Get Closer to Your Customers with Local Marketing
Brands that get close to their customers will ultimately win. Trouble is, this is becoming increasingly difficult as technology continues to put more and more distance between customers and brands.
One of the key motivators for upgrading an app these days is the ability to remove advertising from the experience. Ad-blocking software readily removes advertising from browsers, and the proliferation of streaming services for television shows and movies has made it increasingly difficult to reach viewers as they watch.
But there is still one way marketers can continue to reach customers and build their brands — at the local level.
Search, social, and mobile still create a wealth of opportunities for closer connections in the moments where and when it matters most.
Small business owners or mid-sized businesses with limited resources to devote to local marketing often fail to capitalize on local marketing because they assume that the process is too complex, expensive, and/or time consuming. But it certainly doesn’t have to be, and your business is missing out if it’s not thinking local.
Local search marketing encompasses a combination of paid, earned, and owned media. It is a continually evolving space that does require adaptability on the part of the marketer handling these efforts, but the barrier for entry into a successful local marketing strategy is lower than people think.
Google reports that 72% of consumers who search for local information on a smartphone visit a store within five miles. That means that based on just your location, you have a built-in audience of interested consumers ready to buy and able to be swayed towards your product/service. All they need is a little local marketing tactics to educate, incentivize, and convert them.
So how do you get started? Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of your local opportunities:
1. Prioritize local search. Assess the size of your current local footprint and identify areas where your brand is absent. Have you claimed your Google My Business page? How about Yelp? Claim existing properties, create ones on highly visible databases, and optimize each profile for local search.
2. Identify paid options. Once you’ve claimed and optimized your digital footprint, you should identify what (if any) budget you have to put towards hyper-local paid search and paid social targeting DMAs. Is Google Analytics right for your business? How about promoting tweets on Twitter or pins on Pinterest? Identify what each platform has to offer in terms of paid advertising and define a monthly budget that will allow you take advantage of the ones most useful to your particular business.
3. Automate updates. At first it may sound like local marketing is going to take a lot of work, but after the initial setup and optimization, updates to your profiles can be scheduled out using various tools. If your website is on WordPress, you can schedule out posts. If you’re active on Twitter, try Hootsuite or Buffer (they both offer a lot of great functionality for free, with additional services for paid subscriptions.) These tools offer automation capabilities that make local marketing more manageable and less complex in creating contextual brand experiences.
4. Optimize for mobile. According to Google, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the US. This means that every aspect of your online brand needs to be optimized for mobile users if you want to see maximum conversion rates. Define your mobile users customer journey. That’s where most of your local searchers are finding you.
Not embracing local marketing is a waste of interested/engaged customers who are ready to buy. Capitalize on this opportunity, and you’ll see that not only will your sales increase, but you’ll also deliver a better customer experience to your local buyers.Share: