Local is where it's at
The challenge of and opportunity that comes with effective local digital marketing
Optimising your online presence is an important part of everyday business, however, Covid-19 has raised the stakes. Consumers have slowed down, they are relying on local retailers for goods and they are looking for meaningful one-to-one interactions. Footfall across Irish shopping streets has dropped and online browsing habits have increased by 61% in recent months. Consumers are online more than they were before, most are working from home and open to new connections.
Online habits may eventually decrease to pre-covid levels, however, as business owners in retail we face the opportunity to grasp the increased online demand that exists at the moment. “We have a chance to make it happen” observes New York Times’ columnist Kevin Roose when discussing the power of social media during this period of Covid-19. The question we want to answer today is what strategies should you use to build these meaningful connections?
LOCAL IS WHERE IT’S AT
Location, location, location; it’s more important than ever to have local insight and mindset when connecting with customers. This is often easier for individual businesses, however, a challenge arises for multi-venue businesses who are trying to stay local from a different region i.e Headquarters (HQ). A recent study by LM Benchmark shows that three out of four online engagements are happening on local profiles rather than HQ profiles. The study also showed that 80% of those consumers that are engaging on those local profiles are influenced by the content they are finding. Finally, 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day. The research stacks up; consumers are engaging more with local profiles versus HQ profiles, the influence rate of local content is higher and it is leading to a shorter buying journey. ‘Small and authentic will win over big and generic everytime’. Focusing on your stores' individual online profiles and audiences will allow you to deliver more targeted messaging that grows awareness and meaningful connections to drive sales.
LOCAL FOR SCALE
Local marketing isn’t a new concept but neither is the challenge of getting it right. The benefits of thinking and acting local are clear, but how do you make it happen at scale? The challenge is clear with hundreds of locations, stakeholders, profiles, review sites and communities with different audiences. This is where you need a ‘digital tool that will create connections’ but just like new social channels it needs to be adopted. In a recent US study with 250 content marketing managers 73% cited a lack of technology and know-how as the biggest blocker in successfully managing content across their entire estate. A further 22% cited a lack of process. Interestingly 60% of them also cited communication silos within their businesses as another challenge.
Acknowledging and adapting to what the research says is important. As we’ve seen, consumers want connections at a local level, on active local pages with local content. At SocioLocal our customers have overcome the challenge of connecting with their customers at a local level by adopting technology which allows them to bridge the gap between teams, stores and local audiences.
We’re an Irish founded software company and our mission is to connect our customers with their customers at a local level. We’ve built an innovative simple to use platform “Socio Connect” that enables that relationship. We enable customers to manage social media and reputation with key local data insights delivered to them as well as many other features including the ability to run ads on Facebook and Instagram. Finally, we make it simple for our customers to digest success with our easy to read analytics and reporting engine.