SAULT STE. MARIE — The Soo is teaming up with other Michigan communities to boost marketing and advertising efforts for small businesses.
Place + Main Advisors are partnering with Sault Ste. Marie, Blissfield, Wayland and Rogers City for the Community Storytelling 2.0 service. Over the course of four months, these communities will work together to share ideas and learn how to market themselves.
The first meeting of the communities took place in late October, and until February the group will meet three more times to discuss tactics, statistics and why some marketing does and doesn’t work.
In addition to marketing and advertising skills, community leaders will learn how to get involved with the online presence of Pure Michigan. Local downtown directors and some business owners involved in the service will be able to directly post or coordinate with Pure Michigan social medias.
“One of our goals at the DDA is to bring awareness to our downtown, and having the opportunity to strengthen our presence on the Pure Michigan platform is huge,” said DDA Director Stephanie Sprecker.
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During one future meeting which is yet to be scheduled, Place + Main advisors will be in Sault Ste. Marie to interact directly with business owners to help them get on the same page as a group. Together, business owners can learn how to get access to important statistics, such as tourist demographics, and why they are important to marketing.
“Meeting number three will actually be in the individual communities, giving the small businesses an opportunity to come and hear about the different marketing opportunities that exist and how to utilize the Pure Michigan platform themselves,” said Kirsten Borgstrom, principal of Place + Main Advisors.
Officials said this connection to Pure Michigan helps the city stay involved in the larger state community, and helps the city develop its own personality. The marketing training does not just include advertising for businesses and amenities, but also culture and history and storytelling.
“A lot of the information and content that we help communities create can boost their presence on the platform,” said Borgstrom. “In showing them these opportunities exist, we give them other means to explore and share their stories and history.”
In the pilot program of this service, Place + Main and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped communities like Lapeer with advertising. Some of the techniques they used involved educating people on the founding and history of the city, as well as identifying businesses and amenities that already exist but aren’t marketed towards tourism.
— Contact Brendan Wiesner: [email protected]