Even as local businesses and affiliates understand the value of tailoring their marketing efforts to their community, it appears that a profound disconnect still exists: Less than 8 percent use mobile, targeted search, or display advertising to reach local consumers — and 56 percent haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, according to Brandmuscle’s State of Local Marketing report.
The study indicates that local marketing will be pivotal for brands in 2017 — and beyond. Below, three takeaways that businesses can implement to ensure that their local efforts pay off:
Claim those listings: Brands that don’t manage their listings on the local level are likely to see inaccuracies in their data, whether than means in incorrect address listing or out-of-date hours. This leads to customer frustrations when a location they expect to be able to visit has closed or relocated — and businesses can’t afford that negative experience. Just ask Cicis: Beyond Pizza, which corrected 14,000 inaccurate listings during its redesign and spiked sales as a result.
Set a social strategy that includes local advertising: “That’s not to say that local affiliates need to be active on every social media platform,” the reportstates. “However, approaching platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Snapchat with an open and creative mind presents clear opportunities for brands to execute hyper-local, targeted marketing that helps local affiliates establish a viable social media presence.” Social media posts — and ads — should be tied to concrete locations and local events/promotions.
Make 2017 the year of integrated marketing: Firstly, online and offline are essentially equal in customers’ minds; they shop and purchase however best suits them in the moment, meaning it’s more critical than ever that brands build integrated, omnichannel marketing efforts that work on the national and local levels. “Understanding which tactics generate the best results for affiliates so you can align co-op funds and co-branded materials to support these efforts represents a major opportunity to optimize local marketing,” the report concludes. “Campaigns that have historically been seen as seasonal, one-off efforts should be packaged to accommodate an increasingly fragmented media
landscape, while also taking advantage of new targeting capabilities available in our mobile-first digital world.”