The Age of Information is old news – we are now in the Age of Local advertising. Just as big data now means nothing unless it has been streamlined and focused, information in total means very little unless it is immediately relevant. The fastest way to make business information relevant to a person is to make that information local. Example – all else being equal, would you rather go to a shoe store down the street or one that is 100 miles away from you?
The newest online marketing tools and the most bloody online marketing battles are both focused on local audiences. Marketers in general have discovered that the wide net strategy of marketing is all but dead. Just because you have the potential to reach billions of people across the world using the Internet does not mean that you should try. You probably will reach those billions of people (over time, of course), and those billions of people will ignore you.
Local Marketing Follows the Money
Brands that have more than one location are spending more than a quarter of their marketing budget on LBM, otherwise known as location based marketing. 50% of companies overall are using the location data they aggregate from customers to target them. These statistics come from the Local Search Association, and the data that is collected by these companies to create local marketing is representative of billions of dollars already.
Direct mail, local TV and mobile marketing combined represent over $151 billion in terms of local advertising revenue in the United States. What this means is that even traditional media is looking to move more into the Age of Local. Overall, companies will spend more than $2 billion specifically for local online video. It doesn’t depend on who you ask anymore – all of the money and marketing is going towards local structures. The wide net variety marketing of the past is dead.
Competing in Your Local Space
Big companies have taken over the “generic digital space” by pricing everyone out of the competition. When it comes to generic keywords, small and medium-sized businesses simply do not have a chance to compete. The Internet is known as the great equalizer in terms of marketing budgets, but only if a company knows how to use that budget. Longtail keywords that are focused on localization is the avenue for smaller businesses to compete with international giants.
Not only are local companies that subscribe to the Age of Local competing, they are actually pulling ahead of enterprise-level companies that have yet to fully embrace the Age of Local.
Figuring out the Best Strategy
Now that the strategy is definitely “go local,” the question is not whether to focus on local as a strategy – it is figuring out how to do it. 39% of companies in the lead of mobile ad buying listed “lack of knowledge” as their number one concern. If you are looking to create a digital profile for yourself, it behooves you to learn about programmatic ad buying, especially in the mobile space.
Research companies that are on the cutting edge in your area. You can piggyback off of them for local advertising ideas to determine the best investments to get the impact that you need in the short term.
The bottom line is simple – if you want to go global, go local. The modern consumer and the major search engines both appreciate this strategy much more than general, wide net marketing.