Promoting Local Businesses
The main reason we launched RelyLocal in Bellingham was to help the "little guys" (and gals) compete! With national chains and web-based replacements spending as much as $2 million in marketing every day, it is no wonder that many of our local companies are having trouble connecting with new customers through all of the noise. Especially in this economy, we began to see more and more established businesses slowly disappear while many new local businesses didn't know how to get started and get their name in front of new customers. Budgets are tight and many businesses think that the first cut should always be in advertising.. They are wrong! But, don't just take our word for it...
"Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time." - Henry Ford
Advertising Incubator and Community Campaigns
RelyLocal isn't meant to be a full replacement for all of your other marketing efforts, or memberships with business groups like the Chamber of Commerce. (Heck, be reasonable - have you seen our minimal fees?) We like to think of ourselves as an advertising incubator, the one thing that every local business needs to be a part of to help drive their other advertising efforts - online and off. Use RelyLocal as a starter, and work your way into other (more expensive) advertising options. Here are a few of the details on what we offer our members...
Our web site is a small but integral piece of our entire local marketing solution. You simply choose a category (or multiple) in which to feature your business listing and we'll take care of entering all of your information; company description, logo, location, hours of operation, web address, email - even, photos, banner ads and links to your Blog, Facebook, or Twitter pages! Our first goal is to drive traffic to your business - online or off. As a result, some customers will find what they need about your business directly on our site, while other customers will continue on to your site to get even more information.
Search Engine Results (Organic)
While our #1 goal isn't necessarily to get your business on "page one" at Google (please consider our minimal costs) - it DOES happen all the time! In addition to the new customers you will gain directly from RelyLocal.com, you will also begin to see increased traffic and exposure on many other search engines and directories. With things like meta keywords and even the content on your page becoming less relevant to search engines (because it can be manipulated), your site being featured on trusted sites like RelyLocal.com will help to increase your search engine rankings. We will also consult with you to make sure you are getting the most out of your listings on sites like Google Maps and MSN Local.
Social Media Ambassadors
Let us be your online ambassador - connecting you with our ever-growing network of "Loyal Locals" on Facebook and Twitter. Imagine - the next time you are holding a special event or offering a special promotion, you can reach hundreds (if not thousands) of qualified local customers with your message every time we make a post on your behalf... Instantly! (Try that with legacy marketing methods!) Plus, we keep things fun - with quizzes, contests, and giveaways designed to increase our fan base, while generating new exposure for your business in new markets!
Co-Op Local Advertising
If you have been in business long, you realize that without advertising, you'll never survive. You also realize that most advertising is extremely expensive and difficult to justify on your bottom line. Let us compliment your current advertising plans and reach new audiences that you never thought you could afford. We pool the funds of active members in order to advertise with newspapers, billboards, television, and radio - even sponsoring local events. As an example, for a typical 60-second tv or radio spot, we will spend 30 seconds explaining what the RelyLocal campaign is all about, and how customers can support local business. The second half of the ad will feature specific RelyLocal members who helped to underwrite the ads. Each newspaper ad will feature the latest new members. Each billboard will play up the grass-roots community feel while highlighting several members! All for a fraction of the cost of "going it alone"...
Local Coupon Marketing
Coupons mailings can be very effective, but are also very expensive considering the ROI. While they do hit a lot of households, not everyone needs a muffler or likes Chinese food. As part of your normal membership, you may feature up to three coupons each month (you choose the expiration dates) for customers to print and use at your location. As we continue to grow, we will also insert "highlight coupons" in the major mailings in the area to showcase all of the coupons available at RelyLocal.com. This is a great incentive to entice new customers. Best of all, it's all included as part of your regular membership!
Bellingham Community Campaign
While we provide businesses and loyal locals with window decals, bumper stickers, and t-shirts - it is about much more than just that "warm-and-fuzzy" feeling. These tools are a small but very deliberate part of building an effective grass-roots campaign to support local business. It is our way of making RelyLocal the new "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for local businesses in the Bellingham area.
Your Role - Our Partner!
RelyLocal isn't just about what we can do for you, it's about what you can do for your community. At least 90% of your membership dues stay in the area to help grow our community campaign to reunite local customers with their local businesses. We don't view our business members and web users as clients and customers, we view them as partners! Get involved, make a minimal investment in Bellingham, and you'll receive a lot more in return than just more clicks to your web site. We are here to help!
The Most Cost-Effective Marketing in Bellingham
Your Problems, RelyLocal's Solutions
Problem #1: Sure, most small local businesses can’t afford the thousands of dollars needed each month to advertise with newspapers, coupon packs, billboards, tv, radio - let alone hiring an internet marketing firm or find time to spend on social networking! How can they possibly compete with national chains or established competitors?
Solution: RelyLocal is much more than just another online business directory and community campaign! Think of us as your co-op advertising agency, internet marketing firm, and part time sales staff - repping you in the community all day, every day.
Problem #2: Many businesses already have a good web site, but nobody really uses it. They spend precious time and money for ongoing design, SEO, and expensive advertising that appears to produce no tangible results. Other businesses don't have a web presence at all, but know that they are losing customers as a result.
Solution: If potential customers can’t find your web site or listings, they aren't likely to find your physical location, either. We not only bring you new, highly qualified traffic directly from your listing on RelyLocal.com, but we also feed the search engines and other directories, increasing your overall online exposure and organic (free) rankings.