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Marketing Your Community is a Must!

11 June 2024

Marketing a small local community is essential for fostering economic growth, attracting new residents and businesses, and enhancing the overall quality of life. By leveraging facts, figures, and logical strategies, communities can promote themselves effectively and affordably.


Every community has distinct characteristics that make it attractive. Identify these unique selling points through community surveys, local business data, and historical insights. These characteristics might include Safety: Low crime rates are a significant draw for families and retirees. Education: High-performing schools can attract young families.  Employment: Proximity to major employers or a strong local job market is appealing. Natural Beauty and Recreation: Parks, lakes, trails, and other recreational facilities are enticing for nature enthusiasts.


Using factual data to highlight the community’s strengths can be very persuasive. Here are some key figures to consider:  Population Growth: Showing trends in population growth can indicate a thriving community.  Income Levels: Median household income might suggest a prosperous area.  Employment Rates: High employment rates or low unemployment rates are always attractive.  Real Estate Trends: Highlight affordable housing prices compared to nearby urban areas.  For example, if your community has experienced a 10% population growth over the past five years, this indicates a desirable place to live. If the median household income is higher than the state average, it suggests economic prosperity.


Once you have established the qualities you wish to promote to the outside world, you need to figure the most cost-effective marketing strategies to utilize.  Here are just a few ways to leverage small budgets into large gains.


Every community can create and promote a website and utilize social media.  Create a user-friendly community website showcasing key information about living, working, and visiting your community. Include testimonials from residents and businesses.  Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with current residents and attract potential newcomers. Share stories, photos, and events regularly.  Create SEO and content marketing by writing blog posts about local events, history, and profiles of local businesses. Use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your content is easily discoverable.


Never under-estimate the power of the local media, be it print, radio of TV.  Regularly send press releases to local newspapers, radio, and TV stations about community events, new businesses, and development projects.  Distribute monthly or quarterly newsletters highlighting community achievements, upcoming events, and local stories.


Organize events like farmers' markets, festivals, and fairs that highlight local products and culture. These events can attract visitors and potential residents.  Host informational sessions on topics like home buying, starting a business, or community planning to engage residents and showcase the community’s resources.  Collaborate with local businesses for cross-promotional opportunities. Feature businesses on the community website and social media.  Partner with tourism boards to promote your community as a destination for visitors and potential new residents.  Personal stories and testimonials are powerful tools for marketing. Highlight success stories of individuals and businesses that have thrived in your community.


Always remember, marketing isn’t a destination, it is a journey.  Implementing a marketing strategy is not a one-time effort. Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns using tools like Google Analytics for website traffic, social media insights for engagement metrics, and surveys for resident feedback. Adjust your strategies based on what is working and what is not.


Highlighting the quality of life in your community can be a compelling message. Discuss aspects such as availability of hospitals, clinics, and specialized care.  Promote the quality of schools, libraries, and educational programs.  Never forget to market your Parks, sports facilities, and community centers.  Don’t overlook efficient public services, safety measures, and community support programs.


Marketing a small local community effectively requires a combination of leveraging unique strengths, using factual data, and employing cost-effective strategies. By focusing on digital presence, local media, community events, and ongoing monitoring, you can attract new residents and businesses, that fostering a vibrant and thriving community. This approach not only highlights the existing benefits but also sets the stage for new growth and development.


John Newby is a nationally recognized Columnist, Speaker, & Publisher. He consults with Chambers, Communities, Business & Media. His “Building Main Street, not Wall Street,” column appears in 60+ newspapers and media outlets. As founder of Truly-Local, he assists chambers, communities, media, and businesses in creating synergies that build vibrant communities. He can be reached at: John@Truly-Local.org.