Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Include the Military in your Promotional Efforts

In North Carolina, thousands of people are scheduled to move here by 2011. They're military personnel, contractors, non-military civilians - and their families. Fort Bragg, for example, is anticipating around 40,000 people to move in from Ft. McPherson in Georgia. Newcomers will be looking for things to do and places to go away from the base. That scenario occurs everywhere in the world.

How do small towns promote themselves to such a massive number of newcomers? There are two big ways to do it -

1) Make personal visits to the base and meet key people who can help you promote your town, attraction, event to base newcomers. Build relationships with people on base. Sometimes they take bus tours to places off post.

2) Capitalize upon the Internet and use key words that search engines can use to drive surfers to your Website or blog. Review your Website so that you add a few lines of copy reflecting what you can offer military people - or where you are in relationship to them geographically.

Camp out in chat rooms where people looking to relocate learn about the local community - the churches, restaurants, schools and good neighborhoods. Write ezines and post them.

Write a local story about your efforts and submit it to your local paper. Ask the editor to post it online so search engines will find it. Create a blog - or series of them - that focus upon your place, local real estate, vacation home opportunities, community activities and events.

Participate in base travel trade shows. Ask around on base to see about being a speaker for various groups - military wives, military spouses, etc. They all have groups which meet on a regular basis. Bring your community to them.

MARKETING TIP: Don't overlook military and non-military families when you're promoting your attraction, event or town. When they land at a base, they do like to get out and explore.

No comments: