How Local Marketing Works vs. Digital Marketing
February 22, 2023
The internet has dramatically changed the way people think about marketing. Where your target audience once read the Sunday supplement in the newspaper or gathered around the television for the local evening news, they may now scour Twitter for the latest news or throw on their favorite podcast to stay informed.
Because where and how we reach our potential customers has changed, does this mean traditional marketing tactics are outdated and unnecessary? What does this mean for local businesses trying to reach a local audience? Should you put all of your marketing budget into digital marketing?
Fortunately, the answers are simpler than you may realize. While the exact solution will depend on your business and your marketing goals, there are some universal insights that can be used across the board.
To help you get started, we’re going to walk you through both traditional local marketing and digital marketing, explain how they can work together, and offer some handy tips.
Local Marketing vs Digital Marketing: What’s the Difference?
For many small to medium businesses, local marketing is at the heart of their marketing campaigns.
Traditionally, local marketing is performed offline. This means newspaper ads, direct mail, billboards, signs, and radio or tv spots.
Simply put, local marketing is a way to reach a customer base that is in the same geographical location as your store or business.
Digital marketing is performed online and is often targeted at a wider audience. If, for example, your business also has an online shop that ships nationwide, digital marketing tactics, like social media posts, blogs, email marketing campaigns, and pay-per-click ads, can help you generate brand awareness and indicate to potential customers farther afield that you are open for business.
And while local marketing and digital marketing have historically had slightly different intentions and goals, they are not mutually exclusive and can be highly effective when used together.
How Local Marketing and Digital Marketing Work Together
The great thing about digital marketing is that it can be adjusted to suit a local audience.
If you are a small business looking to boost brand awareness, increase sales and foot traffic, or build better relationships with existing customers, digital marketing is a cost-effective way to get there.
This does not mean, however, that you should completely abandon traditional marketing strategies. In fact, utilizing both can ensure you maximize your reach.
This seems to be the current trend in marketing, as indicated by a 2022 CMO survey. The survey indicated that 57.1% of all marketing spend was dedicated to digital marketing and the expectation is that this will increase by 16.2%.
What was most interesting is that the survey showed spending on traditional marketing had increased by 3% in 2022, breaking what had been a steady decline in the area over the past decade.
Why You Should Combine Traditional Local Marketing and Digital Marketing
Several benefits can be found in using both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
Greater Potential to Stand Out With Traditional Marketing
Digital marketing spaces can be crowded. As indicated above, over 57% of marketing spend is dedicated to digital and that number is only growing. This means there is lots of competition for attention. Because traditional marketing space is a little less crowded, there is a greater opportunity to get noticed.
Customers Want (and Expect) You to do Both
An omnichannel approach is the best way to reach your audience when, where, and how, they want.
The internet has created an expectation of convenience and availability. People are accustomed to finding whatever they want in the moment.
If you ignore the traditional marketing avenues or the offline side, you may ignore a portion of your customer base. Furthermore, traditional marketing can position you as an active community member, creating deeper trust and loyalty within your customer base.
Increased Availability of Data
Traditional marketing can be hard to track. Unless you ask each customer that calls or comes through the door, it is next to impossible to know if they saw your ad in the local paper or heard your local radio spot.
If you combine tactics, you can get a better understanding of who is interacting with your marketing and therefore, get a better understanding of who may be interested in your product or service.
This allows you to segment your audience by demographic and more effectively and accurately speak to the individuals in these segments. Not only can you personalize marketing to reach them better, but you can also identify the most effective marketing channels and even improve or develop products to satisfy audience concerns you were unaware of.
Digital marketing data allows you to really hone in on what works and adjust what doesn’t.
Tips to Improve Local Digital Marketing Efforts
For many, positive results can be attained through localizing digital marketing. If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront and don’t sell your products online, marketing to people halfway across the world wastes your time, energy, and money.
To ensure you reach the right audience and maximize your local digital marketing strategy, here are a few things you should consider:
Claim Your Online Profiles
One of the first things you’ll want to do is claim your available profiles. If you haven’t already, claim your business handles on social media platforms, but most importantly, claim your Google Business Profile.
This profile is free and goes a long way to ensuring you show up in local Google searches. If you are a computer repair business, for example, and someone searches “computer repair near me,” Google uses geolocation to return the most relevant results. So, if this person is near you, your Google Business Profile will appear in a box on the right (for desktop search) or below the Google Map (for mobile search).
Your profile will show your location, business hours, phone number, website, years in business, Google reviews, and more, giving customers everything they need to make a purchase decision at that moment.
Without an optimized Google Business Profile, you may miss out on local search traffic and valuable opportunities.
Optimize Your Website with Local Keywords for SEO
Another way to localize your digital marketing is to optimize your website with local keywords.
Let’s again consider that computer repair shop. If this computer repair shop is located in Chicago, they would want to include keywords like “computer repair Chicago” on their website. This can be further targeted by using neighborhood-specific keywords. If this business has two locations, say one near Lincoln Park and one near the West Loop, they might want to consider creating landing pages for each location that really hones in on location-specific keywords. This increases the chances that people in these areas will easily discover the business when looking for solutions.
Blogging is another great way to make use of local keywords. Not only does blogging improve brand authority and indicate to visitors that you know what you’re talking about, it also improves Google search results, bringing more traffic to your page and potentially more traffic to your business.
Blogs do not have to be location specific. That computer repair business could easily create blog content about extending the life of a laptop or write tips for improving computer performance and then include a call to action (CTA) that uses a local keyword, encouraging people to visit in-person should their computer require more care and attention.
Run Print and Digital Ads Like Google Ads
Print ads, run in things like newspapers and local magazines, are a great way to reach a local audience. But, you can increase that reach by running digital ads in the digital versions of these publications.
Print newspapers still have an audience, to be sure, but these days, a greater portion of the audience is reading the same news columns online.
In this scenario, you can ensure you hit more of your target. Worst case scenario, someone sees your ad twice. How bad can that be?
The same can be applied to local radio spots or television ads. Consider also running ads on YouTube or the digital streaming versions of the programming.
Talk to a Local Marketing Coach
If you are really interested in developing a local digital marketing strategy, a local marketing coach can provide you with incredibly valuable insights.
A marketing coach is different from a consultant. Where a consultant will give you advice and little more, a coach will give you advice AND nurture you through the process, helping you set goals, analyze results, and identify areas for improvement.
This approach gives you the bespoke marketing strategy you need to succeed. It is not a one size fits all strategy, it is a specific and focused strategy developed for your business, customers, and your unique needs.
At Little Jack Marketing, we take the time to really understand your products, your unique value as a local business, and your industry. From there, we work alongside you to develop a local marketing strategy that addresses the local market and better reaches your potential customer.
We have built a team of online marketing experts so you can concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to us.
From local SEO strategies to making sense of the analytics, we work diligently to ensure that you get found online!
Reach out today to schedule an exploration call.
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