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  • Writer's pictureHearst Pittsburgh

Launching Locally: How to generate community buzz for your next local product launch

Whether your brand is a longstanding pillar in your community or the new kid on the block, launching a new product or service in your local community is an exciting endeavor for any brand. While the rise of global markets and e-commerce has made it easier to reach a broader audience, there is something special about making a splash in your localeconomy.


Pittsburgh's entrepreneurial scene has become a hub for creative and forward-thinking brands, with many businesses not introducing groundbreaking products into the local community, but also developing innovative local product launch campaigns. From tech startup DuoLingo's multilingual taqueria to Wigle Whiskey's birthday parties for barrel-aged spirits, Pittsburgh has seen it all when it comes to tailored and creative go-to-market strategies.


In this guide, we're sharing our seven best tips to make your brand's next local launch a memorable one in your market:


Let's dive deeper into each of these strategies and explore how they can help your hometown brand make waves locally:


1 | DEFINE YOUR YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Impressive - you've taken your spark of an idea, crafted it, tested, and perfected it. You're likely eager ready to shout from the rooftops to get the word out on your creation turned it into a real-life offering, but wait... You've got a little bit more planning to tackle first.


Before diving into your promotional tactics, it's essential to clearly define and understand your target audience. Understand the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of your ideal buyers in your community. By knowing your local audience intimately, you can tailor your messaging and create more impactful marketing campaigns. Consider factors like age, gender, interests, and geographical location to customize your approach.


2 | LEVERAGE LOCAL MEDIA

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but local media outlets like WTAE are valuable resources when it comes to launching your brand in the community. Ahead of your product launch, you will want to connect with newspapers, radio stations, and television channels to showcase your new product or service.


Press releases, interviews, and guest appearances can help generate buzz and raise awareness. Collaborate with local personalities and storytellers (might we recommend Ed & Day from Very Local Pittsburgh?) and trusted local journalists who can share your story with their audience and amplify your reach.


3 | ENGAGE WITH COMMUNITY EVENTS

Participating in community events is an excellent way to connect with potential customers and create lasting brand recognition. Sponsor or host events that align with your brand's values and target audience. Pittsburgh Pro Tip: WTAE's Project Community is a great place to find the perfect event in Pittsburgh for your brand and audience.


Whether it's a charity run, festival, or local fair, these events offer opportunities to set up booths, distribute promotional materials, and engage with the community firsthand. Consider organizing product demonstrations, contests, or giveaways to create excitement and build brand loyalty.


4 | COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL PARTNERS

Building partnerships with other local businesses can be mutually beneficial and amplify your marketing efforts. Identify complementary brands or non-competing businesses in your area and explore collaborative opportunities. Find some real-life inspiration here: Made In Pittsburgh: 13 Hometown Brand Collaborations We Love


By leveraging the existing customer base of these partners, you can expand your reach and establish credibility within the local community.


5 | HARNESS THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA - ESPECIALLY VIDEO

Social media is a great platform for stirring up buzz, especially when it comes to local launches. Create engaging content that highlights the unique aspects of your brand and its connection to the local community. Encourage customers to share their experiences and reviews on social platforms, and actively engage with them by responding to comments and messages promptly. Consider running geographically targeted ads to reach potential customers in your local area.


In the boom of short-form video content, product-focused and bite-sized videos on social are an especially strong method to captivate and engage audiences by showcasing your new product or service in a visually compelling way. When creating video content, remember to keep it concise, visually appealing, and aligned with your brand's tone and values. Incorporate storytelling elements to evoke emotions and create a personal connection with your local audience.


6 | IMPLEMENT LOCAL SEO STRATEGIES

Optimizing your online presence for local search is crucial for capturing the attention of local customers. Ensure that your website, blog, and social media profiles include location-specific keywords, such as your city or neighborhood. Claim and optimize your business listings on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business. Encourage customers to leave reviews, as positive feedback can significantly impact local search rankings. Consider going a step further with fresh, interactive or gamified content on your optimized website.


7 | OFFER EXCLUSIVE LOCAL INCENTIVES

To incentivize local customers to try your new product or service, consider offering exclusive promotions or discounts. Create limited-time offers, contests, or loyalty programs that are available only to those within your local community. This exclusivity fosters a sense of belonging and encourages word-of-mouth marketing, as satisfied customers share their positive experiences with friends and family.


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON LOCAL PRODUCT LAUNCHES

Launching a new product or service in your hometown requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to capture the attention and support of the local community. By implementing some or all of the seven strategies above, you can create a powerful impact and establish your brand as a force to be reckoned with in your local market.


Our team is here to help you navigate the intricacies of a successful launch in Pittsburgh and beyond. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with launching locally, and we're equipped to guide you through the process.


Contact us today to discuss your goals, aspirations, and vision for your brand. Together, we can develop a tailored advertising strategy that will capture the attention of your local audience, create a lasting impact, and position your brand for long-term success in your community.


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