The aim of any “Shop Local” campaign is to encourage people to shop locally and make good use of the fantastic range of services and products available in your area, district, town/city. But how can you make the best of it for your clients?
There are many different ways to approach a “Shop Local” campaign – be it driven by the local council, chamber of commerce and industry, town body, radio station, or local group of business people – and you don’t need an official campaign to do something similar either – we used to call them “group-on’s” as we were getting a group of businesses ‘on-air’.
One of the simplest things to do with existing clients is to tag a commercial with a line similar to “proudly supporting the <LOCATION> Shop Local campaign”. It’s not fancy, but it can work – maybe. It’s just not as memorable as a full dedicated spot.
The next is to have a ‘Shop Local Street’ campaign, where businesses on that street all club together to pay for either 15 second, or 30 second spots that get topped and tagged with a “Shop Local Street Name”. Personally I sold many of these in the 1990s in TV and Radio – they work well because they have a good brand identification in the top and tail and usually the cost is low for businesses to participate in. Also it is important NOT to have competing businesses in the same commercial. For example:
TOP = 5 seconds + COMMERCIAL 1 = 15 seconds + COMMERCIAL 2 = 15 seconds + TAIL = 10 seconds = 45 second spots (this is my preferred option and sometimes have had 3×15 sec spots in each to bring it up to 60 seconds for each compiled commercial), or you could do a variation of this with: TOP = 5 seconds + COMMERCIAL 1 = 15 seconds + COMMERCIAL 2 = 30 seconds + TAIL = 10 seconds = 60 second spots
Create 3 to 10 compiled spots depending on how many businesses are involved and run in rotation with each other.
The run time is usually no more than a month, sometimes 3 weeks to keep the price down, and usually in the slower period of the calendar year.
Listeners do respond to these messages too in that they tell the retailers that they heard their ad.
For many businesses this is also a great introduction into radio so you need to keep close contact with them during and just after the campaign in order to see if they want to continue after.
The best thing about this “Shop Local” style of campaign is that it can be twisted to any format, for example…
- “Stay in <LOCATION>” for holiday accommodation in a close town or city that is outside your broadcast area. Popular especially before school holidays, and great for not only accommodation, but tourist sites too.
- “What’s on in <LOCATION>” for a gig guide style commercial, this was always a mad rush on a Tuesday & Wednesday to get completed to start on-air on Thursday. But it worked! Listeners would call in if they missed the spot on-air – so we created a web page on our site and kept that up to date, which became another selling point for us.
- “Eat out in <LOCATION>” to target restaurants. We had a 5 star version and a unrated version as some of the 5 star restaurants didn’t want to be associated with the other ones – but we charged them more for the 5 star version of the campaign – so win, win!
- “<LOCATION> Car Talk” to target local car yards, repairers and service people, even people from outside those industries were keen to jump in with this one.
- “Visit a <LOCATION> Winery” this was targeted at a out of town district known for wines, and we only ran these spots from Wednesday to Saturday from 9 am to 6pm – it had an incredible response rate!
There are so many different ways you can adjust this style and use it to your advantage and introduce radio advertising to a wide range of clients.
Speaking of introducing… rather than cold calling on clients to do this, we used to introduce the “Shop Local – Group-On’s” at the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a talk (which we would do about twice a year) and tell of success stories and people who then kept on advertising with us and how much they have grown because of this simple, cheap and effective advertising form.
Talk about it with your sales manager and traffic team and see how they feel about you selling a group on this format of commercial and let us know how you go, below.