As a small business owner, one of your biggest challenges will be creating awareness of your brand. In a small town market, one effective way to do this is to sponsor local events or sports teams. However, sponsorships don’t offer the same kind of quantifiable return on investment as social media, direct mail or email marketing. Here are a few different ways you can use sponsorships to build awareness and drive sales for your company.


Team sponsorships

Let’s say you operate a coffee shop or restaurant in a small town. For your business to succeed, you’ll need to have a good reputation among the locals to build up a dependable customer base and to spread good word-of-mouth. One way you could drive business to your shop is by sponsoring the local high school’s football team. As this Marketing Donut post points out, spending a few hundred dollars to expose your brand to hundreds of locals with the positive association of backing the home team can do more for your business than a few thousand dollars of direct mail marketing.


Prize donations

Another good way to drum up business for your company in a small market is through donating a prize that can be raffled off at a fundraising event. In addition to creating positive brand awareness within the community, you’ll be guaranteed to drive traffic to your shop in the form of the raffle winners. As long as your customer service skills and quality control are on point, you should have no problem turning the prize winners into regular customers, even brand ambassadors.


Community event giveaways

Lastly, you can sponsor a local community event, such as the farmers market, to make the local community aware of your company. You should endeavor to negotiate terms wherein your company’s logo is presented alongside all of the event’s branding material to hammer home the connection between your company and the feel-good community gathering. You should also put up a booth at the event where you can give away samples of your product and branded merchandise, including mugs, pens or T-shirts. As explained in this Inc. article, giving away product samples at large community gatherings is how Red Bull established its brand in this country.

This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse


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