How Businesses Can Leverage Local Search Data to Improve Marketing Strategies
Geo-Targeted Mobile Ad Revenues are expected to reach $18.2 Billion by 2019 which is up significantly from just $6.8 billion in 2015. Locational data is now an essential tool for businesses to convert shoppers from searching online to making purchases in store. It allows them to target local customers who are ready to buy, better understand the customer experience and stay competitive on their home turf.
Unfortunately, how and when to use this type of data can be hard to understand without the proper tools. That is why many companies are turning to software services and local marketing tech that helps to better manage and analyze locational data.
Locational Data is the missing link
Locational data has made headway as the new biggest trend, because it provides marketers with clarity. It is the missing link that helps better understand customer opinions and shopping trends, and ultimately helps your business make more informed decisions like who to target, when to reach them and what message to deliver.
Why is it so effective?
- It’s Accessible: Customers are more comfortable leaving location data on – 9 out of 10 people keep their locations services switched to “On”
- It’s Personalized:71% of people prefer personalized messages and by personalizing your messages to their location you are much more likely to show them something relevant
- It’s Timely: Real time location data gives brands the opportunity to target people at precisely the correct moments (like when they are near one of your store locations) in order to improve engagement and relevance
Incorporating a locational strategy into your marketing approach is the best way to start utilizing this new widely available data. Below are some examples of why it is so important to have location in mind when gathering new information about your customers and some examples for how to incorporate it into your strategy.
Local Marketing Success
24% of retailers saw an increase in sales when they used location based data to aid them in targeting customers. Knowledgeable brands do this by using tools like geo-location to target specific regions or cities that have had the highest number of conversions in the past. They then compare this data with purchase information to further refine and create highly targeted strategies that cater towards attracting customers at a local level.
Local is becoming the focus
Local search and review platforms like Google, Bing, Yelp and Facebook have continued to enhance their capabilities to better incorporate location specific marketing and deliver search results that place more significance on location.
These new advancements include Google’s focus on proximity, using it as the number one influencing factor for their local search rankings, Bing’s new improvements to their local results section that allow you to chat directly with bots and ask questions about the restaurant (i.e. do they have indoor/outdoor seating) and Facebook’s ability to track offline conversions so you can have a better idea of what is working when attracting people to your location. Finally, Yelp’s decision to only work with the most reputable companies, in order to provide the most accurate and valuable data possible to customers has shaken the local search industry.
The significance of these advancements from industry leaders goes to show how influential locational data is becoming among all facets of the local search marketing industry.
How to implement local into your marketing strategy:
Voice assistants are enabling better local search quality:
Along with the location craze, voice search popularity has been growing just as fast. About 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, and nearly 30% will be done without a screen (ie. via Amazon Alexa and Google Home). The very nature of voice search has been designed to incorporate the local intent of users searches.
To suit local requests, Siri and other voice assistants now have a direct integration with their partnering map applications. This means your new local strategies will be just as successful attracting customers over voice search. After all, if 20% of all searches are made through voice assistants, then you could be expanding your reach and winning over new customers with little effort. Right now, the best thing you can do is to optimize for organic local search in a manner that facilitates voice search. This can be done through a variety of different ways, which you can find here.
Targeting local customers through social media is far easier than you think. There are 3 great approaches for gaining more local followers on your social media. The first is to offer promotions to your followers in order to create buzz and brand loyalty. In doing this, your customers will be more inclined to follow you if they feel that they are getting something in return.
The second is to locally target customers through social media advertisements. Social media sites like Facebook do a great job of targeting local customers making it easy to get your name out there and reach new people.
Finally, sites like Snapchat and Instagram help to create a visual buzz and hype around your individual locations. With new integrations like SnapMaps and the ability to tag specific locations to photos on Instagram, customers can get a first hand look at what is really going on in your stores.
Accurate and consistent local listing information is critical to the success of any local strategy. 32% of customers won’t even consider a business if their contact information is incorrect and another 37% will dismiss you if your information is inconsistent across different sources, ie. different on Yelp and Google. If they aren’t properly listed, customers around your area won’t have any idea of where you are or what your hours of business are. You should also add attributes, posts, menus and options to make reservations or appointments to further distinguish your business from its competitors.
Your keywords should properly reflect your businesses characteristics and what you do. Part of this also includes adding specific keywords about your location and its characteristics. People who find your restaurant in a different state will most likely not be profitable to you. Adding your location’s characteristics in your keywords will help you attract more customers in your area and boost your revenue.
Local Terms To Lookout For in 2018:
These are some commonly used terms that are a must know for understanding the local environment
Look-alikes: Collecting anonymous data to create mini-profile target groups that have the same characteristics as an advertiser’s goal.
Designated Market Area (DMA): A population in a specific geographical area.
Geofence: A virtual mapped area used by brands to target messages to people at specific locations.
Identifier for Advertising (IDFA): A piece of location-based code within iPhones used for ad targeting.
Triangulation: The process of using multiple pieces of data to verify the accuracy of one piece of data.
Location accuracy: This measures how closely a company’s data matches to actual location coordinates in the real world.
Attribution: Determining that a piece of media drove a conversion.
First-party data: Data collected and stored directly by a company.
Third-party data: Data collected by another firm that’s used as an additional source for verifying the location.