’s vital to remember that just because a marketing channel is local rather than global, it might still be expensive (sometimes even more so, because you’re marketing to a defined audience). Before tapping into local markets, check your boxes online: 1) See where you’re ranking on Google, 2) Ensure your website and phone number are listed prominently online and 3) Show only unique, authentic imagery and branding. Slice’s services for pizzerias are a great choice, if you’re looking to get started, and we’re here to help you make the most of your local marketing, too.