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GeoMarketing 101: How To Succeed At Local Marketing

What makes marketing truly local? Hint: It's more that just running a generic ad in a specific area.

From geo-targeting to beacons, location-based technology is opening up a world of possibilities for marketers — but it’s also complicated, as new capabilities and use cases seem to emerge every day.

With the goal of breaking down some of the most important “geo” concepts to provide a better understanding of the basics — and a jumping off point for exploring how far the power of location may take us — we introduce the next installment of our GeoMarketing 101 series: understanding effective local marketing.

What Is Local Marketing?

It’s a common sense definition: Local marketing targets ad messages to a certain community (be it a city, neighborhood, or specific block) in order to get those consumers to take an action.

This works in a variety of ways, and it applies to both large and small brands. For example, Home Depot has a national presence, but it still runs customized, targeted campaigns aimed at encouraging customers to go to their local Home Depot branch. And for a mom-and-pop store with only one location in Michigan? Well, it makes sense that all of its marketing be local.

But driving foot traffic and spurring sales at a particular nearby destination — the ultimate goal of local marketing — involves more than just running a generic ad on the popular local radio station. So what makes for effective local business marketing that actually drives results in the intended communities?

Effective Local Tactics

One mistake major brands make in national-to-local marketing is a a lack of customization: In general, running the same ad used for a branding effort on a national level in a local campaign provides disappointing results. But tactics that have proven effective at driving foot traffic through mobile can help combat this.

Firstly, geo-targeting ads that promote a nearby product or store work well — especially with a click-to-map function — because they let consumers know exactly where they need to go in their community to access what’s being advertised. Plus, they offer increased relevancy; a consumer walking into a grocery store is more likely to be receptive to an add promoting a new pasta sauce than a consumer across town filling up at the gas pump. It’s all about real-time location and conditions.

Dr. Pepper leveraged this strategy to great effect: With mobile ads aimed at driving consumers to a local store that stocked the soft drink, programmatic provider Rocket Fuel helped Dr. Pepper drive 213,000 in-store visits to more than 1,000 grocery store locations.

Secondly, local SEO — as evidenced by its very name — is crucial to local success. With 76 percent of “near me” Google searches resulting in a visit to a business within a day, it’s easy to see why businesses need to ensure that their locations are easily discoverable by the people who live nearby. And with Google limiting mapped place results to a “three-pack” display, marketers need to do more with their SEO in order to be instantly visible — and visitable — for searchers.

So, how can brands do that? Through standard practices of location management, businesses can ensure that their location information is correct across platforms, that their map results are accurate, and that they’re adequately optimized for keywords.

As Home Depot’s SEO manager Erin Everhart explained, “The biggest thing that you have to think about when it comes to local is your map consistency. I think that that’s [point] one, two, and three, if we’re going to be completely honest. It also counts to remove duplicates pages, and to have really strong authoritative individual pages for each of your stores.”

Learn more about successful local marketing, here:

7 Local Marketing Strategies You Can Use Today

Dunkin’ Donuts Bridges National And Local With #KeepOn Campaign

Kenshoo’s Campaign Mirroring Helps Bridge National-Local Search Ad Divide

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.