Advertising Methods for Farmer's Markets
- Hosting special events at your farmers' market attracts people who are interested in your promotion, in addition to those who frequent the market. Post flyers in establishments that surround your location and ask the farmers who sell their products to advertise the event. A special event should incorporate the theme of the market. For example, at Halloween time, you can have a contest for the biggest backyard pumpkin. The grand prize can be a gift certificate for the farmers' market. One week, hire a band to play, and another time have a small fair with games and prizes. Market these events heavily on local radio, newspapers and by word of mouth to attract large crowds.
- Advertising your name to the community by networking is a valuable form of advertising. Sponsoring sports teams with green uniforms and attending community activities keeps your face and your farmers' market in the forefront of people's minds. Join the Chamber of Commerce in your town and surrounding areas. Attend the meetings and mixers and tell other business owners about the market. If they don't patronize your market, they may be willing to place flyers on their bulletin boards or have other handouts at their register to spread the word. Restaurants and other food establishments may be more willing to publicize the farmers' market, especially if they are customers of some of the growers.
- If you haven't done so already, create a simple, but descriptive, logo for your farmers' market. Branding the image of the market is important so that, when the community sees your logo, your market will instantly come to mind. Place you logo on all of your marketing material and on the tablecloths used in the growers' booths. Have promotional products made with the image and sell them at the market or use them as inexpensive giveaways. If you choose a useful item, such as a hat to wear while strolling outdoors from booth to booth, each person wearing it advertises for you.
- Your advertising efforts may not be fruitful if the general public cannot find your location. Place banners at street corners and around your market directing customers to the entrance. Put a small map on postcard mailings to give residents a visual of how to find you. Use sign twirlers during the hours of your market or hire people to pass out your flyers around the general area. Since your market is open only one or two days or mornings a week, you must send the highest volume of traffic to your location during your short hours of operation.