When Graham and I researched where we wanted to live when he retired, McMinnville, Oregon stood out. Not only was it in the middle of Pinot Noir wine country, which appealed to Graham, but the growing season and small farm practices in the area would provide us healthy local food options, which appealed to me.
With my background in urban planning, I also looked at how the city had evolved over time and what its economic health appeared to be now, following years of a stressed national recession. I was pleased to see that a group of residents and business owners had recognized the need to do something in the 1980s, when the downtown business district was, like so many other towns across the country, losing business.
The McMinnville Downtown Association was formed and took a few steps that started to set the tone. First, they worked on getting the area designated a National Historic District. Then, using available grants and private donations, they planted trees, added attractive lighting, made sure there was plenty of free parking, provided benches, and installed mid-block cross walks, all helping to present the downtown area as accessible and attractive.
Meanwhile, wineries got the great idea that having tasting rooms in a town center would help attract people who may not drive the back roads of the wine growing areas. The chance that a tourist would chose the right road was small. Heading into a town like McMinnville increased the chances that tourists would visit the tasting rooms and purchase wines.
The McMinnville Downtown Association does a tremendous job marketing the town with its website, Facebook page, and a number of brochures. There are a good number of festivals and activities, like the monthly Art and Wine Walk that draw people into downtown.
There is more marketing from the Chamber of Commerce with its website, its Facebook page, and many brochures, pamphlets and newspaper inserts that share a lot of what businesses operate in McMinnville. Additional marketing is handled by Grow Yamhill County, with its website and its Facebook Page sharing information about businesses throughout the county.
These websites have a lot in common: great info about existing opportunities to enjoy coming to McMinnville and, unfortunately, a very slow or inactive presence in social media..
And that’s where CreationsByBG comes in. Having just spent the last two years marketing the markets for fresh local food in the Huntington, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio tristate region and throughout the State of West Virginia, I have some good experience bringing the business to the public’s attention. Even more importantly, I can bring the public into the business to spend money.
Some shops and other businesses in McMinnville have blogs and Facebook pages, but few are active. Why? Well, time if the most frequent issue–when you are doing everything you need to do to run a business, taking 30 minutes a day to market is hard to do. Secondly, some people just feel they can not write; that it is just too difficult to put words to “paper”.
If you have a blog, I can become your writer. If you have a Facebook page, I can add to the content there on a more regular basis. If you don;t have a blog, we can easily establish one for your business which would provide a marketing tool for residents and visitors. The more they notice, the more business will enter into your shop. We can set up your Facebook page that all blog entries will load automatically, spreading the news. We can also add your content on to the MDA Blog and Facebook page if you are a member, spreading the news to all their readers.
Spending money to make money may be a truism , but it sounds like an oxymoron. How can you spend money when the cash flow on your business is strained? Keep the costs low by using social media and hiring me to take care of its management.
Call me at 304-654-5634 or email me at CreationsByBG@gmail.com to set up a time when we can meet to explore how low cost marketing like this can boost how many people walk into your shop.