As many of us already know, small businesses are the economic foundation of rural communities everywhere, and Malheur County is no exception. Over the years, we have dealt with all types of marketing plans and included some of the highlights below. Happy Marketing!
Radio: One of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large and rural service area is radio. Not only does the radio station do much of the heavy lifting such as helping to prepare your ads, but it is a great way to get better connected with the community!
Newspaper: Speaking of ways to get connected to your community, newspapers remain the single most effective way of reaching select demographics in rural areas. Your local newspapers can help target your market in addition to helping you understand your local market.
Posters: You just never know how many people stop to read posters until you put some up! It is quick, easy, and can be a fun way to reach out to the community.
Referrals: A good way to leverage your posters and flyers would be to post them in other small local businesses that may refer clients your way. Having your contact info handy, and being able to start a conversation about your business, is more valuable than you think, and often leads to the most promising sales leads of any marketing tool listed above.
Social media: Marketing on social media is an excellent complement when used with newspaper ads to reach all ranges on the demographic spectrum. Similar to radio and newspapers, social media is incredibly proficient at reaching a wide area for a low price. In most parts of Oregon, the attitude among many consumers is that if you are not online, you do not exist. Set up your social media accounts for marketing, or hire someone who can assist you if you are not sure how.
If you are looking for more marketing advice, we suggest you contact your local radio, newspaper, or Small Business Development Center. Each has dedicated staff that can help you put a goal center marketing plan together.
Greg Smith is the director of Malheur County Economic Development. He may be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914.