Autumn is often one of the busiest seasons of the year. Preparing the kids to go back to school, participating in seasonal festivals, celebrating holidays, visiting loved ones and much more can cause this “calming” season to quickly become overwhelming. This busy period may be crucial for certain time-sensitive marketing efforts, but it can present unique challenges in making that messaging stand out from the rest.
Promotions by local businesses as well as various regional events such as parades, harvest festivals and more throughout the season can cause an influx of messaging, which may overwhelm audiences or cause information to get lost. How can marketers still effectively reach target communities through the inundation of information?
Below are a few strategies to make timely messaging stand out:
1. Collaborate with local organizations.
Involving different local businesses in marketing initiatives can help expand a campaign’s reach to attract new audiences. Cross-promotion on social media is a relevant and inexpensive way to come together with another organization to raise brand awareness and influence different sets of followers. For example, Laetitia Vineyard and Winery recently partnered with Visit Arroyo Grande to create a collaborative Instagram post promoting summer events that appeal to their audiences’ overlapping interests.
Co-marketing is another effective strategy for organizations to promote each other and build credibility while creating new opportunities together, and both reaping the benefits. Businesses can collaborate on joint newsletters, advertisements or whatever would most appeal most to their mutual audiences. Service or product packages can allow businesses to supplement what another may not offer in order to make more well-rounded and appealing offers to audiences.
Consider the following when choosing organizations to collaborate with:
- Which establishments have you worked with previously?
- Who shares key target audiences?
- Whose products or services complement those of your organization?
- Who is especially appealing to the local community?
2. Create opportunities that encourage word-of-mouth.
An effective way to influence wider audiences is to let them hear about your organization from their family or friends. Individuals tend to listen to their loved ones’ recommendations because those sources are already established and trusted.
Certain campaigns may be designed to amplify word-of-mouth opportunities for brands by encouraging existing audiences to mention something about the company in everyday conversations.
Here are some specific strategies to inspire word-of-mouth opportunities:
- Offer an outstanding customer experience that exceeds expectations and makes people want to talk about it.
- Associate your organization with an important cause or value that aligns with your target audience’s interests.
- Appeal to consumers’ pain points or emotions in order to make a lasting impact.
- Create compelling visuals that will impress viewers enough to share.
- Collect feedback through surveys and reviews to better understand your audience’s needs.
- In social media captions, directly encourage followers to share posts or tag friends. Consider incentivizing sharing by offering up giveaway prizes or discounts.
3. Promote relevant seasonal events.
Events are a great opportunity to engage with the local community in personal and meaningful ways. One sure method to make an event stand out is to plan memorable experiences for attendees to participate in, such as photo booths or hay rides.
Co-hosting events with other organizations is an efficient way to reach new audiences and offer unique experiences. Ensure good turnout to events by promoting them in advance so residents have time to work it into their schedule and will be more likely to attend. Also balance the local calendar by organizing events on different days from other major things happening within the community.
4. Utilize social media in unique ways.
Social media is one of the most efficient ways to reach contemporary audiences, but it can be tricky to make your message stand out. Creating a unique, yet simple hashtag makes relevant information and related content easy for users to navigate and explore. Identifying a sub-niche category can make it easier to target a specific audience based on interests or other relevant factors. Modern users tend to prefer social media channels with “niche networks” where they can connect with other like-minded individuals without the commotion of mainstream platforms. Such specific marketing strategies can help organizations to avoid so much competition for attention as well as to gain a better understanding of their audience’s interests.
User-generated content can engage audiences and expand influence. Encourage users to include branded hashtags on their posts to increase brand awareness and ensure their content is linked back to your marketing campaign. Humor is another way to make social media content more intriguing to users. Include a seasonal joke in the caption to catch users’ interest.
5. Boost media coverage.
Local media organizations often cover organization’s stories or events that are meaningful or newsworthy and relate to the nearby community. Reaching out in advance through press releases or media kits can catch a publication’s attention and encourage earned media coverage. The most attention-grabbing news releases highlight real people or situations and are highly customized. Forbes lists more best practices to make press releases stand out.
It is also a good idea to create a channel for two-way communication between an organization and the local media, which allows an organization to maintain a relationship with the media and continuously provide updates about certain topics.
It may be important that certain messaging reach audiences in a timely manner, but it can be challenging to stand out when busy seasons cause channels to be flooded with marketing from every direction. Employing the above tactics can help organizations make themselves stand out to the audiences they especially want to reach.
For further marketing strategy advice on timely campaigns, email Mary at [email protected].