In the current age, digital marketing has quickly taken its place as king of the advertising world.
In fact, it’s becoming so prevalent that in 2019, digital advertising is going to account for an estimated 54.2% of the total ad spend in the US.
This will mark the first year that digital marketing surpasses traditional marketing, which is a trend that’s only on course to keep on chugging.
It’s not only major global companies, either; more and more small businesses are moving to include local digital marketing in their budgets, and for good reason.
Why you need a local digital marketing campaign
At one time, digital marketing seemed like something that only the top dogs in the marketplace could profit from. After all, the only business that can benefit from it are the ones that have global audiences, right?
Well, times are changing, and running campaigns in the digital realm isn’t just for the giants anymore.
Now, thanks to companies like Google and Facebook making local digital marketing more accessible than ever, smaller businesses can generate a higher ROI with specialized local digital marketing campaigns.
There are tons of avenues to explore. Digital advertising is far from being a one-trick pony; you can choose from OTT advertising to organic advertising methods like SEO and everything in between.
The wide variety of digital marketing strategies out there means there’s a game plan that’s perfect for just about any business, too.
You can target the most specific audience possible. Whether you’re looking to target audiences in specific locations or in a general area, geo-targeting and geo-fencing both allow for highly accurate, location-based advertising.
For many businesses, local digital advertising is an untapped gold mine. It allows for highly-targeted messages for audiences who are most likely to convert to paying customers.
That’s not to say traditional marketing is dead yet, but it’s certainly on its way out the door.
Here’s the truth: It’s more important than ever to get ahead of the curve and start transitioning to digital marketing.
“Okay, great, but as you said, there are loads of avenues to explore when it comes to digital advertising. So, where’s a local business even supposed to start?”
Here’s the good news . . . while running a local digital marketing campaign seems impossibly complex, it isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. And there’s plenty of help out there for you, whether it’s through informational blog posts or hiring a professional team.
So let’s get into some of the most profitable ways a local business can get online and start marketing themselves today.
Programmatic advertising for your local business
This one’s a mouthful, and it might even sound like something a bit more advanced than any local business needs. But the general idea behind programmatic advertising is much simpler than it sounds.
In essence, all you’re doing is leaving the bidding process for ad placement up to a program, as opposed to manually bidding for the ad spots yourself, or hiring the job out.
A common example of where you’d see this is with Facebook Ads Manager. When you start a Facebook Ads campaign, you don’t have to bid for every spot your ad appears on individually. The ad manager goes through the bidding process and automatically displays ads to specific audiences for you.
The reason that programmatic advertising is so valuable to local businesses is the efficiency of it. Rather than having to hire talent to secure spots for your ads or bid for the spots yourself, you can leave it up to automated software to do it for you.
Another key benefit of programmatic advertising is the ability to target highly specific audiences. Going back to our Facebook example, Facebook is a company that collects metric tons of user data. All of this data allows them to create hyper-specific audiences that are targetable through ad campaigns.
You can filter audiences by age range, income, interests, et cetera. The list goes on.
This means you can avoid wasting money on showing your ads to an audience that probably isn’t going to buy, saving your budget for the viewers most likely to convert instead.
Targeting local customers with geo-fencing and geo-targeting
Geo-fencing and geo-targeting are two similar, yet different methods of marketing, each with their own benefits. To explain them in a very basic sense: Geo-targeting is when you display an ad to a group of people who live in a particular, broad area.
To give an example, if you live in South Dakota, you’re probably not exposed to any CBD advertising campaigns.
CBD isn’t legal in South Dakota (at the time of writing this post), so most advertisers aren’t going to be showing their CBD ads to the people who live there.
Your audience for a geo-targeted campaign could target a town, a state, or even down to a specific street. The idea is that you’re only targeting people from an area that you preselect.
With geo-fencing, it’s a little different. You send an ad to anyone who passes through a predetermined geo-fenced area.
For instance, if you have geo-fencing ads set up around your business location, you could have automatic push notifications sent to anyone passing by your storefront.
You can set up geo-fencing triggers for a variety of marketing strategies:
How about sending an email promotion when someone drives down a particular street?
Or you could even send a notification offering a discount to anyone leaving one of your competitors’ stores.
With local advertising through geo-fencing, you’re able to get right down to the details on location, meaning you can set up ads specifically created to target your best conversion zones.
This ability to target an audience based on location is a super-valuable asset if used correctly.
When you own a local business, the majority of your consumers probably come from similar areas. So targeting those areas that convert the most can be a great way to get the best ROI out of your advertising budget.
Local digital advertising with YouTube
There once was a time where your only source of video entertainment was through traditional TV.
But now a new competitor is taking its turn in the ring with traditional TV, and it’s coming in swinging.
Who is this new competitor?
Its name is OTT.
OTT, or Over-The-Top, is a term that refers to an online video-streaming service. Think YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu, just to name a few.
With all of these options out on the market, it’s no wonder why the “cable-cutting” movement has gained so much steam.
But it may be a bit more common than you think.
In fact, 6 out of 10 young adults now use online streaming as their primary source of television.
YouTube has around 9 billion monthly traffic visits, and it also happens to be one of the biggest advertisers on the web.
As you might’ve imagined, this leaves a massive opportunity for local business owners.
Even getting access to a tiny fraction of those users is amazing exposure.
And the fact that YouTube ads get seen more than any other form of video advertising?
That only sweetens the deal.
Just like with Facebook Ads, being one of the biggest advertisers on the web allows YouTube to get down to hyper-specifics when it comes to audience.
This means you can get your ads in front of precisely the right people at precisely the right time.
Now pair this with the highly-engaging nature of video content, and you’ve got a recipe for high-ROI success.
Getting more business through YouTube isn’t as hard as you might think, either.
Local digital advertising with Instagram
A few years ago, you might’ve been called crazy if you planned on using a platform like Instagram to market your business.
While it’s true that Instagram is filled with selfies and food pics galore, it’s also the second most downloaded app on the Apple store. The social media platform also boasts an impressive 1 billion monthly users.
You’ve probably noticed the trend already, but these online platforms are getting loads of users logging in regularly.
Instagram is no exception to this, with 63% of its users logging in every single day.
Instagram marketing for a local business can be a multifaceted approach. There’s the option to grow your business page organically, or you can make use of Instagram’s own ad platform.
The great thing about advertising on Instagram is that it’s linked with Facebook. So if you’re running ads on one platform, it’s easy to run ads on the other seamlessly to gain access to both audiences.
Running your Facebook Ads on Instagram (or vice versa) only takes a few clicks of a button.
Local SEO and content marketing
Now on to one of the big ones: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
For those unfamiliar with the term, SEO is a way of optimizing your website to appear higher on search results through Google or other search engines like Bing.
SEO is one of the best methods of organic advertising out there, but it also takes some time to develop a good strategy.
When you first implement search engine optimization, it might be a bit before you see the fruits of your labor, but patience is the name of the game. While it may be one of the more time-intensive advertising methods, it can also have one of the best ROI’s you’ll see.
It’s a long-term marketing strategy, where you create content on your website that’s optimized for Google and user experience. Unlike other forms of marketing that you need to pay for directly, you’re exchanging your stellar website content for a top spot on a Google search.
Consider these stats for a moment:
- Local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit a store within one day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
- 46% of all Google searches are related to something local.
Google sees at least 2 trillion searches per year.
So if we put together these numbers, we can estimate that at least 960 billion Google searches are related to something local per year.
Now, if 28% of those searches result in purchases, that’d mean around 268.8 billion local Google searches end with a purchase every single year. Also, consider the fact that 75% of searchers never go past the first page of results.
With all that being said, it’s no wonder why so many businesses, big and small, are doing all they can to get on to that first page.
Leveraging an email list for email marketing
Email is undoubtedly one of the digital advertising classics.
There’s a notion out there that social media is starting to replace email marketing.
Here’s the thing, though:
Email marketing is here to stay, and it’s not going anywhere soon.
Think about it this way: if social media was really replacing email, then why do all of the social media platforms require that you use an email to sign up?
It’s because even massive platforms like Facebook recognize the power of email.
But let’s get into the actual numbers.
- Email marketing has an average return on investment of 44:1 for every dollar spent, a trend that’s only on course to continue.
- 2 out of 3 millennials say they’ve been influenced to make a purchase by promotional emails in the past.
Social media has definitely earned its spot as prime real estate for ads, but these stats show that we shouldn’t forget about email marketing anytime soon.
Traditional advertising is a declining medium
Traditional advertising just isn’t the monster that it used to be.
Just take a look at the newspaper industry, which has seen its yearly ad revenue drop by over 35 billion USD since 2006.
So is traditional advertising dead?
No. Well, not yet anyway.
Local TV advertising isn’t what it used to be, but there’s a reason you still see ads on TV. A study from Statista estimates that TV advertising revenue in the U.S. is set to grow by 1.4% between 2018 and 2023.
So while growth isn’t done and certain avenues aren’t exactly dead, they look like they’re starting to plateau.
Need help with your digital marketing strategy for your local business?
The proof is in the pudding. The statistics are there. And there’s no doubt about it – digital marketing for local businesses is the way to go.
While traditional advertising is always an option, the ROI for traditional advertising is much lower. You need to be targeting a hyper-specific audience to achieve your dream results for your business.
Yes, digital advertising may bring on a new world of the unknown, but there are easy ways around that.
Lucky for you, our professionals here at LiftIntent are ready to help you, with full transparency.
Are you ready to drive insane results for your local business? Contact us today to take your business to the next level. Don’t forget to request our media kit and review our case studies.