Over the last few years, more and more business owners are moving away from traditional advertising to digital strategies, like social media, search marketing, and display ads. And with good reason, too. It’s common knowledge now how promoting your business online is much more effective and economical compared with print, radio, and TV ads or outbound tactics.
And this shift is happening across the states as well. Even in small towns like Mountain Home, Arkansas, SMBs realize the need to connect with customers online. But SMBs need to recognize a critical fact about digital marketing: it works best when informed by local knowledge.
The Difference Between Local and Location-Based Marketing
If you’re on the hunt for search marketing and PPC services in Mountain Home, Arkansas, you’ll encounter phrases like “geo-targeting” and “local SEO” as key strategies. All these point to one thing: even if you’re operating completely in the digital space, your campaigns must still be tied to geography, or the areas you service.
The reason for this is that digital marketing works by directly targeting people who will likely visit your physical store and those who are within your radar. You’re not just putting content and important business information online or creating a web or social media presence per se, you’re also making sure you’re not attracting the wrong crowd. This methodology is called inbound marketing, a process of drawing potential customers by optimizing your digital footprint within the market you serve.
But it’s important to understand that local- and location-based marketing are not one and the same.
Location-based campaigns use geographical data to further improve audience targeting and segmentation. This approach works best with social media, PPC, and mobile marketing, where you use data input to create contextually well-suited ad experiences. On the other hand, local marketing efforts, which are often tied to search marketing, are focused on engaging with prospects and driving them to make purchases at a physical location.
Location-based ads may be a more direct way of alerting a customer of a nearby business, while local efforts would center on building a community of advocates and repeat customers, as well as increasing visibility in local search or authority in a given niche. The former is data-focused and driven by revenue, while the latter is more of a long-term way of cementing the brand in the local business landscape.
Leveraging Local Knowledge to Gain Traffic and Leads
Tapping into the local, collective insights is nothing new in marketing. It’s as simple as conveying the value of your business in context with the community you serve but using digital means. These can include writing blogs that address your target audience’s problems, crafting seasonal, event-specific, or relevant content, and engaging in a personal way through social media, review sites, and online listings.
Other worthwhile tactics include tapping into local influencers and news outlets to create buzz.
Think of it like a conversation at the cash register, where a customer decides on what to buy. You step in to know what the customer is looking for, offer suggestions, and make a pitch. You try to connect with the customer more intimately to boost your chances of closing, earning his or her trust, and offering exceptional service in the hopes that he or she comes back. Local marketing has the same principle. You make an effort to know who your target customers are so you can give them a more tailored experience.
Although local and location-based marketing techniques gravitate toward the emotional and contextual, they prove to be the most effective in terms of attracting foot or web traffic and turning prospects into paying customers. Keep these in mind when you’re planning your online efforts.