As most Manhattanites about Red Hook, and the first thing that comes to mind is Ikea. But that’s not all Red Hook has to offer. It’s a bit ironic, being a part of the largest city in the US, while still retaining a sea side village feel. But, that’s Red Hook.
You can see a bit of its long history if you look at the shipyards, dry docks, and early 19th century warehouses. Red Hook, like Bushwick, is still a bit rough around the edges, but people like it that way. The mix of artists, craft distilleries, winery, and quirky restaurants and bars make a trip to Red Hook a very colorful experience.
Like Bushwick and other pseudo-gentrifying areas, a key marketing challenge for businesses is how to be quirky enough to stand-out while retaining the character of the neighborhood.
The marketing challenges in Red Hook are more about differentiation and awareness. A smart website, when used effectively, can help either one.
Strategy is a term that is misused often. A strategy is making a clear choice of between options. As a metaphor, I like to use a vacation as the example. The strategy is choosing where to go. The tactic is the means of transportation. Here, you need to evaluate if the agency you choose has a clear understand of where you are going and how it can deploy its tactics to help you win.
Sometimes marketing is an investment. Sometimes programs work. Sometimes, they fail. Regardless, you need a measurement plan in place to know which to kill and which to grow.
Learning is part of any marketing campaign. It is how you improve and grow. The market is constantly changing. You will be best suited to meet that change if you constantly testing.
Digital marketing is a diverse field. One group specializes on web design and another on social. If you need a specialized agency for each, the costs add up quickly. Each have overheads they need to cover. This is where a full service agency can help. Those overheads are shared the different disciplines. Now, one caveat, it is important to know that the full service agency can provide the same if not better quality as the specialized.
Large company solutions or carbon copies of other campaigns rarely work for small businesses. If you are seeking marketing help, make sure that the firm you chose has the experience in small business.
If a marketing firm will not share some of the risk with you, then they are not as vested in the outcome as you are.
According to Best Designs, original graphics are the most successful.
“Original graphics make up 40% of all successful visual content that accomplishes marketing goals, but 43% of marketers struggle with the consistent production of captivating visuals.”
Since we are communicating one message, the artwork that supports it must work very hard to support the message. This is where local market know-how can really help. Original photos and images of your business in Kipps Bay interacting with your neighborhood can add value.
It also helps with when your calls to action focus on local events in and around Red Hook or at your business location.
Every email, no matter how trivial, should have a call to action. This is where all the hard work above pays off. If we omit one, we just wasted resources that could have been spent more cost effectively.
We cover email list building in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. Again, we will just hit the highlights here as it pertains to Red Hook. Every neighborhood has summer fairs. While these were severely impacted by COVID, in our post COVID world they should roar back with a vengeance. It would be smart to see if you could piggy-back off one or more of them.
Incentives, deals, free trials, and samples are all great options when developing your calls to action. See if you can partner with your neighbors to create a shared promotion. This way one shopper in Red Hook has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
The marketing challenges in Red Hook are more about differentiation and awareness. Local digital marketing, when used effectively, can help either one.
Marketing always contains some risk. You should be suspect of anyone who tells you otherwise. Yes, there are techniques that can make you much more successful. However, any seasoned marketer knows that even with the best techniques, there is always some uncertainty. If you truly are a team, then your partner should be willing to help you share some of the risk, as long as you are willing to follow best practices. If your partner helped you build the strategy and craft the brand message, then it is reasonable that they share some of the risk. This way you are both aligned to the same goal, which is delivering a positive return on your marketing spending.
First, if you work with a larger firm, the quality of the people and the time they will invest is directly proportional to the amount of money you spend. They may tell you otherwise, but you know that not every client or customer is treated equally. This is why you want to find a firm where you budget matters to them. This way your project gets the attention it deserves instead of being given to a junior team member as part of the 10 other projects he or she is working on.
In addition, local knowledge is important so your message comes across as authentic. If the firm doesn't understand your neighborhood, town, or city, then the language they use or tone of the campaign can be off. Customers are smarter than many give them credit for. They can usually spot fakes easily.
If you're thinking about finding help in Red Hook for your small business, here are the things to keep in mind.