Two Years & 1M Dollars Later, What We’ve Learned About Local Sponsorship Campaigns

When we started our agency a little over two years ago, we set out to establish events and sponsorships as a local engagement channel. We saw untapped potential. Potential that can supplement pretty much any local marketing strategy or small to enterprise business… Or as a full strategy on its own.

We believe that local sponsorship build local visibility — not to mention search rankings — for any size business, this channel requires some care. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Have a clear mindset on which types of local groups you’d like your brand to partner with — do they resonate well? Identifying the “hard-no’s” will save you from coming up with a damage control plan later on.
  • Don’t expect a fast turnaround. Your campaign can take between 30 to 90 days from launch to completion for local visibility; if fast placement is your thing, a strong local ad campaign may be a better fit for your time restraints.
  • While your local sponsorship link building is measurable, it often comes attached with extra branding benefits that are harder to track. Pass if you don’t want or can’t use the whole package (or ask for a discount against the benefits you won’t be using).
  • Be prepared to work hard for your local placement. It may take between five to 20 work-hours putting together a campaign as small as five sponsorships. There is a lot of human interaction involved in fulfillment.
  • Not everything is paid with an app nowadays, local sponsorships’ preferred method of payment continues to be check. Be ready to pull out the checkbook.

For brands, selecting sponsorships is a delicate balance of brand goals, timing and cost. It does, however, help create awareness, engagement, relevance and loyalty. Through local connections, local rankings improve, but there is also the opportunity to connect one-on-one with your target audience at a deeper level.

Local sponsorships often come with the opportunity of event attendance. On the field marketing in the local spectrum is the difference between having heard of your brand and most definitely knowing your brand.

For agencies using local sponsorship campaigns as a way to boost one or many clients’ local rankings, there is another consideration not to be overlooked: reach. When measuring the potential success of a local sponsorship campaign these organizations usually have a sponsor’s mention in e-newsletter with higher open-rate than the standard. Their social media mentions go out to thousands of followers.

With measuring reach in mind, we created Reach Score a tool which combines virtual measures such as domain authority with social media follower numbers and actual event attendance. We go for every event we can find with each project to bring the most accurate reach count on any given local happening in the US.

We hope that everybody goes out there, gets local and gets involved with the community. After two years of learnings, trial and error, and A/B testing, we put together a count of these experiences to help anyone considering launching a local sponsorship campaign run a smoother path with The Local Sponsorsorship Playbook along with a 30 minute consultation included with the playbook acquisition.

2 Responses to “Two Years & 1M Dollars Later, What We’ve Learned About Local Sponsorship Campaigns”

  1. Robert says:

    What were your results? Would you do it again?

  2. Claudia Cruz says:

    Hi Robert!

    ZipSprout continues to award sponsorships for nonprofits and events in the US and Canada. Since May 2016, we have been to do over 2k placements for our clients, and our current database holds over 55,000 actionable opportunities ready to be sponsored by brands.

    The need for this type of engagement is there, and with that in mind, we are developing our DIY Local Sponsorship Finder (Fall 2018) for agencies and SEO professionals to have access to this type of placement.

    Thank you for your comments and I’ll be glad to answer more questions!

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