The world is changing. More and more people are realizing the benefits of online marketing. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 68% of U.S. adults use digital marketing to find products and services.
While many big cities have experienced a boom in online marketing, smaller towns and rural areas often struggle with marketing opportunities. The isolation and digital divide can make it difficult for businesses in remote locations to gain exposure to the right audiences.
If you’re looking to get started in rural marketing online, here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Create a Marketing Plan
It’s important to have a plan before you start marketing. Deciding on a marketing strategy will help you narrow your focus and ensure that you’re reaching the right audience.
Your marketing plan should include both digital and non-digital components. You can’t expect to build a successful business in a vacuum. You need to consider where you’ll find your customers and how you’ll reach them.
One option is to invest in traditional media. You can’t rule out the value of a radio ad, for example. A TV spot during a football game may also garner some interest.
You could also decide to try out a new strategy and explore the benefits of online marketing in a rural setting. Launching an online shop that sells locally sourced products is a great way to gain exposure in your community while also providing some sustainability to your efforts. If you can develop valuable relationships with local businesses, you may be able to work with them to grow your business through shared marketing and exposure.
Deciding on the right strategy is important. Without a clear strategy, it’s easy for you to pursue the wrong path and potentially fail. You can’t expect to make all the right moves at once. Take your time and think it through. The rewards of being strategic will be worth it in the end.
Get To Know Your Market
In the same way you would with any new venture, you must understand the markets you’re addressing.
Who are your customers? What do they want?
Having a clear idea of your customer’s needs and wants will help you to tailor your marketing to be more effective. You can start by asking friends, family, and neighbors for their opinions. Perhaps you’ll even want to consider holding a focus group and participating in one-on-one interviews.
Through these methods, you can get a clear picture of your target audience’s demographics, psychographics, and digital behavior. This data will help you decide what platforms and approaches to use in your marketing.
Once you know your market, you can craft a niche marketing strategy that will help you gain the desired results. For example, if you’re trying to attract local business owners, you may decide to create a blog that covers business topics.
You can also decide to pursue paid advertising on social media. Focusing on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram will get you the most engagement and, hopefully, the desired results.
If you want to be extra specific, you can target certain job seekers’ or influencers’ audiences with ads on these platforms.
Determine Goals And Measurements
Setting clear goals and determining reasonable benchmarks for success are critical. Without them, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest shiny object and lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Too often, businesses set unrealistic goals and expect far too much from a single marketing effort. The results are rarely satisfactory and often lead to frustration. If you find that your goals are difficult to measure, it can be very hard to track your progress and know if you’re moving in the right direction.
Measuring the right things is crucial. Without the proper measurements, it’s difficult to determine how much progress you’ve made and if your efforts have been effective. To that end, you should track the results of your campaigns and analyze whether or not they were as successful as you hoped.
Consult An Expert
Having a marketing and communications professional help you develop a comprehensive plan can be immensely beneficial. Having a fresh set of eyes examine your current strategy, brainstorm new ideas, and recommend new tactics can help you move forward with confidence.
Having someone who knows the ropes to help you navigate the process and produce fantastic results is worth its weight in gold. Hiring an expert can help you get started quickly and develop a sustainable marketing strategy that will serve you well for years to come.
In conclusion, getting started in rural marketing online isn’t difficult. Just follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to building a successful business in a community that appreciates your efforts.