Every entrepreneur dreams of taking the world by storm and trouncing the biggest competitors in the industry. And if market domination is your ultimate goal, start with dominating the local market.
As technology has revolutionized the way consumers find/ buy products and services, an optimized regional marketing strategy will help you engage with customers on a more personalized level and hence boost your sales manifold.
Simplifying local marketing strategies give a boost to your business
Marketing teams who operate at a national level lack detailed insights into events and trends of the local market. The same thing goes for local marketing managers as well. They know which campaigns might deem effective in their locality, but often lack the resources or skills to create a strong local presence.
An effective local marketing strategy will serve as the missing piece of your promotion puzzle. It will help you bridge the gap between your local and corporate marketing teams and streamline the local efforts. And thus, in turn, you will be able to gain a strong foothold within your business community:
So let’s get on with it without any further ado:
1. Know Your Audience
Having a strong understanding of the needs and preferences of your consumers becomes vital to establish a thriving local business. Once you identify the specific target audience, you will instantly get the opportunity of targeting the local audience base with customized offers (like sponsoring trade shows, pop-up events, charities, and other local initiatives to interact with people on a personal level). So, do not skip the tasks of identifying your audience-base before you plan to do anything. It will help you craft unique and customized messages dedicated that drive most sales.
As per Forrester, though 66% of marketers feel that they are doing an excellent job of targeting the consumer with personalized messages; only 31% of consumers actually agree. You need not fall into this trap. The more you zero down on your ideal customers, the better you will be able to optimize the localized search results and advertising.
2. Invest in a Brand Management Solution
I will personally recommend you to invest in a complete brand management solution to spearhead your local marketing strategy simplification. Consider one (or all as per your need) of the following software solutions to build specially for distributed organizations.
- Local marketing automation: This tool enables local markets to develop localized versions of brand promotion creatively. From in-store signage, print advertisements to multifaceted digital campaigns, this tool supports all the activities crucial for local affiliates and marketers. In most cases, local marketers use this software to run marketing programs defined by headquarters.
- Digital asset management: This tool serves as an organized digital asset library and empowers marketers to organize, store and share digital files. Thus, organizations can generate more value from creative through easy access and distribution.
- Product Information Management: This tool collects data from multiple formats, data sources, and creates a single source of master data. Thus, it manages and centralizes an e-commerce business’ product information by pushing accurate data to desired distribution channels, including social media, marketing, retail, or sales.
These platforms will allow you to deliver on-brand assets and help you to ensure brand compliance and consistency in local markets.
3. Establish Partnerships
An alliance with other small local businesses will give you the much-needed exposure to new customers. So, team up with the businesses that are likely to interact with your target customer base on a regular basis. Both of you can offer discounts and special benefits to one another’s customers (as part of a co-marketing strategy).
Some marketers go as far as running a joint promotion and co-hosting joint events. For example, if you are a local furniture shop owner, you could team up with a restaurant to offer a special Valentine’s Day package.
4. Monitor Your Google Local Profile
Many marketers tend to overlook content marketing as a viable strategy thinking that it suits only the brands with an international reach. But that’s far from the truth. Recent research confirms the Google searches with ‘near me’ have surged 34 times since 2011. Consumers search and browse for retail stores, restaurants, attractions and much more through the Google+ Local tab. So, spend some time improving your profile to ensure that your business pops up in those searches.
You can add videos, coupons, photos, and real-time news and special updates in your profile. It will improve your search engine rankings and boost the chances of local customers finding your business online.
5. Optimize Your Profile for Mobile
Maybe your website looks perfect. But have you taken a look at your mobile site as well? As per Marketing Land, 56% of the local traffic comes from mobile devices. Also, a Google survey found that 94% of people use smartphones to search for local information. Moreover, local searches make up more than 25% of all Smartphone searches.
You must take advantage of these insights and make sure the localized landing pages are optimized for SmartPhone searches to allow your community to reach you easily. Increasing the efficiency of your mobile site will help you boost your SEO as well as make it easier for the marketers to find you while conducting “near me” searches.
6. Manage the Reviews
According to a recent survey, 84% of respondents claimed that they hold online reviews and personal recommendation on the same platform. They will enthusiastically spend even 31% more on a business with only based on its online ratings.
So if you feel a customer has had a great experience with your products, don’t be afraid to ask for a review. You might be surprised by the insights you can pull by reading a customer’s true feelings about your company.
7. Share Your Knowledge with the Media
Along with tracking online data, you will also need to spend some amount of your advertising dollars on the traditional modes of advertising. Be a go-to source for a varied base of media outlets. TV, newspapers, Local blogs, and radio stations often look for good content to share with the people.
Reach out to them and let them know that you are available for interviews to share your thoughts, ideas, and advice with their followers. For example, if you own a computer shop, write a free article in the local newspaper on “Top 20 Tips to Speed Up Your Computer.” The local media’s are always eager to share valuable content with their readers. And if you provide premium quality content, you will automatically position yourself as a knowledgeable expert that people can trust.
8. Embrace e-Commerce
Needless to say, the benefits of e-commerce and automated tools are too obvious. However, unfortunately, even today, businesses are slow to adopt it into their local marketing strategies. I feel the main barrier for the local businesses is mostly the time it demands to adjust or overhaul the current system (along with the fear of disruption due to change.)
But it will be essential to get past that fear if you are aiming high. This simple investment will pay dividends quickly and for a long time. Make intelligent use of online platforms by including local keywords in your profile, bios, hashtags. Include your city and neighborhood name into the captions and other posts to rank better in the local searches of the e-Commerce platforms.
9. Don’t be a TMI Marketer
I recently encountered a radio ad which seemed like they have hired a speed reader to read the script. The call to action was extremely rushed, and thus, the purpose of messaging lost.
Here are some ideas to simplify your local customer experience and drive consumer action towards the path to purchase.
- Use a single call to action in your ads to avoid information overload
- Use hyperlinked texts to describe the action like “make a reservation” and make sure the click directly goes to the reservation interface.
- Provide extensions that allow people to act immediately like direction/maps, hours of operation, phone numbers, and a direct link to your website(for more information)
- Highlight the most requested information prominently on the top of the website so that it is easy to find and easy to access.
10. Keep in Mind the 80/20 Rule
As per the Pareto Principle of 80/20, 80 percent of your results are driven by 20 percent of your marketing (which includes calls form call extension ads, search visits from keywords, as well as sales visits from advertising)
The 80/20 rule can be applied to almost every aspect of your business from elevating the search engine rankings to increase the local sales.
So as you can see, once you identify which 20 percent of the content, keywords, ads and social updates are most effective, you will be able to invest in a superbly productive localized marketing strategy with little additional work.
Here are fifty more local marketing strategies you can choose from, to kick start your local marketing campaigns.
Implementing these strategies will not only generate outstanding foot traffic in your brick-and-mortar locations but boost your search rankings as well. It will power-up your SEO efforts, and bring in more visitors to your social media accounts as well as your website.
The crux of local marketing is simple; concentrate on raising awareness about your brand and products in the particular demographic areas you serve, and in no time profits will follow.
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