Reaching local consumers isn’t just for mom and pop stores. Large companies like Chipotle and Walmart rely on an effective connection with consumers in the communities where their businesses are located. Unfortunately, according to a new survey from Forrester, The localized marketing imperative, 77% of multinational brands surveyed find it very difficult to execute local digital marketing strategies in all of their stores.
The good news is that there are digital marketing strategies that brands can deploy to reach consumers locally, which is especially important now that consumers are staying closer to home during the pandemic.
Geolocation and geographic targeting are effective ways to reach local consumers
The Forrester study found that “73% of multi-site marketers surveyed agree that customers expect their experiences to match their immediate context. Multi-site businesses can deliver personalized, contextual experiences by thinking and acting locally, ”which can be achieved with properly executed location targeting.
By serving ads to consumers when they enter a specific zip code or targeting certain consumers geographically based on publisher or first party data, brands can build loyalty through coupons or other promotions. Location targeting also allows large brands and businesses to select messages based on area-specific qualities with location-based messages. For example, recently the degree of “openness” of an area due to COVID-19 could be very relevant when using geographic targeting.
Social media engagement at the local level can make consumers feel more included
Local engagement on social media, an area where 31% of brands said they have no paid local strategy, is another way brands can effectively reach local shoppers. For example, Lululemon has local ambassadors all over the world, whose photos and bios appear on Lululemon’s social pages, website and in-store materials. Brands can also post on Facebook Pages for individual locations, chat with consumers who have concerns, and engage in local partnerships that amplify their presence in communities beyond being a chain or large store. area.
Websites and search ads that offer information about local deals, delivery, and inventory can drive sales
Corporate websites for multinational brands that consistently and successfully deliver local information are more likely to gain credibility, build brand awareness, and increase foot traffic. The increase in online in-store shopping (BOPIS) during the pandemic and consumer preference for in-store fulfillment options is an indicator that consumers are willing and interested in physically going to stores, not just shopping. stay on the line. Once in stores, many consumers will purchase additional items. Websites that offer local promotions and accurate inventory information can also create repeat use and trust with consumers, which is important now that buyers can watch their wallets or be reluctant to waste time browsing.
“Customers are used to quickly finding decision-making information anywhere, anytime, and on any device, and they expect the results to be relevant to their location,” said Forrester . The study also found that if shoppers cannot find information on brands’ websites, they will find it through other means, such as “search engines, rating and review sites and social networks ”. Any of these third-party news sources may display inaccurate or unflattering information. In addition to accurate and informative websites, managing reviews at the local level should be a priority for brands as they strive to create aligned strategies between local and national marketing efforts.
Optimized searches using tools like local inventory feeds on Google and up-to-date information boards can be the start of the consumer buying journey. “Consumers have become more invested in their communities since COVID, not less; and the search for proximity continues to grow. It will become even more important for national-local brands, chains and retailers to act effectively against local searches and local-social engagement, which is increasing without decreasing, ”reported Land Marketing Greg Sterling.
The effective deployment of targeted digital marketing strategies enables brands to “meet” their local customers, offers support to local franchises and serves the current moment of “local shopping”, even as national brands.
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