Your business serves a specific purpose. When you started your company you wanted to fill a need in your community. You saw that people wanted a place to eat a muffin, so you founded a cafe. You opened a hardware store when you learned the closest option was twenty minutes away. There was no vintage clothing stores in your young, hip neighborhood so you built a brand. If your business fulfills a certain need, so should your advertising.
This is not advice saying you should not continue your normal advertising routine. Far from it. However, sometimes you want to reach a targeted audience who are looking for businesses within your industry. That’s when a special section publication can be the perfect solution.
Special section publications are produced by area news outlets throughout the year and are aimed at connecting advertisers and consumers. They focus in on one topic and dedicate a full issue to that topic. These publications offer you the unique opportunity to find customers who are actually looking for your products and services.
Here are some typical special sections and some of the businesses that can use them to connect with consumers.
Home improvement sections are a great way for hardware stores to introduce themselves to their community. You can showcase a new model of firepit and offer a promotion on the price of firewood. You can offer your store’s expertise in sharpening lawn mower blades to give a customer's lawn a nice even cut.
Home improvement sections are also a place for local services to advertise their small business. Landscapers can promote their business next to content that highlights how nice a manicured back yard can be. Contractors cab advertise next to a story on how a home’s value can be increased with a little bit of work. Painters can market their business next to a story about sealing a home up for winter properly. With your ads next to well written articles that engage with consumers, you are putting your business in a prime position to be discovered.
The first mental image you may have of a back-to-school section may be an elementary school student, wearing an over sized backpack, walking to a new classroom. So if you sell school supplies or children’s clothing, this is a great place for your business.
But, those students aren’t the only ones who are going back to school. High school students, that have their own money to spend and who will need more resources, will be going back to school as well. College students will also be returning to campus for the fall semester and they are required to purchase even more study materials than high school students. Plus, college students vary in age and course selection, so your customer could be fresh out of high school or going back to school to finish a degree as an adult.
The good thing about advertising in a back-to-school section is that there are very few businesses that couldn’t find a reason to be included. If you sell clothes, notebooks, folders, organizers, electronics, pencils, pens, backpacks, or even snacks there is a place for you in a back-to-school section.
The Holiday Season
Before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. With it, comes the opportunity for local businesses to promote themselves in their community. A holiday themed special section offers every business the opportunity to advertise and help grow the shop local movement.
During this time of year, everyone is focused on finding the perfect gift. For children, it’s picking out the perfect toy or book. Gift ideas for adults can range from the practical screwdriver to a coffee mug with the logo of their favorite sports team on it. But, there are other things that a small business owner can promote in a holiday special section.
Everyone needs to be warm in the winter, so clothing and shoe stores can promote the newest cold weather gear to keep your family warm. Food markets can connect with the consumers who will be making a big dinner for guests. If you sell decorations, you can engage with customers who look to have the most festive house on the block. Auto part stores can promote the items that will make sure a car will be reliable during the bitter winter weather.
Nearly every business in your community has products that consumers will want and need to have. Placing yourself in a holiday themed special section will remind people you’re local and that you can offer any product or service to them.
Contact your media company and ask about what special sections they have planned for the year and try to figure out which publication will be the best place for you business to shine.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.