Boost Sales in a Recession Using Local Celebrities

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Celebrity marketing for local businessBoosting sales in a recession using local celebrities probably sounds like an expensive option to most small to mid-size businesses. But when everyone is in the same boat, everything is negotiable.

However, right now, you need to be thinking outside the box. Or at least, your marketing team should be thinking outside the box. So let’s take a minute and see if we can come up with some outside the box ideas to stimulate business using a local celebrity.

First of all, let’s eliminate the idea of creating TV commercials like the Buick commercials using Tiger Woods. That’s out of the question for any small to mid-size business.

However, a celebrity is like any other commodity. The price is negotiable. So first, let’s try to pare down the cost of using a celebrity for promotion.

First of all, a local celebrity is much cheaper than a worldwide celebrity like Tiger Woods. TV commercials are the most expensive way to use a celebrity. Next down is radio. Cheaper still would be using the celebrity’s image only.

So, how can we use a local celebrity’s image most effectively?

As many of you may already know, I think TV and radio advertising are completely useless for small to mid-size businsses. It makes sense for huge corporations like McDonalds or Coca-Cola to use it because they are international brands that almost everyone uses or would consider using.

But SMBs need to target their advertising. That’s why I love Online Marketing. You can Dominate The ‘Net for your target audience for a heck of a lot less than using “old school” advertising.

Alright, we’ve pared down the cost of using a local celebrity. So how best to use their image and name?

What do people go on the Internet for? Usually it’s for one of two things.

  • Either they are looking for information before they purchase
  • or they already know what they want and are looking for the cheapest price

Unless you’re marketing a common commodity and you are the low price leader, we aren’t interested in the price shopper. So how do you get the attention of the “information searcher?”

By dominating the online information segment of your market.

Let’s say you’re a brick and mortar store selling appliances. People definitely search the Internet for information about appliances before they buy. That’s a given.

So you contract with a local, well known talk show host named Cindy Knowll to use her name and likeness in association with an informational website on appliances called: Minneapolis Appliance Information Resource with Cindy Knowll.

DO NOT ASSOCIATE THIS SITE WITH YOUR STORE! Don’t put the name of your store on it, don’t advertise on it, don’t mention your store. Do not put anything promotional on it. This has to be viewed as a legitimate information site. Otherwise, people will just see it as a marketing ploy and you’ll get no business from it.

make the Home page as simple as possible. Put a search function right in the center of the Home page of the website that only searches on your site. You can do this for free with Google if you wish. (Or your website designer can add this function). And on the Home page, just tell people how to search for what they want. No other information.

Give them examples. Tell them they should type in “cheapest washing machine,” or “ceramic-top stove” or “gas dryer.” And tell them how to narrow the search. No sales pitches, and no marketing. Also have a listing of articles on appliance maintenance and care, how to get the most “bang for your buck” when searching for appliances.

And the only appliances listed in the website are sold at your store.

What you’ve created is a local resource (that everyone will tell their friends about), endorsed by a local celebrity, that only lists your appliances. And every page has an informational phone number people can call to speak to someone (at your store) about the appliance they are interested in. Plus a “get directions” map (to your store) on every page. Right on the upper right-hand corner where people can easily find it.

If you really wanted to Dominate The ‘Net locally, you could make deals with other appliance sellers to list their appliances also. They can either pay you a fee to have their appliances listed or pay only for leads. Then you not only make money off of your sales, but you also make money off of your compeititors’ appliance sales.

can you see how this could be applied to your business? Now that’s what I call having your cake and eating it too!


About the Author:

Bob McClain or WordsmithBob, is a retired website copywriter in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. He has focused on developing new, more effective approaches to web writing, web content, web copywriting and Search Engine Optimization. Starting with a BA in Technical Communication and a minor in Creative Writing from Metro State University in St. Paul, McClain has worked diligently to end the use of "corp-speak" and "technospeak" online. His approach is to “humanize” the Web, using real information to guide people to buy rather than turning websites into advertisements that people can easily ignore.
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