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11 Tips For Advertising Locally

Advertising locally enables small businesses to build brand awareness, generate sales, and create community connections. Here are ten tips to achieve local advertising success. 

Meredith Cunningham Published: May 5, 2023
11 Tips For Advertising Locally image

10 Tips For Advertising Locally 

The importance of local communities has never been more important. TEGNA’s e-book, Mastering the Millennial Mindset of Today, found that 80% of millennials are engaged in their local community, 34% regularly attend farmers markets, 33% attend local sports games, and 28% will attend local festivals.

What does this mean for your small business?

Local TV advertising – especially with your local TV news station – is essential if you’re looking to build brand awareness, generate sales, and create connections in the community.

What are Local TV Marketing Strategies?

A small business can advertise locally in several ways, including via social media, email, and print media. Still, one of the most effective local marketing strategies is advertising with a local TV news station.

Local TV advertising offers numerous advantages for small businesses looking to grow. It is often characterized by 15 or 30-second video ads or commercials viewed locally and placed alongside local and national broadcasts.

For example, let’s say a plumber advertising in Phoenix has a commercial for its local services and wants it to be placed alongside NBC’s The Voice to reach its target audience of homeowners. This ad can run alongside this national programming but will be placed locally and only shown to those in the Phoenix area to get the phones ringing. 

Better yet, local TV ads aren’t limited to commercials, as local broadcast TV stations – like those at TEGNA – offer content sponsorships, integrations, and many other ways to get your brand in front of interested and engaged local audiences by including brand placements in weather, traffic, and sports content.

Does Local TV Advertising Work?

The short answer is yes. TV advertising is a super-effective way to create brand awareness. Additionally, a 2023 TVB study found it’s the most influential channel for influencing a viewer’s purchasing decisions, as 86% of respondents who conduct online searches said that TV ads influenced their search selections.

But the proof is more than just a study. Local TV advertising has worked and driven tangible results for thousands of our partners, helping to make TV the second-most profitable advertising medium in the United States.

“Every market has clients that have been using TV advertising for years, and they wouldn’t keep using it if it didn’t work,” says Julie Mecklenburg, Director of Sales at TEGNA’s WGRZ in Buffalo. “We have a walking portfolio of references – all you have to do is turn on the TV and ask that business what it’s like to work with the TV station.”

“We’ve seen tremendous success. We’ve seen our stock rise in the local community as far as recognition, and customers feeling a little more at ease when dealing with somebody they’ve recognized and seen on TV,” says Kirk Kupsky, Owner of iRestore in St. Louis.

Where Is the Best Place to Advertise Locally?

TV advertising is the second most profitable advertising medium in the United States. As Kupsky and thousands of others can attest, local TV news is one of the most effective ways to reach large, engaged audiences, align with trustworthy content, generate leads, and grow business.

That’s because audiences have a great deal of trust in their local news stations. TVB found that local broadcast news is the most trusted platform for viewers. Drilling down deeper, Mastering the Millennial Mindset found that 43% of millennials surveyed trust their local news station, and 41% believe their local news stations care about the community they serve.

That trust halo extends to brands that advertise alongside this trusted content, as additional studies show consumers are more likely to trust – and buy from – brands that advertise alongside sources of information they trust, such as local TV news stations. Additionally, Advertising Week outlines why Local TV news is always an essential media buy.

11 Tips For Advertising Locally

It’s easy for a small business to think that TV advertising is only for “the big guys,” but the truth is that mom-and-pop shops are one of the biggest benefactors of local TV advertising – if done right. Diving into the world of TV advertising doesn’t need to be complicated or intimidating. Here are our ten tips to maximize the effectiveness of your ads and local campaign.

1. Get to Know Your Target Audience

When you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to reach them more effectively. When getting to know your ideal customers, be sure to create persona profiles and be sure to include your findings from deep-dive research, including:

  • The consumer purchase journey: How do your existing customers purchase? How often? By what means? Asking these questions is essential to understanding your operating base.
  • Competitive analysis: Consider the competition and who their customers are, then see how this fits into your current base. Who are their customers, and how do they purchase? Is this an area your business is not currently pursuing and an area for potential?

 2. Create a Media Plan

Creating a media plan can also help solve everyday challenges and problems that brands face when running marketing and advertising campaigns. A well-thought-out media plan can help set goals and benchmarks against those goals, which help measure ROI, eliminate wasted budget, attribution (how advertisers know which marketing tactics lead to sales or conversions), and select the proper channels for your campaign. Use this as a guide to help your brand succeed.

 3. Advertise on Local News

Local news channels are a powerful way to reach a targeted and engaged audience with a good amount of trust in their local stations. Aligning with well-known and trusted friendly faces, such as the news anchor or weatherman, extends a positive halo to your brand, helping to create meaningful connections in the community, which builds brand awareness, establishes credibility, increases website and foot traffic, and helps to generate new and loyal business.

 4. Combine Broadcast with Streaming

The way people view content – and the devices they consume it on – is rapidly changing. With “the new living room, lean-back experience,” flexibility is key, as consumers want to watch quality programming and content at any time, anywhere, on any device, immediately, and with ease. Luckily, local news isn’t limited to Broadcast. TEGNA offers 24/7 streaming content, including 24/7 access to breaking live and on-demand local news, newscast replays, extended live coverage, weather, and station specials and investigations.

  • Bottom Line: Whether your business is a grocery chain focused on a local neighborhood or a regional automotive, combining Linear TV with Streaming is a big win.

5. Go Digital

Have you heard of the second-screen phenomena? It happens when TV and Streaming viewers use their phones as a second screen to look up what they see on screen. For example, if a viewer sees a TV ad with a QR code, they’ll pull out their phone to scan the code and learn more about that featured product or service. Therefore, having a strong, local digital strategy with pre-roll, banner ads, retargeting, and native advertising will act as a perfect complement to TV and Streaming campaigns. Extending reach, creating brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and generating more leads is a great idea.

6. Leverage Live Events

The TV world is seeing huge jumps in live viewership numbers – 113 million tuned into Super Bowl LVII, 12.55 million viewers tuned into the 2023 Grammy Awards, and the Women’s March Madness tournament set new records for viewership. Advertising around local and national events can reaffirm a brand’s place in the community. These events offer advertisers a lot of frequency and exposure to a valuable audience, and by aligning with live events, your brand can be the talk of the town.

 7. Give Back to Local Community

Partnering with your local news station also presents a wealth of opportunities to serve the greater good of your local community – which is more important than ever to today’s consumer.

In fact, ZenoGroup found that 94% of global consumers feel it’s important to engage with brands with a strong purpose, such as community service. Another 76% of consumers say that when a company leads with a purpose, they are more likely to trust and be loyal to that company.   

8. Focus on Great Creative

There are a lot of fun and creative ways to develop messaging, and you can have different creative messages for different programs or targets you’re trying to attract. Marketing experts at TEGNA have found that brands that incorporate the following tend to see great results:

  • Enticing visuals: “Broadcast TV is the quickest, most efficient means to put a business’s branding and call to action forward in front of the right target audiences,” says Jeff Beacham, Local Sales Manager at WGRZ in Buffalo. “It’s visual, and you can see it. For food, you can practically taste it. For a home remodel, you can see the beauty. For finance, you can potentially see the person managing your money.”
  • Catchy audio: “You want your kid to sing the song,” says the Director of Sales at KING in Seattle, Frank Palino. “The right sound​ ​bites in a creative ad can improve the ad recall and strengthen the call to action, leading to more people searching your website for your products or services.”
  • Emotional connections: “The Farmer’s Dog scored the highest in the USA Today Ad Meter using the power of emotion instead of the power of celebrity,” says Tom Charno, Senior Consumer Insights Strategist at TEGNA. “It shows consumers respond more to brands that try to connect through poignant storytelling instead of flashy cameos.”
  • Humor: As an Olympic Sponsor since 2008, By The Yard takes a humorous approach to TV advertising: they show their furniture competing in Olympic events. “We love it when customers come into our showrooms and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember when I saw your chair swimming in the pool,’” says Leah Steidl of By The Yard. “That’s always our goal, to create a memorable, funny, tongue-in-cheek campaign. We create that moment for them, and it gets them talking and keeps us top of mind.”

9. Measure Results

Gartner reveals that only 53% of decisions are influenced by marketing analytics. Although marketers strive to be data-driven, cognitive bias and data management can create obstacles. Having a marketing attribution tool in your belt – like TEGNA Attribution – can help companies overcome some of these hurdles by providing campaign insights in a clear and digestible format. With marketing measurement, teams can determine which campaigns were successful.

10. Test, Refine & Optimize

Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s imperative to look at the numbers and optimize your campaign to the best of your ability. Did a streaming ad generate no new leads? Try moving that creative to TV and see if it moves the needle – or integrate it into a podcast. There are thousands of options, and you’ll probably try hundreds of combinations throughout a campaign.

11. Leverage Video Across Multichannel Campaigns

Video advertising benefits local businesses looking to make an impact in their marketing efforts. Video can help improve brand recall since it uses multiple senses to drive awareness. In addition to local news, brands should consider using video assets across multiple channels to increase the number of touchpoints with viewers. These channels can include digital platforms and OTT streaming channels. By creating a cohesive strategy across video platforms, brands can maximize their video marketing ROI.

What Are Some Examples of Local Advertising?

At TEGNA, we know how to make our local advertising partners shine bright. The following examples are just a few of the creative ways we’ve helped local brands grow business across the country.


Driving Great Results with Honda of Seattle and KING5

“I think I know what our customers want, I think I know what they need. But with TEGNA Attribution, we can find out what works and what doesn’t. We can constantly tweak it, try new ideas, put new creative out there, and see what the market is really receptive to,” says Tim Miller, General Manager of Honda of Seattle, who has partnered with KING5 for more than five years.

Crew Carwash Teams with WTHR to Expand Out of Indiana

Founded in 1948, Crew Carwash’s 40 locations throughout Indiana are well-known for their brand promise of being Clean, Fast, and Friendly. Pair this great service with TV campaigns and a commitment to doing good, the company has expanded to markets outside of Indiana.

“Giving back to the community is a huge part of what we do at Crew Carwash and is a huge part of our success,” says the company’s Vice President Sally Grant. “We’re happy that WTHR and TEGNA have helped us promote these events, nonprofits, and charities to help us raise a lot of money to put back into the community.” 

Serving Up Results with Meals on Wheels People

Meals on Wheels People has partnered with TEGNA’s KGW for five years to help ensure its vision that no senior goes hungry or experiences social isolation. Using Broadcast, Premion OTT, and TEGNA Attribution, the non-profit has been able to target donors and reach them no matter what screen they’re looking at. Better yet, these tactics have increased the average donation amount, and the creative produced has even won an Emmy.

Industries Benefiting from Local Advertising

Healthcare: Whether you’re a pharmaceutical company looking to connect with consumers on a more personal level or a hospital creating a marketing plan, local advertisements can facilitate trust while building brand awareness.

Dentistry: Dental ads benefit by targeting local audiences to drive foot traffic into the practice. Even cosmetic dental ads can help drive awareness for your business while building trust.

Dealerships: Dealerships can leverage local ads to encourage in-person visits and test drives to increase their revenue. Online dealership ads can be combined with the power of local TV advertising to drive more success and ROI for your business.

Home Improvement: Electricians, contractors, and plumbers can use local advertising to drive awareness for their businesses while showcasing the quality of their work.

Law Firms: Law firms advertising with local mediums can reap numerous benefits and help them differentiate themselves from the competition. 70% of law firms have obtained new business through their website, but 40% of small law practices do not have a website. Additionally, only 24% of law firms are using video. Lawyers who use video marketing can use this channel to stand out while building brand awareness.

Hotels: With the rise of inflation, staycations and local travel have become increasingly popular. To take advantage of this trend, consider advertising your hotel or luxury resort to more local audiences.

Sound Good? Partner with TEGNA on Local Marketing Strategies Today

With a commitment to keeping our clients in good company in the upcoming year, we’ll deliver audiences as diverse as the communities we serve, whether through TV, streaming, or digital. If you’re on Main Street or a mom-and-pop shop, TEGNA has an ideal audience for you. Let’s get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Local Advertising Work?

Local advertising fulfills different brand needs, but universally, advertising at the local level is designed to attract target audiences and local demographics to your brand or service. Several tactics, including social media, email, and print media, can be used. However, one of the most effective local marketing strategies is advertising with a local TV news station.

How Do You Attract Local Customers?

TV advertising – especially with a local TV news station – is super-effective in attracting loyal customers. That’s because local audiences have a great deal of trust in their local news stations. TVB found local broadcast news to be the most trusted platform for viewers. That trust halo extends to brands that advertise alongside this trusted content, as additional studies show consumers are more likely to trust – and buy from – brands that advertise alongside sources of information they trust.

What’s the Difference Between National and Local Advertising?

National and local advertising campaigns focus on different audiences. Local audiences focus on a specific audience in a specific location, while national campaigns focus on the entire US market. 

What Types of Companies Benefit from Local Advertising?

A local marketing strategy can benefit any company that needs to reach a localized audience. These can include hospital advertising plans, dental ads, dealership marketing initiatives, and home service ads

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