Each time you take your business to market, you’re stepping into the arena. To succeed, you need innovative strategies to stay top of mind. Developing a community outreach program is an excellent way for small businesses to gain local traction and up visibility without a huge investment. Here are three community outreach ideas for small businesses that add real value to your marketing campaign.
Work with Schools
Approach a school and offer it something that their funding typically won’t cover. It’s a win-win for them, so they’ll rarely decline the offer. What’s in it for you? Schools encompass the entire community. Students connect you to families and families connect you to neighbourhoods. At the local level, this is even more effective than social media marketing.
Students are also a great mouthpiece for your brand. They talk and share more widely than most other groups, and your reach is truly limitless if you maintain a long-term relationship with a school—few other groups have new faces cycling in every year.
Work With NGOs
Just like schools, NGOs are often short on funding and open to mutually beneficial partnerships. By offering them products or services in exchange for positive publicity, you’ll build a respected brand image and foster highly profitable relationships. Host a fundraising event for an NGO and you could get your brand’s name on their staff’s shirts and caps, your logo on their marketing materials, etc.
NGOs have high contact rates with the general public. They go place to place, person to person, focusing on attracting interest for their cause, so even volunteering at their events will increase your visibility. It’s also gratifying as a business owner to help an organization make a difference, particularly if you’re passionate about their cause.
Pool your efforts with other local businesses. Put on a free event for the public or table at an annual event that attracts high numbers. The more you collaborate with other business owners, the more you get your brand’s name out there. And you might find business partners for other co-marketing efforts in the future too.