Kent Advertising Manual 2023
- YOUR GUIDE TO ADVERTISING IN KENT -
Brought to You by Saxon Internet Solutions
Online Marketing Specialists
Thanks for checking out the "Kent Advertising Manual" - this will help you promote your local Kent business or event.
Wouldn't it be great if you had a detailed list of places where you could advertise in Kent? Well today is your lucky day!
I’ve listed lots of places where you can promote or advertise your business, some free and some paid. Bear in mind that not all of these places and methods are suitable for every business type and advertising is just part of the puzzle to effective marketing.
I really hope you find it useful and would love to receive your feedback and suggestions.
All the best.
Haydon. CEO Saxon Internet Solutions.
The Kent Advertising Manual - summary of contents:
If you're looking for a marketing agency in Kent to help your business thrive, contact Saxon Internet Solutions.
It's possible to buy ad space on buses and bus tickets. The two biggest bus companies covering Kent are Arriva and Stage Coach.
Advertising on both Stage Coach and Arriva's buses is handled by media company Global - https://outdoor.global.com/uk
For a list of other bus operators in Kent see: https://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/travelling-around-kent/bus-travel/bus-operator-directory
Donating to a local charity is a great way to promote your business as socially aware and become part of the local community. Some charities will include you and your business in their marketing materials and website if you support them. This can result in some great press coverage for your business.
There are lots of ways of donating to a charity and it doesn't always need to be with cold hard cash. You could donate your time by volunteering at a local charity, or if you have staff, donate some of their time. Alternatively you could select a charity as your business's nominated charity for the year and have your employees run fundraising activities for them. Perhaps you could put one of the charity’s donation boxes in your premises.
If the local community has shown its support to you, by spending its hard-earned money on your products and services, then giving back to the community is a fantastic way of reinvesting and showing your community that you care. This can win you some serious brownie points and karma.
Some suggested local Kent charities who would really appreciate donations...
Advertising on the big screen doesn't need to be hugely expensive. There are numerous cinemas in Kent including Odeon, Cineworld, Curzon, Showcase and various independents.
Advertising at cinemas includes on-screen, foyer ads and cinema ticket and receipt advertising.
Community Events & Organisations
Kent has numerous local community events that help promote local businesses.
One of the largest is the Kent Show at the Detling Showground. For sponsorship opportunities see - https://kentshowground.co.uk/
To find other events and organisations in Kent that might accept sponsorship or adverts visit: https://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/events/whats-on-in-kent
Many towns now have local community groups and organisations who put on local events.
e.g. Herne Bay Promo Team have organised some large scale events such as the Airshow, Sci-Fi by the Sea and the Zombie Crawl event. These events attract thousands of visitors to the town. Sponsorship of these events could be the ideal way of promoting your business. http://baypromoteam.co.uk
Herne Bay Town Partners - http://www.hernebaytp.co.uk
Herne Bay Festival - http://www.hernebayfestival.com
Conferences in Kent
There are a number of conferences in Kent throughout the year. Bear in mind that not all of them are going to be relevant to your business. It's worth keeping an eye on these sites for the latest conferences in Kent.
The Universities often have conferences. eg.
University of Kent - https://www.kent.ac.uk/global/activities/conferences
Canterbury Christ Church University - https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/business/events
Greenwich University - https://www.gre.ac.uk/events/public-events
Google Business Profile
Add Your Business to Google
As well as the normal listings of websites you see when you search on Google, Google also has a huge database of businesses that you most definitely should add your business to. This database is called "Google Business Profile" (previously Google My Business). Getting listed will help your business show up on the right hand side and appear on map results etc.
Take Ownership of Your “Google Business Profile”
Many local businesses already have a Google Business Profile, but often these have been automatically generated by Google and are not managed by the business itself, so ensure you claim your page.
There are a number of advantages to claiming your Google business listing, including being able to link it to your website, add pictures and videos, update contact information and write a nice detailed description mentioning the products and services you offer.
If your unclaimed listing is already showing up in Google search results, click on the listing and you will notice a “Manage this page’ button towards the bottom. This will take you through the verification process, which usually involves requesting a postcard with PIN number or an automated phone call to your business phone line to make sure that you are the authorised business owner.
Should your listing not show up, or you’re not sure if Google has an automatically-generated listing for your business, you can try creating a new listing. If Google finds duplicate details in their system, they’ll ask if you’d like to manage the existing page rather than creating a new page.
When you’re managing your Google Business Profile it’s best to include as much information as possible because Google tends to favour fully completed listings. So be sure to add pictures, videos, opening times, contact information and anything else you can possibly cram into that page to give Google exactly what it wants.
Local Search Results on Mobiles
Think about the number of people searching on the move. Mobile technology and mobile Internet have been a game changer. More people are searching when they’re out and about, providing you with a great opportunity to attract new custom on the move. Ensure your business is listed on Google maps by claiming your business entry.
Local Deals / Discounts
Several areas in Kent have their own loyalty card scheme, where residents can get discounts by using local retailers and businesses. This can be a good way of getting your brand into the local community and increasing custom.
Deals for Deal - http://dealcard.co/
Bay Card scheme re-launched - http://www.baycard.co.uk/
Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells - https://www.thetncard.com/
Herne Bay Local Deals - http://www.hernebaylocal.co.uk
Love Local Card - http://lovelocalcard.com/business-directory/
Networking & Business Groups
Attending physical networking events can help you meet other local business owners. This will help spread the word about you and your business within the Kent local business community.
Most towns/cities in Kent have their own business networking group. eg.
- Maidstone - https://www.bobclubs.com/Club/Maidstone
- Tunbridge Wells Business Network (TWBN) - https://www.twbn.co.uk
Add Your Business to these Websites
Make sure that when you add your details you are consistent across all sites. I.e. same telephone number, same format (Rd or Road). Create a structure for your Business Name, Business Address and Business Phone Number (aka NAP - name, address, phone number) and use it exactly across the web. Do not change it. Having your business listed on one of these websites/databases is called a citation.
Kent County Council Trading Standards provide a Safe Local Trader scheme to help Kent consumers choose a trader they can trust and rely upon.
To get accepted onto these types of websites you will need to get approved. This normally requires you to be a genuine business and have business insurance etc.
Claim your listing on Bing Places, Microsoft's alternative to Google My Business. You should make sure your business is listed:
Free Ad websites
Local Web Directories
It's a good idea to get your business and website listed on local web directories. These act as additional citations. Here are some Kent business directories...
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National directory type web sites with local entries
PPC or "Pay per click" is a way to advertise online and get charged each time someone clicks your advert. Paying for ads online is generally a much quicker way of getting your message in front of your ideal customer. As well as speed, it's also transparent. You can easily see how many people are seeing your advert, how many are clicking, how much it's costing and work out how many of those visitors are converting into sales.
Google AdWords is Google's online advertising program, the program allows you to create online ads to reach audiences that are interested in the products and services you offer. You can target by geographic area, time of day, keyword, language, browser or device type and more. https://adwords.google.com/intl/en_uk/home/
Tip - Sync Local Search Ads With Local Landing Pages
If you use Pay Per Click Advertising on Google for example, look at your paid search keywords. Place those keywords in your ads, and then put them in your local landing page headlines. Your visitors need reassurance to feel at home on your website.
Don’t dismiss Bing as being a good place to advertise just because Google is dominating. Bing Ads is great if your target market is perhaps a little older and less tech savvy.
Facebook ads are particularly effective because they allow you to target your audience very precisely...including just people in Kent! You need to know exactly who your audience is. You set your budget, figure out a way to get those who click your ad to stick around, and then have a plan about what to do with those web site visitors. https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads
LinkedIn Ads will allow you to target the largest pool of career-minded people. So if your product or service is more business orientated it might be ideal. LinkedIn is a great place to promote “B2B” offers and items and allows you to target members based on where they are living or visiting, so you can target professionals in Kent. Advertise on LinkedIn.
Online Newspapers and local news websites
Kent Live - https://www.kentlive.news/all-about/herne-bay
Kent Online by Kent Messenger -
- Advertise - http://www.kentonline.co.uk/advertise/
- Create your own online ads - https://www.kmdigimagic.co.uk/adportal/
In Your Area - https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/feed/CT68JQ/Herne%20Bay
To submit a local news story to In Your Area: https://page.co/BxGm
Social media can be a great way of advertising your business or event, however it is getting more difficult to be heard and seen above all the noise! There are numerous platforms and choosing the right one(s) is an important first step. Which platform(s) are your ideal customers using? Whichever platform you use...
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS
Local Marketing on Facebook
With 2.94 billion monthly active users, you’re bound to find some of your target audience on Facebook, including those who live in Kent! Here are some ways to make sure your business gets found by Facebook users in Kent.
Facebook Places for Kent towns/cities
Facebook Places is a directory of places with a physical geographical location where people can "check-in" and leave a review. Facebook Places is more focused on the entertainment industry so it lists venues such as restaurants, hotels, nightlife etc. A place page is an automatic entry created when a new user checks in to review the location when there isn’t already a Facebook page set up, or when they can’t find one for your location.
Maidstone - https://www.facebook.com/places/114781748533347
It's free and reasonably simple to set up a Facebook business page. If you have been living under a rock for the past few years, a Facebook Page is a timeline of messages and notices for organisations, businesses, brands and public figures. Similar to profiles, Page owners can post stories, add a cover photo, host events and more. Those who have "liked" a Page will see the Page's updates in their News Feeds.
Optimizing Your Facebook Page for Local
The best way to optimise your Facebook page for a local, Kent audience is to make sure it is set up as a Local Business. If you haven’t created your Facebook page, make sure to create your page as a Local Business.
Set Your Facebook Page As a Local Business for Mobile Check-ins
Many people check-in on Facebook location pages. Facebook users can check into restaurants, supermarkets, bars, coffee shops and virtually any business page listed on Facebook as local, using the Facebook app on their smartphones. Page owners should ensure that their Facebook business page type is set to ‘Local Business or Place’ at either the point of creating their page or when they edit their page settings.
Increase Engagement and Likes
Getting people to like your Facebook page and posts can be a challenge. Join a network of other local business owners and increase the engagement of your posts.
Facebook Groups for Kent
Facebook Groups are a great way of connecting with people who have a common interest... in this case they either live in or have an interest in Kent. Facebook Groups allow people to share views, news and information. These groups may allow you to promote your business, product or event, but you should always check their rules for what is and isn’t allowed...
Networking In Kent - https://www.facebook.com/groups/nikadvertising/
Kent Advertising - Small Businesses - https://www.facebook.com/groups/399344680078944
Business-2-Business Network, Kent - https://www.facebook.com/groups/225262077574700
Kent Business Stars - https://www.facebook.com/groups/281089065309657
Things to Do in Kent - https://www.facebook.com/groups/2630533007172807
- More Kent Facebook groups - https://www.facebook.com/search/groups/?q=Kent
Most towns/cities have their own Facebook group. Find and join the ones relevant to you.
Be aware that each group will have its own strict rules for advertising. eg. your business or event must be located in that area. Some of these groups will only accept advert type posts on certain days.
- Herne Bay Chatter - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=226256831600350
- Herne Bay Residents Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheHerneBayResidentsGroup/
- Herne Bay Daily - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1481563068568132/
Maybe your product or service is more business orientated and B2B. In which case, LinkedIn is great for building your brand and attracting the right buyers/clients. To target people in Kent use the hashtag #kent - yes LinkedIn uses hashtags too.
Join relevant Kent groups on LinkedIn and share you message... remember don't just advertise - give value. https://www.linkedin.com
Instagram is very popular and it is very easy to identify Instagram users based on their local behaviors and quickly build audiences with high engagement. Connect with local people on Instagram. Include your location in posts and use hashtags. #kent
Tiktok has exploded over the last year or so. It's not just for the kids now. One of the reasons businesses are using Tiktok now is because of the great reach it has (videos get lots of views).
Location Tagging - Tiktok are rolling out the ability to tag a location in a video. Use location tagging in your videos as soon as it's available in Kent. Identify local Tiktok influences and see if they're open to collaboration or a partnership. Post when your target audience is active (check your profile analytics for these stats).
WhatsApp is more of a messaging app but is great for networking. In Kent there are a few WhatsApp groups of local business owners focused on increasing engagement on the different social media platforms.
Snapchat has a younger audience so if you want to target teens this could be the ideal platform.
Video is very important and audiences are consuming huge amounts of it. It's a fantastic way of creating brand awareness and getting your message out. Go and create videos! With the advent of smart phones anyone can create professional looking videos. Again, use #kent hashtag and include "Kent" in your video title and description. Ensure you go into advanced settings and set the video location as your town/city, Kent.
Your Own Website - Getting Found in Kent
Getting a website for your business is the first step to getting found by customers. (Need a local web designer?)
A website can obviously be viewed from people around the world, but can local people find it?
You’re website needs to be found when people search for “[service/product/event] in Kent”.
With today's tech the search engines often know the physical location of the person searching but do they know where your business is?
How to promote your Kent business on the web
Have you ever searched for a local business or shop online? You are not alone, there are plenty of others out there looking closer to home for what they want. Appearing for these queries requires local search, and it’s vitally important to the success of your business.
Location, Location, Location. It doesn’t matter where you’re based, you need to be found in the search engines if people are searching for products and services in your area. Even though the global village is getting bigger, people still prefer to source their goods and services locally. Buy local! Buy Kent produce!
Optimising your website so you’re found locally will help boost traffic and conversions hugely. It will also increase your footfall and encourage more people to get in touch personally.
Being Found on Local, Kent, Google Searches
For most local searches, Google now shows map listings with up too, seven businesses listed. Obviously, placement in this list is highly coveted and there are a number of strategies available that will rank businesses well in local results.
Advice for Getting Your Website Ranked Locally
Use your local telephone number
Use your local telephone number. People will recognise it as a local number and might be more likely to call. Not only that, but it helps with ranking in the search engines as Google etc can confirm your location by the area code.
Use "Kent" In Your Headings
Carry out some search engine optimisation (seo) on your website - format your text properly and divide it up with headings. Make sure to include "Kent" in your text, particularly in headings.
To boost click-throughs to your website or blog posts use the name of your town and local area. This really does have a significant effect on how many local clients will read your information. The more relevant the area is to your visitors, the greater the chance they will visit your website, open your email or read your blog content.
Embed a Map on Your Website
Most local businesses get asked where they are located if a potential client contacts them. Your website can do a perfect picture job of answering that question by embedding an actual map that shows your location. There are many free tools, including Google Maps and Bing Maps that can help you do this.
Create a GEO Sitemap for your website
Want to make absolutely sure Google knows where you are? Then create a geo sitemap and a KML file for your website. Geo Sitemap Generator makes it easy. Just fill in your company details, download the files and upload them to your website’s root folder.
Then go to Google Webmaster Tools, add your website (if you haven’t already), verify it using your Google Analytics code (other options available), and then add your geo sitemap’s URL under Site Configuration > Sitemaps. Instead of waiting for Google to find out where you are, tell Google where you are!
Create Pages on Your Website to Target Each Location
One of the main challenges for local businesses that target a number of different local areas is including enough quality and relevant content to their websites to target each individual area.
For example, you might offer a wedding planning service to a number of different towns around Kent.
To target organic SEO, you could set up pages on your website targeted at each local area. These pages will be optimised for the area and include plenty of locally relevant content.
So, for the wedding planning business for example, you could set up a page for each of your different target areas and write a guide to getting married in that particular area. You can use links to different local wedding venues and suppliers and write about the different styles of weddings popular in each area. The result would be a set of highly optimised pages targeting at a very wide area, but with focused, locally relevant content.
Putting this content on distinct pages will give the web pages more chance of ranking well in each area, and also builds more affinity with your audience.
Billboards and Bus Shelters
Outdoor advertising on billboards and bus shelters in Kent is mainly managed by these two companies (depends on location):
- Clear Channel - http://www.clearchanneldirect.co.uk/locations/south-east/kent/
- JC Deaux - http://www.jcdecaux.co.uk
You may have seen large maps - or community borough maps with adverts on, displayed at various locations around the towns in Kent.
E.g. the one outside Co-op in Sea Street, Herne Bay or this one on the wall by Iceland, Herne Bay.
These maps of local towns in Kent are produced by UK Town Maps in partnership with local councils. - http://uktownmaps.co.uk/
To advertise, contact UK Town Maps - http://uktownmaps.co.uk/contact.php
Kent Roundabouts & Traffic Site Sponsorship
To have your sign/advert on a roundabout or local traffic site contact Marketing Force, who work in partnership Kent County Council's Commercial Services to manage and operate the delivery of its roundabout sponsorship programme.
The number of actual print newspapers is now very limited with many of them moving online.
KM Newspapers across Kent - https://www.kmmediagroup.co.uk/publications/newspapers/
Most towns in Kent have their own local advertising leaflet that's delivered to local homes and businesses.
Local booklets/leaflets delivered to addresses in Herne Bay:
District Life - Canterbury City Council produce a free, 32-page full colour magazine called District Life, containing council and community news and events that is distributed to 70,000 households across the district. https://news.canterbury.gov.uk/campaign/advertising/
News and Directory.com, Herne Bay (distribution of 8,000) - https://www.newsanddirectory.com
The Herne Bay Directory - (delivered to 18,038) 01227 366262 http://refpoint.info
The Daily Doings - 01227 372821 - http://www.ibegin.com/directory/uk/kent/herne-bay/the-new-daily-doings
Town & Around - (distribution of 7,000) 01223 658611. - http://www.townandaround.co.uk
MyTownLocal.co.uk - https://www.mytownlocal.co.uk/
Herne Bay CommunityAd - https://www.communityad.co.uk/books/herne-bay-community-ad-magazine/
Radio Stations in Kent
Kent radio stations that accept ads...
- Academy FM Thanet - https://www.academyfmthanet.com/
- KMFM - http://www.kmfm.co.uk/
- Heart FM - http://www.heart.co.uk/kent/
- Deal Radio - https://dealradio.co.uk/
- Maidstone Radio - https://www.wearemaidstone.com/
Radio Cabin is Herne Bay’s community radio station and they accept ads for on-air broadcast - http://www.radiocabin.co.uk/ - ideal if your potential customers/target market are in Herne Bay.
Shop Windows / Noticeboards / Screens
Obviously this form of advertising is not suitable for all businesses and is probably more suitable for advertising trades people or local events.
Some of the shops in local Kent towns allow you to put notices up in their shop windows - some for free. Try speaking with your local newsagent or coffee shop owner about putting a poster up in their window.
Natwest Bank's normally have a noticeboard that have business cards and notices from local businesses.
Morrison’s and the Sainsbury's stores have large noticeboards behind the tills for people to advertise events, local notices and fundraising.
Hairdressers often have screens - some sell adverts to local businesses.
Your local Post Office is another place that is likely to have a noticeboard and/or screen where you can buy an ad spot.
Sports Team Sponsorship
Sponsoring a sports team in Kent could be great advertising for your business if your target market supports a particular team or sport.
As well as the teams, the actual leagues also have sponsorship opportunities.
Kent Youth League (football) - https://www.kentyouthleague.co.uk/advertising/
Want to Get More Leads?
KMTV provides news, sport and entertainment 24/7 across Maidstone, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and the surrounding areas on Freeview channel 7 and Virgin Media channel 159. Contact them for advertising opportunities - https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/county-news/get-on-the-box-this-christmas-212059/
Kent falls within the Meridian tv region. ITV Media handle tv advertising in the Meridian region. You can find out more about viewer numbers and reach here - https://www.itvmedia.co.uk/advertising-on-itv/regional-advertising/meridian
Trains in Kent are operated by South Eastern. To buy advertising on their trains you need to contact http://www.kbhontrainmedia.co.uk/
To advertise at any of Kent's train stations you need to contact http://www.jcdecaux.co.uk/
To place an advert on any of South Eastern's ticket barriers you should contact http://www.t4media.co.uk/
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