- By Reinaldo Calcaño
Trends in the marketing-tech sphere seem to be evolving by the second — which makes it hard for marketers to keep on top of what’s happening, and determine what’s really crucial for their business. We’re going to tell you right upfront: when it comes to local marketing, you need to focus on campaigns that drive ROI for your business. It’s as simple as that.
The Local Search Association (LSA) is holding their massive conference in San Diego right now. Before we took off to California, we thought a lot about what predictions we had for this year, and how this might measure up to what other experts in our field were saying. We expect that our key principle that local marketing — when done intelligently — should bring valuable gains for businesses will be a consistent theme. So, how to do it? While each brand should opt to find an approach that’s tailor-made to their unique needs, there are a few things that matter to each and every one of you this year.
1. Listings are still essential. But smart local marketing is more than just getting listed everywhere.
The simple need to “get found online” isn’t going anywhere; After all, if your listings aren’t in order, how will searchers know where to find your store? The act of searching-then-shopping will be sticking around so long as we continue to rely on our mobile devices for virtually every piece of information. That said, listings management in itself is not a local marketing strategy — it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Take it to the next level through the following methods:
- Re-evaluate your listings network. Do you really need to be listed on 50 different directories? You might want to focus on 10 directories that matter most to your business — and optimize those listings with constant updates, images, and location-based branding.
- Go beyond NAP data! Users expect more than the basics these days. What interesting aspect of your brand would consumers need to know about, on each search and discovery site? Tailor the information you provide to the user base per-directory and your demographic at each location. This highly targeted approach will bring you the right type of consumer
2. Social media marketing is only getting more powerful, especially at the local level.
Ever heard of Geofencing? The personalization that social media promises to bring to any shopping experience — which means users will want to “check in” to particular locations, tag where they are, or add a Geofilter to an image their sharing. It’s all part of the social media sphere — and if your brand does it well — it can serve as extremely valuable User-Generated Content.
- Stay on top of app developments! Did Facebook launch a new feature? What about Snapchat? Are you using Instagram Stories yet? Whatever the case may be — make sure you know what’s changed and capitalize right away. If you don’t act fast, other brands will surpass you — and you’ll be cast to the “outdated” pile. Yes, it’s that harsh.
- Interact with your brand ambassadors to cultivate a strong community. Do you see one person cataloguing your store’s products on their social feed? Are they always talking about how much they can’t live without your product? Make sure your gratitude is expressed loud and clear! Not only will this humanize your brand, but it is an interaction that’s sure to help create a lifelong customer. What’s more, social followers in your brand ambassadors network will be exposed to this interaction — and may vy for the same social proof.
Read more about how to stay ahead of the local-social trend right here.
3. We’re still trying to get better at attribution. Because it will always be important.
Ah, the holy grail of local marketing! Linking a single search to a single purchase. Tracking key touch points along a consumer’s journey is not a simple process. That said, the capabilities of Big Data are inching us closer and closer to reaching the blissful state of a flawless conversion funnel.
- More thorough directory insights will tell us more about consumer behaviors. By knowing where and how people are searching for your business, and valuable information like demographics and clicks-to-action, we can understand our consumers on a deeper level.
- Sophisticated online tracking methods will increase attribution capabilities. Brands will have more information to consumers’ online behaviors — allowing the detection of patterns, social media activity, frequent Geolocations and more. As a result, creating highly-targeted, trackable O2O campaigns will be possible.
Want to see how SweetIQ can take your local marketing to the next level?