How One Distributor's Small-Business Promo Campaign Used Multiple Products and Channels to Engage Audiences
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community. Today, when all it takes to buy online is a click of a button, it can be easy to forget about the mom-and-pop businesses around the corner. But Sarah Barr, owner of Konhaus Print & Marketing, Camp Hill, Pa., helped showcase local businesses with a multichannel promo campaign centered around an interactive game (and even managed to do some self-promotion in the process).
Promo Marketing: Could you tell us a little bit about a promotion you thought was one of your best?
Sarah Barr: Keep It Local was started to spread positivity, raise awareness for the small businesses throughout our community, and just encourage everyone to spend their dollars locally whenever possible. So we partnered up with a local Members First Federal Credit Union, and they loved the initiative and decided to help us out so we could spread as much awareness about it. So we started with yard signs, we have a billboard, we created these small-business kits that had stickers to put on packages. There were postcards in it, there were display signs people could put on their counters, it had posters for your window, and then it also came with a yard sign so you could put it out.
The intention was at the beginning to just have the yard signs at businesses, but a lot of people live in high-traffic areas in neighborhoods where everyone is out and about walking, so we started putting them at some houses. But the majority are spread at businesses, and I think we’ve distributed almost 500 of those. And we’ve been doing all kinds of things on social media, too, to create the awareness. We created signs that said “Proud Small Business Owner,” and we emailed it out to people, and they’ve been taking pictures and sending them to us. Between us and Members, we’ve been posting and sharing on our social media, tagging those businesses and introducing those owners.
I was trying to look for a way even further to give back to the community, so we went around and bought gift certificates to a variety of small businesses and then, through our Instagram, we have been almost weekly doing an I-Spy, going out and finding the Keep It Local sign. Sometimes it’s at the same business the gift certificate is for, other times it’s not. We’re just trying to help promote businesses that don’t necessarily have the retail traffic, but want to create that visibility and awareness for them. And then we hide these envelopes that say “prize winner” and the gift certificate is in there, and we give clues. Whoever finds it first gets the gift certificate.
PM: What did you like most about this promotion?
SB: Seeing the community come together and support small businesses. Seeing people actually stopping for a couple extra seconds before they place their online orders to think, ‘Is there a small business in my area, or just a business in general in my area, that I could be buying from?’ I’ve even seen it with my own customers with what we do. Before they go online and order something, they’ll be like, ‘Hey, do you guys do this?’ or ‘Do you recommend somebody local that can do it?’ That’s been so awesome. That and it’s pretty cool to see the yard signs everywhere.
PM: What advice would you give distributors looking to do something similar?
SB: Just do it. I think it’s a really great way to give back to your local community if you can do it. And I think it’s a good way to raise that awareness for so many businesses that are in your community that people don’t realize are there. […] It’s not going to stop any time soon, this madness that we’re dealing with, so all the more [reason] to help with it.