At the Silverton Chamber Merchant Meeting this morning there was a great discussion led by Barry Shapiro of Leaping Dog Marketing. He’s working on a project to help fill vacant downtown spaces with a “travelling” art / photography show.
He is passionate about this project and has put a great deal of time into it and needs people from the community to get involved and participate. The goal and end result are an increased vibrancy to downtown, which is a benefit to the entire community. For more information about this project or to get involved you can contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This topic naturally led to how our local businesses and events promote themselves. The inevitable question came up, “how do you choose where to advertise and what is the best investment of your precious advertising dollars?”
There are different nuances to this answer based on your business, your event, and your target market. If you don’t know the value you bring to an audience or even who your audience is – start by contemplating this. Deeply contemplate it because this is an important aspect of getting found.
After you have this all figured out, here are a couple promotion ideas:
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Where would they be looking for information on your product or service or to attend your event? Chances are the overwhelming answer to this is ONLINE. So go to your favorite search engine(s) and “be” your client.
What search words would you type in to find what you have to offer? “Things to do in Silverton” “Shopping in Silverton” “Dining in Silverton” “Music events in Oregon” “Micro brew Oregon” “Outdoor recreation in Oregon” “Wine tasting adventures in Oregon” Pick several different search terms that apply to your business and start typing them in.
What comes up on the first page? The results you get are an indicator of sites that have great SEO (Search Engine Optimization: Otherwise known as page one, Google juice, getting FOUND...) Go to these “page one” sites and check them out. How do you get on them? What are the ad costs? What can you do that is free?
I typed into Google (my favorite search engine) “micro brews in Oregon” and the top sites that came up are:
#4 www.oregon.com (Hey look! This site showed up as #1 and #4 – even better!)
It is your promotion duty to research each of these sites and determine how you can either be found on them or get your site to rank higher than them. This job doesn’t end because rankings change on a regular basis. Don’t get discouraged by this – it is the marketing and promotion reality that we live in. Get excited about it and go out there and get found.
HINT: Some of the top ranking sites are blogs or review sites. Perhaps that blogger would like to be invited to your store or event and perhaps they would be so kind as to write a review or article… for free. Example (still on the micro brew) when I type in “micro brew, Silverton, OR” one of the results on page one of Google is The Taste of Oregon.
This is a fabulous food and beverage blogger who fell in love with the story of Seven Brides Brewing. He attended a food and brew pairing at The Silver Grille and wrote a story about it. He also previously took some bottles of beer home and created Beer Glazed Cornish Game Hens using Oatmeal Ellie Stout.
Image Credit: Victor Panichkul of Savor the Taste of Oregon
This equates to third party “advertizing” on page one of Google for The Silver Grille and for Seven Brides Brewing. For free. An even better idea if you happen to be a writer and a bit techy – start a blog all your own at www.wordpress.com or more advanced, www.wordpress.org.
Review sites rank very high because they get a lot of activity. Take a look at one of my favorite sites, www.yelp.com. Ask some of your frequent patrons to please write a review about your place of business. Also, don’t forget to Yelp your favorite Silverton businesses as this will help them GET FOUND.
When you do this is creates an interesting form of advertising for the “yelper” … you. How, you ask? If somebody reads your review about a business in Silverton they may click on you to find out more about you, which can then lead them to YOUR business. It’s magic! So YELP and be YELPED.
Here is an example of this great site promoting our town. Say you are from out of town and you’re headed to a retreat at the Oregon Garden Resort. You go to your search engine and look around for things to do downtown. Perhaps you enjoy visiting wine bars. When you type in "wine bar Silverton, OR" one of the very first results on page one is a review of Howard Hinsdale Cellars Wine Bar & Bistro on Yelp.
People use this service a LOT to get real people reviews for places to go and things to do. For me personally, I trust this site and rely on it much more heavily than a website a company has built.
I care a great deal about Silverton’s business health and vitality and I know you do to. Let’s all commit to doing a great job promoting ourselves to the outside world and get involved in projects like the one Barry is working on. We know this is a beautiful and amazing town to live and work. Let’s spread the word.
Silverton Chamber Merchant Meetings are held each Wednesday morning at the Silverton Inn and Suites from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
To get involved in downtown vitalization, contact Barry Shapiro at Leaping Dog Marketing email@example.com
Expounding provided by Rosi Green, AmeriTitle. If you are buying, selling or refinancing a home or business, let your real estate or lending professional know that you choose AmeriTitle. firstname.lastname@example.org