Use Geo-Farming to Make the Most of Your Flyer Campaign

February 5, 2017 - 15 minutes read

geo-farming an area

This is the seventh article of a 7-step training series about flyer marketing. Have you read the previous article How to Plan Your Flyer Distribution?

At this point, we have covered in detail all the parts of a flyer campaign: selecting an audience, the flyer design and content process, printing, distribution and results tracking. You should have all you need to actually develop your first flyer campaign!

The story doesn’t end there though. Most business owners know that marketing doesn’t work if you take a “one shot in the dark” approach. Multiple marketing touches are needed to turn a stranger into a customer. Research shows that businesses needs to reach out to a consumer 6-8 times on average before they are sales-ready.

Why? You usually can’t win over someone the first time they hear about you. In the early stages of a consumer’s journey, they are simply becoming aware of your business and gathering information. After that, they need to consider their options, think about their budget, figure out if they trust your business, etc.  All this takes time and repeated exposure, especially because people are bombarded with so many ads and options in general.

Why Geo-Farming Works

You cannot just do one flyer campaign and expect amazing results. In fact, many businesses hardly get any results from their first flyer campaign because their target audience has never heard of them before. Don’t let this discourage you. Every interaction builds that much more awareness and trust, and will lead to sales in time.

The best approach is to make your flyer campaign part of a multi-touch marketing effort to the same geographic area. This approach of targeting your marketing efforts to a specific neighborhood or area is called “geo-farming.”

geo-farming works a little like actual farmingWhen an actual farmer decides to grow crops, he prepares the land, carefully plants seeds and diligently nurtures the growing plants until they are ready for harvest. Building local fame for your business and dominating the local market is a lot like actual farming. You will need to prepare for and do consistent marketing to cultivate and nurture trusting relationships with prospects in a specific area.

Geo-farming is a long-term game but (if done correctly) will reap amazing results. The majority of people in an area will know, like and trust your business. Plus, geo-farming leads to even better word-of-mouth advertising. The initial satisfied customers you gain will go share their reviews with their neighbors and guess what? Those neighbors have already been seeing your marketing everywhere in the area! The added trust from their neighbors’ testimonials will lead to their trust and interest in using your services over your competitor’s.

There are multiple techniques a business can use (aside from flyers) to geo-farm and area and become local famous. We’ll show you a couple effective ways to do multi-touch marketing in this post.

Further Door-to-Door Marketing

First of all, you can simply do several rounds of flyers to interact with the same audience multiple times. Develop a series of flyers that can be distributed every month to the same area. The first flyer could introduce your business, and subsequent flyers could explain different services, provide testimonials/stories or a whole host of other creative information.

Just remember to provide value to the homeowner! This should be your primary focus. Flyers with overly aggressive sales messages will piss off many people…detracting from the trust you are trying to build in the community. If you remember, we explained how to create valuable and engaging content in our post How to Develop an Effective Flyer Design. Check that out again!

A mailing can also be effective. The United States Postal Service actually runs a service called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) that is a good complement to flyers. Basically, you design, print and drop off stacks of advertisements (usually postcards) that postal workers will deliver to every address within postal routes that you select.

advertising by mailI prefer multiple rounds of flyers over EDDM for two reasons. First of all, with mailings, your advertisement will be competing with other ads in the mailbox for attention. Secondly, EDDM requires that you deliver to complete postal routes. Postal routes are sometimes configured strangely. As a result, you may have to pay for distribution to several postal routes to cover the same area you delivered flyers to, and will end up hitting extraneous addresses.

Finally, for many businesses, I’d suggest doing a very traditional door-to-door marketing approach. You should actually knock on homeowners’ doors to introduce your business’ products/services in person! You’d be surprised by how cheap and effective this cold calling method is. You will want to look up the “solicitation laws” in your selected area before doing this personally or hiring a door-to-door sales team.

Paid Facebook Advertising

We often pair our flyer campaigns with a Facebook ad campaign. With Facebook, you can target people in a particular zip code or even neighborhood with ads (it’s so specific that you can target down to a 1-mile area). As a result, it is perfect for geo-farming an area!

Why use Facebook? Facebook has the largest user base of any social media platform with over 1.74 billion monthly active users. The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes on the platform a day. That’s a lot of people spending time on one website.

Plus, Facebook is now so universal that you can find people in almost any age group or other demographic on the platform. It’s not just used by young people anymore. Facebook actually collects a lot of data from its users (I know it’s a little creepy…but it’s also useful to us business owners). That data helps businesses target their ads very specifically. Want to shows ads to women between the ages of 40-55 years old who have teenage children, like yoga and are Republican? You can do that with Facebook by clicking a few boxes.

Facebook Ad for Real Estate Marketing

In this case, we suggest targeting your entire geo-farm area (the area you delivered flyers to) with Facebook ads. Anyone who logs onto Facebook and also lives in the selected area will see your ad within their Facebook News Feed or right-side panel.

Of course, you have to pay Facebook for those “ ad impressions” but it can be very affordable (you set your daily budget). It costs about $5.00 for 1000 impressions. Geo-farming on Facebook is a completely different and complex topic so I’ll refer you to this article if you want to learn more.

Retargeting

Retargeting is another great paid advertising method that will pair well with your flyer campaign and geo-farming efforts. Retargeting basically allows you to get back in front of the very same people that have already viewed your website or landing pages. The technique involves tracking people who visit your website and then showing targeted ads to them on other websites.

Remember when I taught you a few articles ago how to create a landing page? The goal of that tracking method was to drive people who viewed your flyer to a specific webpage online. Once they get to your webpage, you can actually track them with “tracking cookies,” a fancy piece of code that sticks to their Internet browser’s IP address.

When that individual leaves your landing page and visits other websites (i.e. Facebook, ESPN, CNN, etc), you can continue to show them ads! That’s a very focused way to show an already interested audience more information about your business.

Retargeting Real Estate Ad

Retargeting sounds complicated but it actually isn’t too difficult to set up. We created a step-by-step guide about retargeting that will help you set it up in no time!

Neighborhood Advertising

real estate open house yard signDon’t forget about some of the simple stuff when geo-farming. Yard signs work well for a lot of businesses, especially contractors or real estate agents. Simply ask or pay a small amount to customers who can post a sign in their yard.

Look for neighborhood or area-specific publications that you can advertise through as well. Here in St. Louis, that could look like the Ladue News, Webster-Kirkwood Times, The St. Louis American, etc. These local magazines may have a wide subscription base in your selected geo-farm area.

You may also want to look into radio advertising. It can be affordable and effective, as long as you have a very accurate understanding of what radio stations your ideal customer listens to.

Finally, one of the best ways to become the go-to business or expert in a specific community is to actually meet residents personally and develop relationships. You can do this in a memorable way by hosting an event (block party, pizza party, neighborhood bbq, etc) in your geo-farm area.

Conclusion

Flyer marketing can be very powerful, but loses it effectiveness if not paired properly with an overall marketing plan. Before you ever decide to try a new advertising medium, you need to know exactly how it fits into your overall plan. If you do, you can see a phenomenal ROI from flyers for years to come and dominate your local market! It might be difficult to set up at first, but a well-run flyer program will put you well ahead in your industry.

Hopefully you have benefited from our flyer marketing training series. If you’d like to receive more marketing advice, please click the button below. We’d love to keep helping your business become local famous!