How to leverage local marketing through digital?

Many companies have one or more locations where they receive their customers. These may be physical outlets for retail companies or reception areas such as offices and agencies. In order to increase their local visibility and attract prospective customers to these locations, they use a variety of tools and techniques. Today, with the rise of e-commerce, digital is an important part of communication. Therefore, whatever the acquisition channel, the user experience must be at the centre of the strategy. But how do you create a solid local marketing strategy? And more importantly, what are the benefits?

Mathilde Prouchandy
Published on
March 2, 2022
by
Mathilde Prouchandy
7
min. read time
How to leverage local marketing through digital?

What is local marketing all about?

In general terms, local marketing refers to all the marketing tools and actions used by companies to reach a local population in a specific geographical or catchment area. It is a low-cost strategy, as messages are disseminated within a well-defined and limited area.

 

Local marketing also allows companies to adapt their communication strategy to the needs of a specific region or market, while sending tailored messages based on the target audience (age, gender, interests, etc.). The ads are perfectly adapted. The budget is also adjusted according to the needs of the different areas, which optimises costs for each campaign and makes it possible to communicate more effectively when necessary.

The actions carried out will vary from one geographical area to another: marketing initiatives will not be the same in each location. Thanks to this strategy, retailers will be able to better respond to customers' expectations by personalising their messages, services and products. Whatever the activity of the retailer, this strategy meets several key objectives.

Firstly, local marketing is used to improve local visibility. In other words, it allows brands to enhance and publicise their points of sale or establishments (shops, offices, dealers, agencies, etc.) to a population that lives near the premises. The objective ? To ensure that the target group is aware that the brand is located in a close and accessible area.  

This brings us to the next point. When increasing brand awareness, companies want above all to boost their traffic to the point of sale. This is called drive-to-store. To do this, they will use offline marketing, i.e. all communication actions outside the realm of the web. As the population becomes increasingly digitalised, they will also use digital marketing to focus their strategy on other equally essential channels. The combination of these two concepts is essential for retailers, as it offers both physical and digital visibility.

Another awareness objective, this time online, is the generation of qualified leads. In marketing, this notion refers to the recovery of contact information for potential customers whose conversion potential is sufficiently interesting to conclude a sale. In other words, a qualified lead expresses a genuine interest in the company's services or products. He or she is therefore likely to become a customer after direct or indirect contact with the company.

Lead generation is interesting for companies because it will not only save them time by creating a database of potential customers, but will also allow them to work on their relationship with these individuals in order to convert them into buyers.

Finally, local marketing is also about increasing customer loyalty. Indeed, within the framework of a marketing action, the advertisements disseminated are personalised and better correspond to their specific needs, which creates a real link of proximity. Consumers are more trusting of brands and, as a result, more likely to return to the point of sale.

 

In order to achieve these different objectives, there are many effective marketing actions available, both traditional and digital. Today, they complement each other more than ever.

What digital strategies should you adopt to improve local visibility?

New consumer habits are forcing companies to rethink their marketing strategy. From now on, Internet presence is essential, even to enhance point of sale value.

Local campaigns for relevant targeting  

Local digital campaigns make it possible to target a population according to geographical area. This strategy is particularly relevant since the targeted individuals are close to a point of sale or an outlet. They are therefore more likely to visit the location. This means both a better customer experience and an optimised budget for retailers.

To do this, companies will use a feature of SEA, in other words, paid media referencing: local ads or social ads. What is special about these ads ? They only appear on the news feed of social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube...) of users in their vicinity. They are also visible on :

  • search engines;
  • programmatic Display (Xandr...);
  • GPS maps such as Waze;
  • websites with geolocation displays.

Users then have the opportunity to click on the ad or not thanks to a call to action (itinerary, link to the site, call...). Media thus play an essential role in local marketing: all of them should be exploited!

It is possible to target the population more precisely using additional criteria such as age, gender and interests. Companies such as DeepReach offer advanced technology for setting up optimised and highly targeted campaigns.

Localised SEO

Free solutions allow companies to boost their local visibility on search engines.

Local SEO

SEO or natural referencing is a free complement to SEA. It allows companies to position themselves according to one or more keywords by enriching their editorial content. This means that when an Internet user types in a query such as "Indian restaurant Manchester", he or she is more likely to come across a company that has placed this group of words on its site (particularly titles).

In order not to get bogged down by the competition, it is important to position yourself within a search query with little competition. For example, the group of words "Indian restaurant in Manchester city centre" is less sought after, but also more precise. In this way, brands will be able to stand out more easily on search engines and increase footfall.

The Google My Business profile

A Google My Business profile is a goldmine for users, as it provides a range of valuable information about a business such as:

  • address;
  • telephone number;
  • customer reviews;
  • photos;
  • link to the website; 
  • opening hours;
  • etc.

With 62% of Internet users preferring this profile to actual websites, it is essential to ensure that this digital showcase is well looked after and that it is as complete as possible.

DOOH

DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) refers to all digital outdoor advertising systems, i.e. digital screens. They can be found in various strategic and high-traffic locations such as shopping centres, public places and petrol stations.

Why use DOOH? At a time when the population is showing an ever-growing interest in new technologies, this innovative concept is an alternative to traditional advertising posters and attracts more attention from the public.

The messages disseminated are personalised, original and dynamic, which arouses surprise and curiosity.

This channel, which combines digital and physical, can therefore be particularly useful for making yourself known locally and standing out from the competition.

How to strengthen the local visibility

Local actions allow brands to promote their points of sale or reception areas as close as possible to their target.

Local advertising

From the earliest days of marketing, traditional advertising has acted as an effective tool for businesses wishing to promote themselves at a local level. Today, it remains just as important. But what is traditional advertising ?

 

First of all, this involves posters and advertising spaces that can be found throughout the city where the company is located (underground, billboards,walls, etc.). Thanks to this technique, the company can provide information such as the location and opening hours of sales outlets to passers-by, who are immediately made aware of the location.

Flyer distribution and advertisements in the local press and on local radio can also be part of the strategy. But that's not all : it is now possible to create segmented advertising on television. How does it work? Thanks to operator data collection, advertisers can now target households and deliver personalised ads to them. This channel is particularly suitable for local marketing, as the geolocation and interests of users are part of the information collected.

Point of sale marketing

In addition to advertising, in-store marketing (also known as retail media in the retail sector) should also be developed. The aim is to continuously improve customer experience and streamline the customer journey. There are many techniques for this: loyalty programmes, promotions, point of sale theatrics, development of POS, classic and sensory merchandising, employee training, etc. When they are well executed, these actions will help retain customers thanks to their positive experience.

Direct marketing for enhancing local communication strategy

Direct marketing is a communication technique that consists of creating and distributing a personalised message (via email, SMS or social networks) to customers in order to elicit a direct action from them. Used as part of a classic marketing strategy, it can also be interesting for local marketing, as it enables you to:

  • Encourage action (buy, givefeedback, etc.).
  • Inform the consumer about newproducts, promotions, etc.
  • Develop customer loyalty.

Although direct marketing is not intended for a purely local strategy, it is still an effective solution for retaining customers at the point of sale.

In conclusion, working on the local aspect of marketing is essential for brands with an outlet, whatever its form: shop, agency, office, restaurant, etc. Local marketing offers many benefits for companies and allows them to target potential customers according to their location and their specific needs. With a personalised experience, customers are more easily won over and more easily satisfied. Result: they come back not only to the physical point of sale, but also online ! An effective way to retain customers across all available channels.

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