The largest nearby town is a hotbed of activity: Popular restaurants, upscale boutiques, dessert shops, and outposts for financial companies.
So, I was impressed as I thumbed through the town’s weekly newspaper, which focuses on the latest activities in the area, and spotted a financial advisor with whom I am acquainted.
This small business owner did not just place an advertisement that explains his services. Rather, his ad resembles a business advice column with detailed information to appeal to area residents. Somewhere between an ad and an advertorial (informational features that lean heavily on advertisements), this sizeable ad includes a column on a specific topic (in this case, retirement challenges), a byline, photo of the author, and contact information as well as a listing of the services he provides.
This piece is what those in the marketing field call an ad with WIIFM (what’s in it for me) – that could be information that helps readers understand a subject better, prepare a meal quickly, learn a new talent, or tips to tackle a home renovation project.
Just about any topic can be turned into an informational ad/column, highlighting the services that make your business essential to your community:
- Restaurateurs. Discuss the origins of the featured seasonal items found on your menus. If the ingredients are grown locally, mention growing tips or where you bring your produce in at the peak of perfection. Add a recipe!
- Doctors and dentists. Explain health-related issues that are topical, from seasonal conditions like avoiding sunburn and poison ivy to signs of frostbite. If you offer classes on specific topics like dietary issues, don’t forget to mention these additional services.
- Hardware and restoration stores. Make the most of DIY projects that are plentiful on television. With your expert assistance, locals can create pieces they that will make them proud. Advice can range from refinishing old pieces of furniture to cabinetry tips and painting a room like a pro.
You’re the expert in your field. Now is the time to show your skills proudly – and share what you know with current and future customers.
So, touch base with your local weekly newspaper or online publications, and get ready to provide your advice – and small business contact information – the press.