The Challenges of Council Local Advertising Campaigns

There are 408 principal councils in the UK, but there are estimated to be around 11,900 local councils, that’s broadly 1 council for every 5,500 Britons! That’s a pretty good reach. But councils have their own set of unique problems when it comes to marketing, especially local advertising. These challenges are key and can make or break a client’s campaign. So, here is a brief overview of the problems councils face when marketing and hopefully some solutions!


  1. Budgets

Being either governmentally overseen or on quite small-scale budgets are usually a big problem for councils. The lack of revenue coupled with a fundamental need to operate at only minor profits means the marketing budget doesn’t stretch too far. The best way to counteract a low budget is advertising that really stretches, finding new ways to reach your audience. Any form of free advertising space should be utilised as fully as possible. Social media, cost effective 1-page websites, and council owned physical space should all be used to maximum efficiency to provide premium local advertising space. When paid options are the only solution you need to create the most effective strategy possible so impression figures are as high as possible but still with a top end conversion rate. How? Laser focused targeting that really zones in on the people you think need the services and a way to fine control your campaign to make sure you only use money on what’s working.


  1. Locality

I said before that there’s a council for every 5,500 people in the UK, that’s rather a good way to consider their audience as well. Most councils will sit over a town or small area with only 408 government-led councils that preside over a larger patch. Given the nature of their business it’s very likely anything they wish to promote will only be important to those in the local area. The internet, fortunately, is a vast network accessible by almost everyone. That doesn’t necessarily lend itself to showing relevant content to those who need to see it. Using real-time location data to enhance your targeting criteria for advertising as well as a consistent and effective retargeting strategy that assesses and focuses on creating multiple lasting touch points with previous visitors and users to foster a long-lasting opinion and ‘brand’ loyalty is key to campaigns forging ahead. Marketing on multiple platforms and applications means even with a relatively small target audience interactions by each member of that audience will be high and more likely to create the desired result.


  1. Data assessment

So you’ve executed your value for money, hyper local advertising campaign, what now? How will you know if it worked? Many councils face the issue that their campaigns are not product promotions, and while some are attended events without some sort of reporting the efficacy of the campaigns can sometimes be lost. A comprehensive reporting tool that shows how your campaign is being interacted with, how your budget is being used, and what your local saturation is like can really help you take control and make key decisions about how to best use the data that is collected. Coupling this with accurate real-time direct reports means understanding how the knowledge you acquire over the course of a campaign can be filtered, assimilated, and used to improve results in subsequent endeavours.


Over all councils can have quite a hard time trying to balance their marketing experiences to provide an awareness-based ROI from a limited budget and stringent advertising guidelines. However, with the right management and powerful marketing tools at their disposal they can find ways to succeed.

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