Local marketing hinges on being super-targeted with your digital marketing efforts.
More than ever, consumers are using the digital devices at their fingertips to find the best results, at their most convenient locations. Searches for businesses “near me” have been skyrocketing for the past five years, as seen by the following Google trend:
Even if you own the best pizza shop in Vancouver, visitors might prefer to walk to your competitor if they’re more convenient. Local marketing can be summed up in the following sentence:
By catering to the audience immediately surrounding your physical location, your marketing message has the greatest chance of success.
If your business fulfills an immediate need (e.g. the craving for a hot cup of coffee) or hinges on convenience (e.g. same-day services), local marketing may be your best bet to spearhead a digital marketing campaign. New-age digital tools have allowed businesses to make their mark on visitor’s smartphones – a new and improved way of employing local marketing.Compared to traditional methods of local marketing, digital local marketing can be easier to implement, track and maintain. Click To Tweet
Traditional methods of local marketing take the form of sponsorships, speaking events, and walk-in sales. It can be hard to measure the effectiveness of such a campaign. But with digital methods of local marketing, you’ll be able to track your success rate using tools such as Google Analytics.
Here are five ways to launch a digital local marketing campaign:
1. Google Maps Optimization
Also known as “local SEO” (Search Engine Optimization), Google Map optimization is the process of “optimizing” your Google Business page to ensure that all information is up-to-date. The top three results on a local business search are often known as the “local 3-pack,” and show up higher than the first Google result.
Never let your Google Business page grow stale with outdated information. Visitors rely on this information to call your business, find directions via Google Maps, and more. Have you considered updating the images that show up when people see your Google Business profile?
Here’s how you differentiate Google Business pages from Google+ and Google Brand profiles.
2. Awards, Reviews and Press Releases
What separates great Google Map results from the rest?
You might already know the answer – amazing reviews result in amazing traffic. We found that actively tying in a call-to-action to submit a Google Review resulted in a huge number of natural reviews for our clients. One of our clients has accumulated nearly 70 5* Google reviews within the past 2 years, simply by adding a call-to-action in their sales funnel.Google reviews are only one possible avenue for digital reviews. Don't forget Facebook and Yelp! Click To Tweet
By looking at your competitor’s exposure on common review sites, and analyzing your own sales funnel, you’ll have a better idea of where to focus your review efforts.
By the way – Google reviews are only one possible avenue for digital reviews. For some businesses, it may be more important to focus on Facebook, or another platform such as HomeStars.
3. Third Party Mentions
There’s no way to discuss digital forms of local marketing without mentioning the likes of Yelp.
No matter what your business is, there’s likely an online directory of local competitors where visitors can choose to leave reviews. For many businesses, Yelp is the biggest provider of third-party reviews, although service-based businesses also rely on HomeStars or the Better Business Bureau as well.
Some of our clients see a significant number of sales come through via Yelp, without any marketing budget invested into the platform. Their secret? Constant monitoring of reviews, frequent interaction with posters, and regular updates.
4. Website Optimization
Did you know that Google uses a different set of algorithmic methods to rank local Google rankings?
When it comes to SEO tracking, we often track Google Map results and Google Search results separately. This is because businesses that appear on the first page of Google search results can be have a poor position on Google Maps – which is a shame, because that’s often the first thing visitors see when searching for local businesses.
The data shows that adding localized content to your website and keeping addresses up-to-date, results in better Google Map positions.
5. Digital Event Creation
Did you know that Facebook has their own paid promotion platform for events?
More and more, Facebook has been shifting Newsfeed focus to more engaging mediums – videos instead of photos, and events instead of status updates. Have you noticed your friends attending nearby events recently? How often do you get event reminders?
Take advantage of Facebook’s free event creation system and create an event for your next big promotion. Everyone loves a big sale – why not give them the option to “attend” an event to ensure they’ll be reminded?
Digital event creation doesn’t end on Facebook – sites such as Meetup and EventBrite are just as useful in generating digital buzz that lead to physical footfalls.
6. Google AdWords Optimization
It's expected of any professional to optimize their AdWords account with relevant extensions. Click To Tweet
If your marketing agency hasn’t added location extensions to your Google AdWords portfolio, you’re missing out on a lot of “free” traffic.
From our PPC experience, we find the Location Extension and Phone Extensions integral to a great AdWords campaign, and wouldn’t imagine running a campaign for a physical location without them. That’s not even a tip – it’s expected that a professional would optimize your AdWords account with relevant extensions.
What may be intriguing for those looking into local marketing – is the level of depth in which you can target your AdWords audiences. Sure, you can set “Vancouver, BC” as your idea location, but have you considered breaking down your AdWords campaign to the Postal Code level?
Some of our Google Ad accounts benefit from quality scores of “10” because of hyper targeting techniques such as the aforementioned.
7. Google Map Ads
Are your ads showing on Google Maps?
If you’ve followed steps 1-6 above, you’re set to advertise on Google Maps. Having the right extensions and an up-to-date profile on Google My Business makes it easy to advertise on Google Maps, which is arguably more important than Google Search as it is indicative of a user intent to visit your business immediately.
You can learn how to set up local Google Map ads directly from Google – it requires an optimized Google My Business page, a well-maintained AdWords account, and a good understanding of which keywords are important to generating sales.
8. Engage On Social Media
Social media engagement can be another form of local marketing.
By using local hashtags such as #yvr or #vancouver, you’re joining the city-wide conversation on local events. One of our favourite examples of geo-targeted engagement on social media is the use of location tags on Instagram Stories.Local marketing isn't just about speakers and events. Social media counts, too! Click To Tweet
Instagram does a great job of showing media relevant to a specific location or event. By tagging your location at Canada Place on Canada Day, you’re joining the digital conversation and gaining thousands of impressions – for free!
It’s up to your social media manager to act on those impressions and turn them into engagement. Don’t quit halfway – make each point of interaction work for your business, either by building your brand or generating sales.
9. Employ A Dedicated Local Marketing Agent
Like anything else in digital marketing, local marketing is constantly changing.
By hiring a dedicated digital marketer to keep tabs on local marketing, you’re investing in a trend that’s constantly growing.
Recall the Google Trend at the beginning of this article – the number of local searches are only going to increase year over year. If you’re not already on top of local digital marketing techniques, your consumers are going to leave you behind. Stay ahead of the curve by being where your customers are looking – on their smartphones.
If you’re looking for digital marketing help, strategic insights or a new website, our digital marketing agency is at your service. Give us a visit! We always have chocolate 🙂