13 ways to increase your business exposure

Bright ideas to get you started

GO LOCAL FIRST has pulled together some of the best ideas from local business champions from around Australia to help you get your community to GO LOCAL FIRST and support local businesses.


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    Create an incentive

    A great example of this is the Keep Coonamble Kicking Campaign, which began all the way back in 2003/04, and now has so many entries that it requires a cement truck for the draw!

    Around 80 businesses each contributed to a cash prize of $14,000 for the Buy Local Draw, where customers who spend more than $150 a year with local businesses can enter.

    The winners of the draw also spend the cash prizes at the participating businesses, so local money continues to support local small businesses.


    Deliver to locals

    Social distancing remains a priority for all Australians, but delivery services are a great way to ensure local businesses can reach their customers. There are loads of great examples out there including Canberra Eats and Yass2You.


    Set up a directory

    Consumers shop local more often when its easy to find out what’s available in their community. Signing up for a Google ‘My Business’ account lets you add your business to Google Maps so your locals can find you.

    Many councils and business chambers have set up directories to make it easy for consumers to source supplies from local businesses. Two great examples of local business directories are: Mosman Chamber of Commerce and Business Wodonga.


    Engage Local Influencers

    Build momentum for your local campaign by engaging your local influencers. Hop on Facebook and see who in your town or region has the largest following. Don’t forget your local MP, mayor, or media personalities who will have significant followings. See if their interested in supporting local businesses like Kate Waterhouse in Mosman, who has helped promote Think Mosman First.


    Gift card schemes

    Councils and business chambers around Australia have implemented gift card schemes that make it easy for consumers to shop with local businesses. There are a heap of providers across Australia who help with setting up these schemes, and provide technical support and marketing assistance. These examples have worked fantastically so consider whether this approach would work in your local area:

    • Northam Dollars
    • Bathurst Buy Local Gift Card
    • Shop the Burdekin

    Get digital

    Maximising digital opportunities to engage with consumers, connect with businesses, and raise awareness about the importance of shopping locally has never been more important. It can be as simple as featuring local small business owners on your digital channels like we have done on the GO LOCAL FIRST Facebook.

    Digital channels offer substantial reach at a low cost and are often the easiest to reach a high proportion of your community with a minimal amount of work.

    There are often local businesses who specialise in developing digital platforms, so when you’re looking to increase your digital capacity, look into your community’s offerings first. For example, the Kwinana Chamber of Commerce have employed a social media contractor to promote small business to local consumers.


    Don’t forget B2B and procurement

    The GO LOCAL FIRST campaign focuses on shifting consumer behaviour, but there are also opportunities to promote B2B transactions and procurement for local governments and councils. For example, the Townsville council launched a strong B2B campaign, focused on ensuring local businesses purchase from each other.


    Hit the streets

    Hitting the streets and going door-to-door is an effective way to raise awareness and requires little more than legwork.

    As part of the Mosman Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Think Mosman First’ initiative, business owners produced a one-page flier and letterbox throughout Mosman. The flier included campaign information, encouraged people to shop locally and linked to an online local business directory.


    Take advantage of Google Maps

    Joining up to Google’s “My Business” means a business automatically gets a pin drop and is a free and easy way to keep your business information up to date and increase your searchability. It’s worked for the Riverside Business Chamber, who ran a number of workshops teaching local business owners how to use the service.


    Partner with your local Rotary Club

    It’s a big ask to run a campaign by yourself, so why not recruit your locals to help out? Community clubs, like Rotary have members who are keen to help their community and are willing to do the leg work you might not have time for.


    Use your local media

    Local media usually has the ear of the locals and are often keen to help support the community. Ask your local newspaper, or community radio station to do a regular feature on small local businesses and all the good they do. Alternatively, if you’re running your own campaign, approach them and see if they’d be willing to donate some airtime to get the word out.


    Showcase your community through videos

    Depending on the size of your community it might be worthwhile choosing to showcase your local small businesses through a series of videos.

    It’s so simple to set up a community YouTube page, film videos and put them online. Whether they’re shorter videos, filmed locally or if you have access to videographers through your local Council, what matters is getting them exposure.

    Some excellent examples include:

    • Macedon Ranges
    • Hepburn Shire
    • City of Stirling