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The News Chair

How to Reach Small-Town America

Are you trying to promote your business in a small town? Think there aren’t many options once you get outside the big city limits? Think again. Things may not be as different as you might think. Big cities typically have more outlets and options when it comes to spreading the word about news and promotions, but small towns have their advantages, too.


Typically, small towns have lots of smaller posters sprinkled throughout the area. There are typically fewer restrictions on billboards in smaller towns, and they are, without a doubt, more economical. Because locals tend to canvass the town more than in larger cities, your chance for exposure is far greater. The lower rates are advantageous because you can purchase a greater number of locations for a longer posting time.


Small towns typically have a small handful of local radio stations. These stations love advertisers, and residents typically tune in for local news, local sports coverage and daytime/drivetime listening. Because there are only a few stations to choose from, small-town stations typically receive more listeners than those of a large city. Fewer stations means you can advertise on one or all of them and cover a larger percentage of your demographic at a fraction of the cost.


Let’s be honest. Marketers don’t typically love to utilize print in the digital age. It’s often expensive, and readership of local newspapers is down now more than ever. One exception to this rule is local small-town newspapers. These weekly or bi-weekly publications still get read, even with today’s online versions (more on that in a minute). Local papers focus on local news, local businesses, school and sports information, as well as local events and happenings around town. Strategic size and placement can ensure your message gets noticed loud and clear, in an outlet visible to many of the residents you are targeting.


Online advertising is not just for big cities. Many newspapers and local organizations have a vast online readership. Websites, news sites and social media outlets all get accessed by today’s small-town residents and cost next to nothing. Take local papers, for example. Many, if not all, small newspapers have an online version of their paper featuring additional local content. These sites are typically free to access and include advertising. If you are purchasing a physical newspaper ad, you can typically get an incredible deal, or even free ads, on the same website as well as their social media outlets, such as Facebook. Yes, even people in small towns use the internet. You can use their digital footprint to target them where they go the most, physically and digitally. Google display ads, geofencing and Google search focusing on keywords should always be a part of your plan.


One of the best things about small towns is the access to customers everywhere you turn. Take a look at your business. What type of free information, goods or services can you provide to the public? Healthcare company? Sponsor the local walking program, diabetes seminar or blood pressure clinic. Get in front of your customers and give them meaningful information they will not only use, but use to remember you by.

Cheers to supporting local!

By Whitney Coles,
Media Planner/Buyer 


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