The growth of digital and mobile technologies has actually made the world shrink in certain ways. While the globe is more connected than ever before, people are using social media to engage directly with their local communities. People expect to know everything that is going on around them, something that mobile apps have made possible. With the click of a button, people can see the weather, local restaurants, and even the location of nearby friends. For this reason, many brands are refocusing their efforts from global or national marketing efforts to local ones.
Hyper-local marketing remains one of the best tactics for engaging potential customers in a specific geographic area and organically growing brand loyalty in key markets. However, the process of transforming a global or national campaign into a local one is not always obvious.
The following are some ways to make digital campaigns work on the local level:
Partner with local organizations for digital benefits.
A great way to increase visibility in a particular community is to build relationships with local nonprofits or event organizers. This kind of reach is not possible through typical ad networks.
By sponsoring farmers’ markets, film festivals, community concerts, and similar affairs, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to a particular city or neighborhood. Offering swag at the event is another great way of earning name recognition. The benefits of sponsorships also include links on event and nonprofit websites, as well as social media mentions and inclusion in relevant newsletters.
When relying on partnerships to advertise, organizations should devise a strategy for measuring impact, such as including a promo code on swag handed out or creating specific landing pages from website and social media links. With these tools, organizations can track the amount of traffic generated by each partnership to identify key audiences.
Look for local influencers to be brand ambassadors.
When companies look for influencers, they often target people with a lot of sway in a given social group. However, there is such a thing as a local influencer. People with popular blogs for specific cities, or even communities within those cities, could make great partners for increasing awareness of a particular brand.
When engaging with local influencers, organizations should emphasize that the opportunity is mutually beneficial. One way to do this is to offer free tickets to events, from beer festivals to sports games, in exchange for the person serving as a brand ambassador.
Take out ads that are personalized based on local context.
Now that more people than ever before are using mobile devices, organizations can take advantage of the contextual information offered by these devices. Brands have access to a wide range of data when placing ads with certain companies. For example, Facebook offers advertising based on hyper-local activity. As such, when people check into a certain part of town, they may see an advertisement that a brand designed specifically for that locale.
Ad planners can also customize campaigns based on weather. For example, a clothing company may offer advertisements featuring different outfits based on whether it is sunny, rainy, hot, or cold in the user’s physical location. And Google AdWords now has an option to include local inventory in ads so that users can see exactly how far away an item they are searching for is located.
Create region-specific marketing stories.
People connect best with a brand when they can relate to the organization’s story. In many ways, simply having a strong presence in a city is not enough. People what to know what stake the organization has in the city and what specific community needs it is addressing. Each location has something that makes it unique and that locals take pride in—the key to great local marketing is finding this feature and linking it to the company.
For example, companies might want to highlight their innovation when targeting Silicon Valley and San Francisco, but talk about diversity and the power of people from different backgrounds working together when focusing on New York. Advertisements geared towards the people of New Orleans, on the other hands, would look very different. These ads might show how the company likes to have fun and keep business lighthearted.
Reach out to customers with mobile apps.
Smartphones track our moves and send information to us based on where we are. Brands can take advantage of this process in several different ways to turn digital traffic into brick-and-mortar sales. One way of doing this is to use apps like FourSquare, which can send special offers to people when they come within a certain distance of a physical store. This type of advertisement can give people the extra push to come inside or even alert them to the presence of a store they might like.
Another approach involves making a proprietary app that tracks location and sends offers, deals, and reminders based on where people go. While this kind of app gives brands a lot more control over when and what people see on their smartphones, there is still the hurdle of getting people to download the app. Promises of special deals and offers can motivate some people, but others may require the promise of a specific coupon or free item to get them to download it.