Tale as old as time: a brand has hundreds of locations, yet gets no love from major search engines. But there is one detail that is often overlooked in this story of unrequited love: the need for brands to first consider the needs local customers when advertising.This oversight means a brand has failed to provide relevant, current and contextual value to the ones who matter most: customers. But by running social ad campaigns, providing useful contextual display ads, and even geo-targeting product information to keep up with mobile consumers, brands can consistently engage local searchers.
When your you create advertising campaigns with local intent, and utilize your data to create loyal customers, you encourage searchers and search engines love you. We’ve created a simple formula to make sure your brand gets the love it deserves:
LOCAL + LOYAL = LOVE
1. Utilize Your Quantitative Data to Get Local with your Advertising
Before you can get qualitative data on your customers, you must first strategize how to advertise locally. With over 2.5 quintillion bytes of quantitative data (both Small and Big) created by users every day, hyperlocal targeting is not a suggestion for brands anymore: it’s a requirement. Use your quantitative data to target by interest, location or even device.
“Small Data,” like business name, address and phone (NAP) information and store promotions, should also be a priority. When a brand is working to get found on search, it should start with a clean state of dependable location data. These give users on SERPs a good impression, and allow you to conduct search advertising with the right locations in mind. Google reports that 4 in 5 consumers want search ads customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings. Consumers actually prefer and act on location-based ads. And without solid location customization, customers can’t take actions past viewing your ads online.
“Big Data” allows brands to find hidden opportunities for improving customer retention. Brands can use the insights of Big Data to be relevant with in-store apps or even social media. Big Data can also help form a seamless omni-channel experience that 90% of customers expect. By giving your users the advertising and promotions they want to see, when and where they want to see them, you drive actions in-store. The more information that is generated, the more is at your disposal to give local customers and search engines value.
Within the purchase funnel, local advertising should move consumers down from familiarity through Big Data targeting, to driving consumer intent towards a location and eventually making a decision. If campaigns are conducted in a relevant, contextual way, brands can attract, guide and convert searchers into local brand enthusiasts.
To make conversion a reality, we suggest that brands use their data to get more granular: a campaign per location. This will create localized messages, keywords and bid strategies to more effectively use your marketing budget.
2. Utilize your Qualitative Data to Create Loyal Customers
Considering the fact that a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits up to 95% it is no shocker that customer loyalty must be a priority for brands. However, 61% of retailers still cite customer retention as their biggest challenge. For enterprise level brands, creating positive experiences across all locations can seem daunting, but getting started is the hardest part.
In the digital era, 88% of shoppers are performing research about your brand’s products/services online before buying in store. Ro successfully begin your customer service strategy, go to where where your customers are beginning their path-to-purchase online. Developing a digitized customer service strategy will help convert one time shoppers into loyal, engaged customers. Follow the three steps below to ignite your digitized customer service strategy:
Claim your Local Listings
By claiming listings for all locations across The Big Six, you’re insuring that your information is accurate and consistent. 72% of consumers state that social channels help them stay more engaged with brands, so the information your brand provides on these social channels has a high likelihood of reaching these engaged users. There is nothing more frustrating to a consumer than driving to the wrong address because they trusted a brand’s inaccurate location information.
Providing basic information regarding the location’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) is just the first step to claiming. The second is to create listings that provide deeper value. When your brand optimizes with events, promotions, and images from store locations, you give valuable context about your locations to searchers.
Listen to qualitative data
Once you get into context with users, use the qualitative information from your brand’s social channels as feedback. Marketers have been dreaming of personalized marketing campaigns for decades, and now this qualitative insight left on social channels helps create that. Tools like Brandify allow your business to filter qualitative online reviews and social media sites, observing which locations are thriving and which need to implement new strategies. From here your brand can effectively observe customer sentiment and create strong personalized advertising strategies.
Engage with Appropriate responses
Consumers engaging with brands via social media demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to those brands, making it imperative that your brand develops the platforms to engage with your social audience. Once your locations have been claimed and your brand listens to consumer sentiment on your social channel listings, you are now able to develop responses to consumers.
Responding to positive and negative online reviews has significant benefits for your brand including search engine results (SERP) visibility, and gaining more consumer trust. Additionally with social media, an appropriate response to consumer sentiment is a niched advertising campaign that anticipates customer needs.
Just this week, we saw the importance of accurate location information on social media with the Twitter and Foursquare partnership. Social media networks like these are providing brands with the opportunity to listen tand engage with consumers at a hyperlocal level. While monitoring location listings requires effort from brands, it is important that brands understand that the ‘trend’ of social media is actually a movement that customers are transitioning to for good.
3. Stay in Line with Algorithms to get Love from Search Engines
At the end of the day, no digital marketing strategy can be successful unless it is in line with search engine algorithms. With Google being the go-to engine for nearly 68% of users’ searches, it’s important to pay close attention to algorithmic shifts. Last summer, Google instituted its newest update to Local Search, Pigeon. At this point, we began to notice that this local shakeup was using local data improve accuracy and relevance and better connect with local searchers with nearby brands. With an algorithm so user-centric, having high quality location data must be in place to ensure that your location will be ranking no matter where a customer searches from. Now that 2015 is in full gear, much speculation has arisen about Google potentially instituting another algorithmic change that caters to the mobile-local searcher. Marketingland reported that 4 out of 5 customers use smartphones to shop. With this in mind, brands should already be equipped with mobile-minded tactics to push their content, local information, and advertising past that of the competition.
To satisfy both of these algorithmic shifts, local advertisers can win with radius targeting.This type of niched targeting allows us to focus narrowly on small areas around store locations, accessing a much smaller amount of people who are conducting local searches. Strategies like this are what will keep you ahead of the competition.The competition for radius-targeted auctions are higher, and is a sure way to get users to convert and bring returns on advertising investments. By weighing the customer experience more heavily in the way you advertising, your marketing strategies will focus more on clean and consistent data, something that search engines love to see.
Your brand’s success with customers depends on your marketing mindset. If you want to create deeper relationships with searchers and search engines, you need to use your data to narrowly target by device, channel and location. Get actionable insights from this data with a tool that works across every area of local SEO--- Brandify.
Use your data to get local. Engage and anticipate needs to drive loyalty. Get found because customers love you. Know if your brand is loved with Brandify. Get your free trial today!