As companies start out and reassess their marketing approaches, they question the appropriate size of their target audience. The answer lies in the pros and cons of national and local marketing. In the following article, we will be discussing the types of strategies that national and local marketers use.
What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing specializes in generating sales, within a given geographical proximity. In some instances, it also refers to local store marketing and neighborhood marketing.
Local marketing caters to businesses based in a defined region, as opposed to online operations. Because online stories conduct business in all parts of the world, with transactions over the internet, their business isn’t restricted or limited by a physical space.
With that context, local marketers optimize marketing strategies for location-based businesses.
Local Marketing Strategies
Target Audience for Local Marketing
While the audience is already narrowed to where the physical store operates, it’s still important address the intended audience. By outlining a buyer’s persona, companies get a better picture of what customers want. Sales performances break down these nitty gritty details, such as general knowledge, interviews, surveys, and databases. Depending on the sales stages, the demographics may differ depending on the types of prospects, including recurring customers.
- Demographic – Basic information surrounding name, age, profession, income, material status, household size, and identifiers
- Geographic – Residence regarding location, neighborhood, and city
- Psychographic – Hobbies, personality traits, beliefs, attitudes and lifestyles
A perk of local marketing is the opportunity to build a personal relationship with customers. Local and relationship marketing overlap with one another. One of the most notable differences is that the latter specializes in retaining returning prospects, which pays off. The return on investment is quite impressive. By increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5%, profit margins can increase by 25 to 95 percent.
Mobile-Friendly Website for Local Marketing
Of the 88% of mobile research on local businesses, consumers end up calling or visiting the site within the same day. In fact, HubSpot reported that 61% off mobile users are more likely to find a local business, if they have a website suited for mobile devices.
Some companies forget that not all websites are created equally. That is, depending on how the website is designed and set up. The layout on a desktop does not always translate properly on other devices, such as phones and tablets.
For example, on a mobile-friendly website, text, buttons, and images are usually bigger. While the layouts of menus and graphics can not always be maintained, they can be structured to still tastefully be reformatted.
On websites, the businesses should use location-related terms to highlight the street, city, and perhaps even state. Adding addresses and phone numbers would be appropriate, too.
There should also be location-specific web pages This is particularly important if a business has more than one physical location than a designated primary one.
The same principles apply to both ads and social media.
In addition to using keywords that pertain to location, there’s also another way to angle marketing to optimize the search engine. Google allows for users to narrow their ad campaigns to a given geographic region.
Social media pages can also be localized. Beyond setting an address to the profile, an address can be added in each post. Also known as “geotagging,” prospects see feeds dedicated to that address. For some, customers don’t always look at professional review pages, which will be discussed later in the article. Typically, these social media feeds are filled with authentic posts from customers. However, companies can use it as an opportunity to add professional branding.
At the end of the caption, use location-specific hashtags to draw in consumers who might be new to town.
Business can also hold contests or exclusive discounts on social media to draw consumers to their social media pages. They can encourage customers to reshare or tag friends with some sort of an incentive. To increase foot traffic, companies can leverage this tactic by having the ultimate prize be collected in person.
Some external websites might already be referencing the local business. On websites, such as Google business directories, Google Reviews, and Yelp, customers can pitch in their ratings by inputting their understanding of a business’s basic information.
However, if businesses are unaware of their online presence, then it’s a given that they’re left unclaimed. By claiming it, companies are solidifying their ownership and formalizing their presence in these third-party forums. Now, they earn the ability to add official changes to build a consistent branding consistent throughout. It’s also important to check for accuracy in specific business features. For example, food images, price points, and a menu. There are also spaces for a phone number, directions to address, website, little bio blurbs, and star reviews.
On a similar note, companies can also have more accountability with feedback as they now have a clearer access to what customers are saying
Because the main target demographic is surrounding community members, community networking becomes important when businesses hone in to local marketing. By building a friendly rapport amongst the greater community, adults and kids alike embrace small businesses’s services.
One way to be active in the community is to participate in school fundraisers for schools and sponsor local sports games. Other community events could be a way to increase branding awareness. Whether that’s in the setting of a local farmer’s market or county fair, those grounds are filled with potential purchasers. Set up a booth space or station and connect with locals. It can also be a space to promote exclusive deals and branded merchandise.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, expanding operations onto the online sector can empower location-based operations. Simply put, the sales can strategically connect back to the physical location. As a way to push for foot traffic, companies can offer an incentive to consumers to visit the location. In-store activities encompass in-store coupons, pick-ups, and returns.
An e-commerce is also a way to expand from a local scale to a national one, which would then require national marketing.
What is National Marketing?
In comparison to local marketing, national marketing appeals to consumer bases throughout the whole country. There is more freedom to choose target audiences, as there’s a much wider accessibility to prospects.
Local Advertisers and National Advertisers Differ
By definition, national and local marketing differ in focus, time orientation, and resources. Therefore, their respective strategies fundamentally differ too.
If the business starts out as a local operation, it’s a good way to see how the business functions on a small scale first. Then, the business can expand and incorporate national marketing strategies.
Audience Targeting in National Marketing
As mentioned earlier, the audience establishes the local marketing: the people surrounding the physical location. However, national marketing doesn’t necessarily mean everybody in a given country. Rather, it can have designated “hot spots,” where marketing is more targeted. Remember, this doesn’t mean ad campaigns need to be everywhere. In other words, location doesn’t constrict marketing. Rather, there should be many locations throughout the country. After all, appealing to targeted audiences lowers costs.
Once those specific areas, or rather “hot spots,” are outlined, the business can start getting involved in the community; this is where national and local marketing overlap. Documenting these interactions could foster easier ways to connect with community-based influencers and local coverage.
Unlike a physical store, the website now becomes the pinnacle of marketing. Even if prospects connect to the website after viewing an ad or a social media post, prospects ultimately end up at the final destination of a website. Therefore, the branding, design, and layouts become really important because it needs to catch and retain their attention.
Establish Expertise in the Given Field
With access to a wider audience comes with competing with other national scale businesses for those consumers. By establishing expertise in the given field, companies can stand out from the rest. Remember: credibility helps with overall visibility.
Businesses should implement content marketing strategies. This builds brand awareness and conveys knowledge to potential customers. They can have a consistent blog or email newsletter post schedule. On their website, there can be case studies, guides, and expositories on product details. For example, if there’s something unique about a certain material, a guide can spotlight those details.
Another way to build credibility is through social media personas. Again, this approach overlaps with both national and local marketing. However, there is much more weight on a national scale. Especially if the influencers have a big following, they act as a third-party vouch for why a company’s service or product is unique. Social media personas can review products and promote the brand to their audiences. Ideally, this overlaps in the same field as the business.