From the conversations I've had lately, it seems many businesses in town are doing it tough right now. Unemployment is up, government spending is down, people are leaving town, and there's less money floating around.
That being the case, it's more important that ever that your advertising efforts are fine tuned, and money isn't being wasted as you try to promote your business.
With that as a backdrop, I thought I'd share a short list of things you can do to help better promote your business, community group, event, or not for profit, in the digital age.
1. Stop using print content online
We often get flyers and posters sent to us by advertisers who want to run the same thing they did in the paper on the Everything Geraldton website. But print is completely different to the online world. Your beautiful poster may look wonderful on the 27 inch iMac the graphic designer was using, but 70% of our readers are using mobile phones, and now your beautiful poster is impossible to read.
Instead, provide the details in text format, and use a few relevant images separately to add life to your information.
2. Your press release sucks
Most press releases we get sent go straight in the (digital) bin.
Perhaps back in the print age they would have been useful newspaper filler content. But that's because newspapers had no way of knowing who was reading what, and they needed to fluff the paper out so people felt like they were getting their monies worth. And it explains why newspaper readership in Geraldton has plummeted over 30 percent in recent years.
Everything Geraldton, on the other hand, sees exactly how many people read (or don't read) each article. We can see how long they spend on the page, and what device they're using. So we know people don't read boring press releases.
While that public relations agency may have made a convincing argument for why you needed a professionally worded, long form, boring-as-hell, press release about the thing your organisation is doing, 99.9% of people just glazed over it as soon as they saw your headline.
Instead of a headline from the 1990's like "Local business implements wonderful upgrade", try something like "Three amazing deserts you should try at Local Business".
You could run something like that on Everything Geraldton for about a quarter of the price of a full page ad in the local paper, and reach about twice as many people. AND people would actually want to read it and share it with their friends.
Instead of making your press release sound like it was written by a journo from 1992 who's never heard of the Internet, ask yourself "What would I want to read?" and go from there.
3. Take photos of yourself.
You need to get the hell over the fact that you don't like seeing pictures of your own face. To understand marketing is to understand people, and you should recognise that people trust people... not your fancy logo, shop front, or new car.
If I see a post in my Facebook feed with a human on it, I'm more likely to pause for a moment and look. If I see a business logo, I'm more likely to scroll by as quick as possible.
The next time you place an ad on Everything Geraldton, instead of just a picture of the product, consider a photo of you or your staff. Three years of doing this has convinced me that people are interested in other people.
Everything Geraldton's most successful style of ads are the sponsored posts... articles that appear alongside other news, about your business or organisation. They're affordable and well read, and don't get glazed over like most other ads.
I've been running Everything Geraldton for over three years now, and feel that I know what works and what doesn't. So if you want some ideas or help writing a sponsored post for your business, you are welcome to call me personally on 0404 443 442.
Good luck, and all the best in business.