Three Digital Tactics for Local Success
January 14, 2015
Did you know that 56 percent of “on the go” searches have local intent? This is just one of many data-points that directs attention to the critical nature of local information for consumers, particularly those searching for a product or service online. According to the 2014 State of Marketing Report commissioned by the CMO Council, marketers understand the importance of revamping (or ramping up) their digital efforts to drive an increase in revenue and customer retention. Here are a few findings from the report:
- 60 percent of chief marketers list “digital marketing makeover” (involving platforms, programs and people) as the number one transformational project in the year ahead.
- 44 percent of marketers will be investing in customer retention.
- 63 percent of marketers plan to maximize the impact and value of marketing through improved customer segmentation and targeting.
However, how national marketers ensure that they’re showing up in search results, or feeding ads to consumers interested in their product/service is equally important. The process can be cumbersome (how do you choose which digital efforts to invest in?) and once you’ve drilled down the solutions, how do you go about implementing them?
The answer to the first question – which digital efforts should your brand invest in – is fairly simple. There are three key tactics that are proven to drive results – discoverability, demand generation, and building relationships with new, and existing customers – Local Websites, Local Paid Search, and Local Paid Advertising.
Local websites are the cornerstone of any successful local marketing strategy. The most effective way to drive leads at the local level is to make sure customers can find your national brand’s product or category online easily. It’s important to remember that search engines give preference to localized results, so a brand with local websites will have far greater search results coverage than one with a standalone national websites, and we know that increased presence in search results equals increased traffic, both on- and off-line.
Ensuring that every local website has accurate information is critical for national brands. Consider these statistics from a recent study.
A successful local website doesn’t need to be fancy. It just needs to include basic (accurate) information consumers look for most – a map with the location’s address, a phone number, and confirmation that they’ve reached the correct website, which can be as simple as the name of the brand and city/town.
Local Paid Search
The closer consumers get to making a transaction, the closer to home they look. A well thought out and executed local paid search campaign captures the attention of those customers searching online and drives them to your brand’s local partners or locations. To maximize your local paid search efforts and drive increased conversions, make sure that local paid search campaigns tie directly back to local websites.
An important aspect to figure into your local paid search campaigns is that your local paid search keyword list does not overlap with the national list, ensuring that you’re not bidding against yourself.
The win? We know that consumers are local in every step of their purchase journey, so showing up when and where they’re searching is imperative for the success of your national brand and it’s individual locations.
Local Display Advertising
The goal of bullet-proof local display advertising is to capture the attention of local customers who are shopping, searching, or otherwise engaging online on websites that are relevant to your national brand’s products and/or services. So, if you are a national retailer of running shoes, showing up on a website centered around training for a marathon is gold. Local display advertising helps your brand do just that. And the results of launching a local-focused display ad campaign are tangible.
Equally important is that it’s what consumers want. A recent survey found that 51 percent of consumers rated location specificity as a top element of an ad.
The success of the localized ads depends on whether or not they are inclusive of business information, accurate marketing messages, and lead back to a local website that has the accurate location, hours of operation, and a phone number on listed.
By employing these three localized digital tactics, national brands can increase local visibility, drive sales and ROI, as well as drum up a steady stream of leads/sales. The biggest challenge with deploying each is doing it in a scalable manner. This is where local marketing automation comes into play. By automating each tactic, national brands can save time, money, and other valuable resources while resting assured that each is powered by accurate data, and compliant with your brand’s messages, creative, and goals.