Marketing a local organization and helping to grow a small town is about more than simply driving website traffic or social media engagement.
Since we began our work in 2014, Laurel Main Street has grown their reach, engagement and influence significantly in both the local and state markets, all while attracting much-needed attention to their local events, campaigns and initiatives.
Through a strategic approach to website development, content creation, email marketing and automation, and social media marketing we have helped Laurel Main Street reach a targeted audience of local people who are committed to achieve change, right here in Laurel, MS.
The LMS audience is wholeheartedly embracing their initiatives and campaigns, joining the movement of downtown renewal and sparking conversations throughout the community about the work the organization is doing.
We’re honored to work with this vital organization to help them achieve their goals of economic growth and preservation of Laurel, Mississippi’s downtown and central business districts.
“When you want to see your city succeed there is a deeper part of you at work, a part that wants to do more than find success for yourself, but for others around you. You seek out those with that same spark and, together, you begin to see change come about.”
Bethany Byrd for Laurel Main Street
“Bethany and her team are amazing! The results are remarkable.
In less than a year, she made our online marketing a more beautiful, useful tool that helps us get our message out…all while keeping our focus on our target demographic.
Not only will you get creativity and a good work ethic out of this group, but you’ll get hard results!”
– Mallorie Rasberry, President Laurel Main Street
“Own Your Hill has been instrumental in the success of Laurel Main Street.
Their devotion to the revitalization of Downtown Laurel is evident in all that they do for the organization. Everything from design to strategy has been provided and demonstrated the unique and essential role creatives play in innovation.”
Judi Holifield, Executive Director Laurel Main Street
A Consistent Approach to Growth
Our work began with an intense focus on presenting a consistent message and image in order to solidify the organization’s purpose, influence and goals in the minds of the community.
By working with the staff, board and committees to seek out standards and evergreen primary and secondary branding, we have seen a new recognition throughout the area of the work that Laurel Main Street is doing. Events are now properly attributed to the organization and their ability to draw ever larger audiences has greatly improved.
Simplifying the branding and messaging has also had the benefit of reducing costs and time-investment when developing marketing materials for the various events and initiatives, allowing them to focus on other areas of promotion and growth, such as the development of an extensive new website.
A Powerful Web Marketing System Designed to Fuel Growth
Working with another Laurel Main Street partner, Creative Computer, to handle development of the website itself; we created the website strategy for a new, robust web marketing system. Focusing heavily on conversion best-practices and marketing automation, we put together a plan for a website that not only greatly improved their marketing effectiveness, but also released the LMS staff from many smaller, day-to-day marketing tasks. We also worked one-on-one with the designer to direct the visual style of the site and ensure consistency with other marketing efforts and branding.
Implementing automated blog feeds into the homepage and relevant event pages, we were able to automate both the marketing of featured events as well as to give significant “search ranking” power to the individual event pages. This change has helped to make LMS the primary resource for these events, surpassing even the local media.
We created individual, permanent (evergreen) pages for each of the 6 primary LMS events. This has two primary effects: to allow search engines to index these pages for long-term search rankings; and, to improve usability and ease-of-use for website visitors seeking information regarding a specific event. When a new blog post is created about an event, it is automatically fed into the relevant event page – allowing visitors to find both the long-term, evergreen information as well as the most recent information about this year’s event. Also, we standardized the vendor and sponsor forms and added them to each event page, eliminating the need to recreate and redistribute the forms each year.
Finally, we designed and developed an automated email marketing system to pull content from the blog posts and newly-implemented local events entry system to completely automate Laurel Main Street’s email newsletter. This project now saves the organization hundreds of dollars and many hours of work each month that can be better spent on other projects.
Using Peripheral Blog Content to Influence a Community
Telling the core story of a brand can be the most elusive part of any marketing strategy.
We needed to find a way to communicate the value of Laurel Main Street’s efforts, without driving away our event-centric audience. We found our solution hidden within the people who work alongside LMS every day through their personal efforts to contribute to the community – the downtown entrepreneurs.
By sharing the stories of the most influential “Downtown Entrepreneurs” through a peripheral blog series, we’ve been able to provide insight and guidance to others wishing to invest in downtown.
Inspired by the success of the first series, we created the concept for a secondary series entitled “Legacy & Leadership,” with the goal of promoting those businesses who had been long-standing cornerstones of Downtown Laurel, and sharing their unique knowledge and experiences with the LMS audience.
As a result of these two blog series, a new audience has emerged along with a renewed interest in entrepreneurship of all shapes and sizes.
Promoting Priority Initiatives
Our promotions work with Laurel Main Street since 2014 has been extensive, ranging from daily social media management, to all manner of print and digital design, to the creation of two powerful blog content series; but it always comes back to helping to grow the community.
One initiative has already had a major impact on the community, and we’ve been honored to be a part of helping to make it a reality. Home Town on HGTV is a hit home renovation show starring two of our Downtown Laurel natives – Erin and Ben Napier. In addition to creating the promotional photos for the show for the Napiers, we were proud to also handle the national social media promotion of the Home Town pilot for Laurel Main Street.
With a small budget, we were able to reach over a half-million people and help to make the pilot the second highest-rated in the history of HGTV’s programming.