02 Nov, 2018

Digital Marketing for Rural Communities

Digital marketing is the powerhouse marketing tool of today and is being used all over the world for a variety of applications.  Whether for large corporations, small businesses, huge cities or rural communities, digital marketing is not just a luxury but a necessity. Rural communities are an ideal digital marketing application because the customer demographic is smaller and more refined so digital marketing can be very effective.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Rural Communities

Determine Your Community Brand

Whether you are marketing a small business in a rural community or branding the community itself, you must begin with determining what that brand is. Anything and anyone can be branded, so what is that brand/image you want to project.  What your rural community brand is may be determined primarily by two things – who you are now and who you want to be.  Do you want your rural community to attract more businesses?  Do you want to attract more workers to your rural farming community?  Do you want to enhance tourism because your rural community has something that attracts tourists?  Once you know who you are and who you want to be, you can establish your rural community branding and determine your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

Keep Your Message Community-Focused

Knowing and understanding your customer is always a good idea with marketing but it may be even more important with rural communities. Rural communities function in a more tight-knit way, value their identity and yet, don’t want to be pandered to.  Don’t be cliche or use stereotypes to drive your marketing, simply get to know the community to which you are marketing so that your digital marketing advertisements can be specifically targeted towards that audience.  Through targeted community-focused digital marketing, you are far more likely to reach your audience than you would be otherwise.

Celebrate Locality

Now that you have gotten to know the rural community to which you want to market, skip generic marketing and celebrate the community’s locality.  The local identity of a rural community is what makes it most unique.  Everything from images to graphic design should celebrate the locality of your rural community. Digital advertising on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, and LinkedIn can be highly targeted. You can specify the age, gender, interests, locations, shopping habits, and so much more when targeting your ads so utilize it! If you are marketing your rural community in an effort to enhance tourism, celebrate the locality of your community in your ads and then target those ads to people that would be most likely to respond to that.  For example, if a big draw for your rural community is incredible outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and hunting, you may want to target to people that live within driving distance and have already expressed an interest in outdoor activities.

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