Sometimes the most effective marketing is the kind you do right outside your front door.
National advertising campaigns might sound amazing in theory, but an entrepreneur’s secret marketing weapon could be waiting right outside the front door. We asked eight successful founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council to name some creative ways businesses can use hyperlocal press to their advantage. Here are their best answers.
1. Offer Hyperlocal Examples
One of the key things about getting hyperlocal press is that it requires hyperlocal news. Don’t just offer the same national stories you’d pitch elsewhere; instead, offer the press an event or customer who lives in that area, an employee who went to college there or a case study that took place in the neighborhood. Be relevant by being local in your pitch. —Eric Koester, Zaarly
2. Take Advantage of Your Roots
When we launched Tunebash, I wrote to a couple of local press outlets about my story. I told them that I was born in Key West, my father was a treasure hunter and I was raised in Miami. I told them about the lack of tech companies in South Florida. When you relate to the local news, they will take your story and make it big in that local market. Even if it’s scalable, it’s a good test environment. —Joseph Ricard, Tunebash
3. Promote Local Stories to Up Your Social Shares
In 2013, press coverage is a numbers game. The ability to socially share your coverage means local press has a much greater reach and, as a result, much greater value. This is a great thing because local press is often more likely to cover you. That coverage builds momentum and eventually starts to extend regionally and nationally. —Jeremy Hitchcock, Dyn
4. Make Local Reporters the Stars
A great way to maximize hyperlocal press is to share the best reviews online. Blasting coverage from a local paper to your email list and socials is an easy way to spread the word beyond the local market and show the reporter that you value his or her feature story. Including those local press clips on your site, along with the big guys, is a fantastic way to give props and garner future coverage. —Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak
5. Get the Press Involved
Get the press involved in a niche event, and make them the heroes. For instance, if your company is in the food and restaurant industry, try hosting an event featuring hyperlocal press or bloggers as local “celebrity judges” or perhaps hosts for the foodie event. Not only are they more likely to show up, but they’ll probably promote it as well! Appeal to others’ self-interest, never your own. —Andy Karuza, brandbuddee
6. Become the Local Expert
Local media is always looking for local experts to comment on news stories, national events and pop culture happenings. If you have expertise in finance, legal, fashion, beauty, technology, lifestyle or any other area that would appeal to the masses, reach out to your local news station, magazine, newspaper or radio show and offer up your unique viewpoint.
—Melissa Cassera, Cassera Communications
7. Make Your Company Relevant by Giving Back
The best way to attract coverage for your business from local press is to give back to the community that you serve. Whether you’re hosting a philanthropic event, partnering with a local organization or creating an ongoing charity initiative, bringing value to your community will be a great way to attract reporters and cover your story. —Zach Cutler, Cutler Group
8. Pitch Angles You Want and Control the Message
Reporters want good angles. Period. If a local outlet pitches a story that doesn’t fit, change it. An Austin reporter wanted to link March Madness and decreased work productivity. Yodle offered the reporter a chance to see how we use March Madness to increase productivity and team morale. The story went national. Don’t be afraid to control the message while building reporter relationships. —Ben Rubenstein, Yodle