Connecting to Your Neighborhood

by Autumn McGarr

This morning I woke up and began a daily routine of checking my email with my first cup of coffee. Since I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, I start my day with a simple daily task. I scroll through my email and proceed to delete the barrage of spam that arrived overnight. Delete, block, unsubscribe, delete and then onto the work of responding to my “real” emails.

Our lives today are so digitally connected with cell phones, voice commands, face recognition and digital cookies trailing our behaviors, we can often feel “stalked” by online ads that follow us through the internet. Even calling a business for personal support leaves our requests put on hold to wait for the next available person.

Online help chats that pop up on desktops are often the fastest route for assistance, however they lack the warmth of a helpful human voice. Our world has become somewhat sterile and lacking in personal connections and neighborly behavior. The psychology of connecting to people is becoming lost in a barrage of data.

Communicating isn’t the same as connecting. Every day we meet a lot of people, we exist with them; however, we only truly connect with a chosen few. So, what is the magic of connecting with your consumers in a meaningful way?

We can turn to psychology for direction, and what makes the preferred parts of your brain ignite and respond. The social aspect of our brain resides in the medial prefrontal cortex. When we are social, networking and meeting people, this part of our brain is active. There are thousands of pages of studies done on human connection, the desire to be part of a tribe, a neighborhood or a group. Marketing and advertising done in conjunction with a social group will undoubtedly have a greater impact when genuinely connected.

Nextdoor is an advertising platform that provides a meaningful connection opportunity for kitchen design firms. Nextdoor is the new kid on the social media block, a neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods and services. They believe that by bringing neighbors together, we can cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on. Nextdoor understands that building connections in the real world is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are one of the most important and useful communities in our lives, have been a guiding principle for Nextdoor since its inception. People around the world are using Nextdoor to:

  • Spread the word about a lost dog
  • Recommend and discover favorite local businesses
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bicycle
  • Receive important safety information from local agencies
  • Meet neighbors over a cup of coffee or organize a walking group

This platform keeps you updated by an email stream in your inbox or notifications on your cell phone. Kitchen design firms can join this community with costs that will fit literally any budget. Prices begin at $1 per zip code, regardless of the number of people in the
zip code.

I began promoting a kitchen and bath design firm here in Pennsylvania. I targeted the zip codes that contained primarily upper-middle class and above income level homeowners. A 30-day promotional period cost $57 with the audiences we selected. The advertisement had a local audience of over 33,000 people. Within two days, a total of eight recommendations from neighbors appeared and seven people expressed interest in the offer we promoted.

Cost Analysis

Let’s compare this Nextdoor campaign to the typical costs of other social media platforms. Advertising costs are normally expressed in CPM, cost per thousand. For reference, the Nextdoor campaign we are discussing equaled $1.73 CPM, the cheapest of all the following social platforms. Twitter is the next cheapest on average, at $5.76. You’ll pay an average of $6.05 for LinkedIn ads and $6.70 for Instagram. Facebook has recently become by far the most expensive, at $9.06. In comparison, Nextdoor advertising is 80% less than Facebook.

Audience Considerations

The ability to target the audience at the zip code level is a huge advantage over Facebook and Instagram. Nextdoor advertising costs less than a bottle of water per zip code. The number of people in a neighborhood is based on voluntary enrollment, so choose wisely. Facebook and Instagram allow you to advertise to people with specific interests like cooking or interior design. Nextdoor does not drill down to that level, they keep it simple with just zip codes.

The city of Chicago contains over 63 zip codes and Facebook permits you to break it down only by North, East and West. A Facebook advertising kitchen designer may end up targeting an audience they do not wish to include, because of Facebook targeting limitations, and end up paying more in the process.

Nextdoor Facts

  • Worldwide audience: 236,0000 active neighborhoods;
  • 145,000 U.S. neighborhoods;
  • Over 17,000 business recommendations;
  • Exists in over 90% of USA neighborhoods;
  • 200,000 businesses named neighborhood favorite;
  • 26% of messages are recommendations.

How to Promote Your Firm

To promote your kitchen design firm on Nextdoor, you can create a Sponsored Ad with a photograph that represents your work and offer a consultation.

Or, you can become a neighborhood sponsor which allows you to:

  • Share an update, design tip or new product announcement.
  • Create a poll.
  • Share a local event.
  • Promote an open house.

The Nextdoor platform is inexpensive, easy to use and personal. I highly recommend kitchen design firms and locally minded businesses join their ‘neighborhood’ and truly connect with their local community. ▪

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