Bellingham is a vibrant city seeing rapid growth. With beautiful Bellingham Bay, Whatcom Falls, lively Fairhaven, and Mt. Baker 45 minutes away, it is no surprise that Bellingham’s population and industry is on the rise. With new growth comes new business. Capture the rapid expansion by reaching out in new and unique ways.
Local marketing opportunities for your business to consider:
1. Get listed on Bellingham’s local business networks
A great way to showcase your company is to be featured as a local business. Two strong local examples Sustainable Connections and Bellingham Chamber of Commerce. Both websites have the potential to reach a new audiences and get your website link on multiple platforms. When you become a member of either (or both), your business is displayed on their website, with a logo and a direct link to your own site. By doing so, you create a backlink to your own website and help drive more SEO traffic.
Backlinks have two benefits, one obvious and one more hidden. At the surface, each backlink drives traffic directly to your website. Beneath, each backlink serves as credibility for your website. Backlinks are one way Google determines that business is reputable and has value. The more links you have to your site, the more valuable your website is, and the more valuable the links from your website become. Websites with an established reputation provide even more value to the sites they link to. That is why a link from Sustainable Connections is worth more than one from a brand new blog.
2. Reach Out to Bellingham’s Student Population
Out of around the 89,000 people living in Bellingham, close to 16,000 are Western students. Each school year is a fresh chance to reach a new target market for your business.
There is also advertising to be done around campus. For example, every year, the Western A.S. Bookstore distributes a Big Blue Coupon Book to any and all students. Including a coupon gets your name out to new students, reaching a new community of potential customers. You may also check out other coupon platforms such as Valpak.
Another way to get in touch with the student population is social media. Get your business on all possible platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it). Each social media platform works a little differently, but each lets you hone the audience by demographic and location. You can build PPC ad campaigns for a small or large fee depending on the size of the ad campaign. Get creative with your ads! Millenials love memes and witty content.
3. Partnerships With Other Businesses
Build alliances around town by working with other businesses. Think of how you can expand your services and outreach. Think of the times a customer has asked for a specific product and you’ve been forced to say it’s not on the menu. Consider other services that might go along with your offerings.
Restaurants around Bellingham have recently been pairing up with breweries for more potential business. Gruff Brewing sells McKay’s pizza in their brewery. Stone’s Throw Brewery partners with Skylark’s Café and has rotating food trucks during the week. These partnerships let customers come to one place as a one-stop shop while opening doors for another.
Hosting events is also a great way to build traction for your business. For example, Black Sheep will sometimes host taco eating contests at other, non-food related businesses around town. Get creative and don’t be afraid to reach out to other businesses. Even after a one-time event, your partners may start recommending you to their customers. (Be sure to do the same for them!)
4. Sponsor an event
Planning and executing your own events takes time. Instead, you may support other local events as a sponsor. There are local events to sponsor every year such as Downtown Sounds, BAMF!, Bellingham Bay Marathon, Ski To Sea. Each event attracts people from in and out of Bellingham, boosting your company’s advertising presence.
5. Local Podcasts
For a totally unique outreach campaign, get an advertising spot on a local podcast. For a modest fee, they will plug you in their weekly podcast. Look for different themes such as travel, cuisine, and entertainment for the right podcast. Check out this list of some of the podcasts local to Bellingham you could potentially be advertised by.
We couldn’t be more happy with our own podcast advertising endeavors. In 2019, the comedy movie trailer review podcast, Movie Babies, included an advertisement for us in their Valentine’s Day podcast. They even crafted a hilarious promotion for us based on 90’s toy commercials.
If you know where to look, there are places to advertise around every corner. We’d love to help you find the right platforms for your company and help you set up a brand new ad campaign. Feel free to reach out anytime!