Local marketing is for local businesses, right? Well, that’s half right.
While the siblings who own the independent bookstore down the street and your neighbor who runs a pet-grooming business downtown are clearly serving your local community, the national brands who operate in your neighborhood are, too. This means that those national brands also need to think local when it comes to marketing.
Why can’t they just rely on their household name status and corporate marketing strategy to get the job done? I’ll explain more here.
Consumers Demand Local Results
Think about how you search when you’re looking to solve a problem. If you need a midday caffeine pick-me-up but aren’t sure what your local options are, you’ll likely enter a search query like “coffee shop near me.”
Today, more than half of all searches happen on a mobile device, and, according to Google, more than 80% of consumers are searching with local intent. While the independent coffee shop hopes to appear in your search, the national brand who has a location nearby wants to be in the mix, too! If your local marketing strategy is ignoring these kinds of targeted searches, you’re likely not being seen by some consumers.
Customers Shop Locally
Even if yours is one of the biggest brands in the business, your customers are still all local. What’s going on in your store in Los Angeles doesn’t matter to customers who live in Seattle or Boston. They want to know what’s going on at the store in their backyard.
National brands are wise to establish location-specific social media accounts, landing pages, or microsites. If your Los Angeles store is selling bathing suits in January, that content won’t be relevant for your Boston-based customers, but those living in sunny LA will want to know about it. Tailoring content and other marketing messages to customers depending on where they’re located can help you draw them in and personalize their experience with your brand.
They Review Locally, Too
Customers who visit a local store are not leaving a generalized review of your national brand and identity. The praise or concern they express will be specific to the local outpost — their product offerings, employees, and in-store experience.
Even if you don’t create a Yelp page or Google My Business listing for each location, that doesn’t mean it’s not out there. Unclaimed business profiles can still generate reviews, and if you haven’t claimed the page for each location, it’s possible you’re missing negative feedback about your brand.
Your business can live or die by the review — 93% of consumers make purchase decisions based on reviews. That’s why it’s critical to claim local profiles and respond appropriately to the reviews you find there.
People Want to Establish a Personal Connection
Part of what keeps customers coming back to any business is a personalized experience. Think about ways you can build an online presence that speaks to each individual community. One way to do that is through localized social media pages to help you establish connections in your community.
You can promote local events or specials. Maybe employees at the location want to volunteer with a local charity or get involved in an organization that serves that specific geographic location. This is the kind of activity you can promote on local social media pages that wouldn’t make sense to share on a national level. You can even feature profiles on local employees or customers, or run local contests and promotions.
Local Marketing Is Cost-Effective
National marketing campaigns often benefit from big budgets. But in today’s world, personalization is the thing that allows any brand — big or small — to stand out and win over customers.
Your local approach allows you to speak more directly to the needs of consumers in your specific area. You can approach them with the offers, products, and messaging that will resonate most strongly with them. It’s also possible for national brands to get a higher return on their investment and lower cost per click when running with a local marketing strategy.
Local marketing isn’t just for neighborhood businesses. Even the biggest national brands can benefit from a strategy that meets local customers where they are and presents them with personalized, humanized messaging. No matter what size your business is, you should be incorporating local marketing tactics into your overall approach.