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How to Advertise on Patch and Nextdoor

An image of a cellphone showing the app Nextdoor is used to illustrate the concept of marketing on neighborhood social websites.

Did this ever happen to you? A Facebook friend in your area asks for a massage therapist recommendation—and no one mentions you. Ouch, right? But your biggest problem isn’t hurt feelings. It is your lack of a solid business-presence in your community. Here, we’ll look at how to market on Nextdoor and Patch.

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Local chat and news platforms like these can help increase your local presence. Nextdoor is a chat app for neighborhoods. Patch is a local news service with a chat feature.

Here’s how you can market on Nextdoor and Patch to increase your local presence, both for free and with paid ads.

Promote on Patch for Free

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Step #1: Create a free account.

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When you create a free account with Patch, your newsfeed will contain articles relevant to your zip code. Every morning you will receive a daily e-newsletter with local news and events. The newsletter is the primary way Patch keeps in touch with its users, according to Angus Frame, Patch’s chief product officer, and has a click through rate of just under 7%, which is higher than industry standard.

The newsletter is straightforward. You can quickly find an article you may want to read without fighting through ads. When you click on an article link, you will be taken to the Patch website, which is laid out as an online newspaper.

When you are on the Patch website, poke around and check out the tabs at the top of the page. Make sure to click on Neighbor Posts to get an idea how active people are posting in your community. After you get a feel for the user’s experience, it’s time promote yourself for free.Click on your name on the upper-right hand corner of the Patch page.

Step #2: Fill out your business profile.

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This doesn’t take long and if you have written a description of your business on another media platform like your Google Business Profile, Facebook business page or website, you can copy and paste the description from there.

Step #3: Pick one or more free ways to advertise on Patch.

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Below the Your Business section, you’ll see four options to create content:

1. Write an article

2. Neighborhood Post

3. Event

4. Classified

If you choose Write an Article, Patch will ask you to answer a couple of questions and then they will decide if you are eligible to write an article.

Any non-self-promotional article on massage and how it relates to wellness would be a good fit.

If you post in the Neighborhood Post section, you cannot pitch your services, but that’s OK because if you are helpful, positive and nice, your neighbors will start to notice you. (Personally, I chose not to post in my Patch community because it was relatively inactive.)

I am, however, utilizing the Events section to promote our wellness workshops and spread our business name. If you don’t have an event to promote, think about creating one. Are you just opening? Have a grand opening. If you have been open, have a grand reopening. If your space is a massage room only, think about a virtual event on Facebook or a video release on YouTube. You could also co-host or sponsor an event with someone else in the health field, or sponsor a local charity event.

Last, take advantage of posting a free classified ad to your community. Patch allows you to post about a sale or a special. [2] Recently I posted: “Introductory massage special: $60 for 60 minutes.”

Now you can take the content you generated or copied and pasted for Patch and use it with Nextdoor.

Promote on Nextdoor for Free

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Step # 1: Create a Nextdoor account.

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This is your personal account, not to be confused with your business profile. Nextdoor doesn’t allow business promotions in community chat. You will have to post through your business profile to make a business post.

Step #2: Fill in your Business Profile.

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Click on your neighborhood profile photo and then click add a business. Use your content from Patch and other online platforms to fill in the information.

Step #3: Click on “Say hi to the neighborhood.”

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This will be your introduction to your neighborhood where you can tell your story. Nextdoor’s prompts makes this very easy to do.

Step #4: Click on “Posts.”

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Once you’ve introduced yourself to the neighborhood, you can post as many business posts as you want. Remember that when you post about your business to post through your business page or your post will be removed from the community chat.

If you are posting on a regular basis, Nextdoor suggests sharing something new each time and adding photos. If you get lost, Nextdoor provides clear online Q&A and tutorials. They don’t provide phone support, but you can email \ them at [email protected] if you can’t find the answer to your question on their support page.

If you are getting some marketing traction from the free versions of Patch and Nextdoor, you may want to consider their paid advertising options. Both have an affordable entry level.

How to Market on Patch with Paid Advertising

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Ads on Patch are geographically targeted, meaning your ad will be seen by people in communities you select. Here are three paid-advertising ways you can increase your marketing reach with Patch.

First, you can promote your classified ad to a broader community for a $1 a day. Click on Classified in your Patch dashboard and follow the instructions.

The next tier would be to boost your business listing, which will be shared with select Patch communities, featured in newsletters and spotlighted on Patch local home, article and Neighborhood post pages. (For me, that would cost $79 a month per community.)

The third tier would be a display ad, strategically placed ads in the newsletter and on the Patch website. Frame explains the third tier is for businesses with an advertising budget willing to spend $3,000 to $5,000 a year.

How to Market on Nextdoor with Paid Advertising

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Marketing on Nextdoor through paid advertising is also easy to do. On your Nextdoor page, click on Ads. You’ll have three marketing options. Pick the one that makes the most sense for your needs, and then follow the prompts. A non-techie person will be able to create an ad because Nextdoor keeps the process easy by limiting the things you can do. That also makes the ad generic, but they are generic for everybody.

Pricing is not listed on the Nextdoor website. You find out the price after you create your ad and define your demographics and placement. When I ran an ad for our business it was under $100 a month. Once you start spending money, you’re going to want to know if your ad is working.

Measuring Success with Ads on Patch and Nextdoor

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You can find your ad click rate on the Nextdoor on your Nextdoor dashboard.

With Patch, you will receive an email with your marketing metrics.

The marketing stats that Nextdoor and Patch provide will be helpful in determining whether you want to continue with an ad or not. Personally, I give an ad two months before I start making decisions about changing or stopping the ad. Measuring success with free advertising on Patch and Nextdoor is more challenging, because you won’t have their tracking information.

Free Advertising Tracking

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One indirect way to measure free-advertising success on Patch and Nextdoor is to look at engagement. Did anybody respond to a post you made? If so, you can assume people are reading your posts and your name is spreading.

But the only way to get a real number is to ask new clients where they heard about you. A simple way to do that is on your client intake form. About 80% of our new clients fill out the “How did you hear about us?” question. If you find a trend with Patch, Nextdoor or another online platform, double your efforts with posting or add paid advertising.

At the Very Least, Do Free

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The only risk with marketing for free on Patch and Nextdoor is losing time that could be spent on another marketing activity. But the time risk is lessened by the fact that you can copy and paste content from your website or other online platforms where you posted your business information before.

By the way, if you are going to stick with free marketing, why stop with Patch and Nextdoor? Take all your Patch and Nextdoor business content and use it for free marketing on Yelp, your scheduling app if you have one, and your favorite social media platform.

If you are to the point where you have maximized free advertising and you want to increase your business reach even more, then consider paid advertising. Both Patch and Nextdoor give you an option to dip your toe in the water with reasonably priced month-to-month ads.

Regardless if you do free marketing, paid ads or the combination of the two on Patch and Nextdoor, you are moving toward a solid business presence in your community and moving away from begging a friend to plug your massage on Facebook.

Mark Liskey

About the Author

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Mark Liskey, LMT, CNMT, is a massage therapist, business owner, teacher and blogger. You can access his free, massage-business crash course on his business page.

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