As we learned in part one of this article, maximizing your marketing strategy based on your local target audience can be daunting. Having a business that sells a product or a service nationally should have a completely different marketing focus compared to one that is local.
In the final article of this two-part blog post on marketing strategies for local and national businesses, you’ll learn the techniques I use to keep audiences engaged and repeatedly purchasing services when I work for national organizations. While these ideas may also be used on a local level, these strategies are meant for those who lack the ability to build face-to-face relationships with their audience and as a result, can compensate with thought-leadership online to attract a loyal following.
- Start localEven though you are running a national business, it’s important to build support from the community you are centrally located to. This can be family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. In addition, you can never fully replace the face-to-face networking you receive from local events, seminars, and media outlets (local media love a good hometown success story).
- Use influencer marketing and guest postingOne way to build a national audience is by targeting influencers in your industry that already have a national audience. This could be through paid posts or sponsorships, guest blogging, webinar collaborations, or Facebook Live videos in other groups. Focus on national exposure in niche communities that are already established.
- Use email campaigns and sales funnelsWith a lack of face-to-face networking, it is important to build a national marketing strategy that promotes thought-leadership and trust. Often, this can be created through email marketing and sales funnels. Use email marketing to ensure that your audience is “yours” and not subject to changes in a social media algorithm or news feed preference.
Email opt-ins can be used to entice a target audience to subscribe and receive beneficial information through an email campaign. These should be reasonably frequent and consistent emails that provide the subscriber with reasons to trust you, come to you for advice and support, and purchase your products. It can be used to offer discounts, provide free courses or information, and encourage users to take action.
As the sales funnel progresses, each email should build upon your expertise and continue to solve a user’s problem. At various points throughout the campaign and after you have built a relationship, users are prompted to purchase a product or service of yours (or for non-profits, donate to the organization).
This type of marketing tactic works well for those selling courses, consulting, providing a service, or selling certain products.
- Network nationallyFor those with a national business, networking should be ongoing, but can be maximized with opportunities to meet like-minded individuals from all over the country. Conferences are a great way to gain exposure to hundreds of individuals looking to network. Between conferences, networking on LinkedIn with others in your industry or those you think would be interested in your product is vital.
- Use social media properlySocial media is helpful for most businesses, but for national ones, it is important to tailor content and the platforms being used to proper target audiences. For example, unlike a local Facebook business page, national audiences want to see posts that everyone can relate to. Posts about local happenings, news, product discounts, etc. will not attract a national audience. In fact, localized posts on national pages always have the least amount of engagement and reach from my personal experience. If your target audience is national, keep your content national.
In addition, some social media pages are better for local businesses (Facebook and Instagram, for example). However, for some national businesses, success can be expanded by using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Instagram, SnapChat, etc., depending on your target audience and industry. With a larger population to pull from, other platforms can help reach target audiences in different ways.
If you’d like to learn more about social media platforms I like to market on, check out my free military social media guide for military spouse and veteran entrepreneurs interested in learning about the best platforms to market on.
If you’re struggling to implement marketing strategies that work for your national military-focused business or want an audit on your social media platforms, you can learn more by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny Hale is a marketing and social media consultant, coach, and teacher for military spouse and veteran business owners. Nicknamed “The Military Social Media Guru,” she uses her background working with military non-profits, corporate companies, the Army, and as an entrepreneur to help others struggling to meet their business dreams. With the goal of bridging the gap between the military community’s marketing efforts to civilians and vice versa, Jenny works to make an entrepreneur’s vision come to life. You can follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and Facebook Groups.