Creating a marketing plan that works can be a challenge for local businesses, if for no other reason than the massive number of choices available. Still, you’re in business to make a profit, so how do you know where to invest your marketing budget to get a solid return?
In many cases, local businesses favor traditional marketing methods simply because they’ve been around longer -- they’re the norm. Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and using it effectively takes some background knowledge; for many local businesses, digital marketing seems overwhelming.
But, the bottom line is that a robust marketing strategy will make use of both local digital marketing and traditional marketing, called multi-channel marketing, because they work together beautifully as part of a coordinated campaign. Online marketing tactics like SEO, social media marketing, and search marketing can boost the effectiveness of offline marketing and vice versa. In the end, combining the two expands your brand’s reach and recognition and can generate more leads you can turn into paying customers.
Why Combining Local Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing Works
In simple terms, your target audience spends part of their time online and part of their time out in their local community. Traditional marketing strategies like placing your ads in the local paper or sending out mailers helps more of those prospects recognize your name and gain a basic understanding of what you offer. Digital marketing gives you a different set of tools you can use to deliver more personalized messages to targeted prospects, so you have a better chance of engaging with your most likely buyers when they’re looking to buy.
When you use multi-channel marketing, you get greater saturation in your local market and an effective way to track the results of your offline marketing efforts. By including a specific landing page for those ad campaigns and tracking the traffic on those landing pages, compared to the timing of your ads, you can learn more about how prospects are responding to your ads. Multi-channel marketing also gives insights about the prospects themselves, which helps you fine-tune your future ads. By providing a can’t-miss path from your advertising to your social media pages and website landing page, you draw in more self-qualified traffic that is most likely to help your local business achieve healthy growth now and into the future.
How Online Marketing & Offline Channels Work Together for Local Businesses
Marketing is both a science and an art, and creating a robust marketing program that uses digital marketing and offline marketing in ways that most effectively complement each other can be tricky. Read on to learn the basics, and remember, we’re always here to help if you need us!
- Use traditional marketing for the big picture and digital marketing for a more personal approach. Ads placed in outlets like newspapers are ideal for expanding your brand recognition and brand message, but because they are designed to reach a wide audience, they’re not super personal or focused on your target buyer. When you combine that wide-reach media with carefully crafted digital marketing on your social media channels and search engines, though, you have a way to grab the attention of your genuine prospects in a personal way and drive them toward conversion. Multi-channel marketing offers breadth and depth.
- Learn which channels your most likely buyers prefer. If, like most local businesses, you have multiple target markets, it’s critical to understand how they differ and to address your marketing efforts to each segment accordingly. Where are you likely to reach your various target segments, and when are they most likely to be receptive? Multi-channel marketing is useful because you may find that different target markets are using different channels (like Instagram and the local newspaper, for instance). By focusing your marketing efforts on the most profitable outlets, you’ll drive more traffic to landing pages that are specifically designed to connect with each segment and walk them toward conversion.
- Understand how online and offline marketing each expand your reach. Offline marketing efforts promote your brand and its core message. They help the general public recognize your name and gain an understanding of what your company offers. Digital marketing tactics like mobile marketing and search marketing further refine your brand reach by presenting more targeted messages to customers when they’re looking for a local business like yours. Online marketing also gives you a forum for building relationships with prospects and customers, an opportunity for even more prospects to see the personal treatment your business gives its customers, and helps your market see how your loyal customers advocate for your brand.
Successful marketers understand that local digital marketing and traditional marketing are two halves of a powerful whole, not two entirely separate things. If you successfully leverage multi-channel marketing, your local business can increase its overall visibility and reach and convert more qualified leads, so you can achieve your business growth goals faster and more cost-effectively. At LOCALiQ, we specialize in helping local businesses develop comprehensive marketing strategies that are based on the science side of marketing: audience insights, data from thousands of local marketing campaigns, and up-to-date knowledge of both digital and traditional marketing practices.