How do you get your frequency up for a local advertising campaign? Advertisers know that people that visit local news sites, typically only go one to three times a month. And big national brands are spending a quarter of their marketing budgets on local campaigns.
For a big brand, the challenge is justifying the low frequency of the ads to reach the local market. Daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial were meant to “rescue” the local advertising market but aren’t proven as a cost-effective solution. Google recently announced their attempt to crack this nut with new products for local businesses to communicate with customers. The problem isn’t that local advertising doesn’t work – it is that it needs to be reimagined from the beginning.
Local advertising starts with understanding the interests of the local audience. Using social data and geo-targeting, Networked Insights has been able to help identify the differences in purchase and consideration drivers in different DMAs for a product category. The value of these insights is in informing the messaging, content and creative, to ensure it is aligned to what is going on in the local market. Content is first, the technology is second. Local social intelligence will help marketers understand what channels will be the most efficient and effective in optimizing a campaign, but you need to know what the message is first.
The second step is ensuring social media and search engine integration in the campaign, so the need for frequency is supported. Facebook allows for geo-targeting for content. Twitter provides geo-targeting for advertising. Local media publishers need to start partnering with social media channels to deliver relevant advertising and invest in building their own profile in social networks. Brands will respond to this shift and align ad spend to local publishers. Advertisers need to cross the fence and work more closely with social media community managers from the start of a campaign idea.
You don’t need to spend more on getting frequency; you need to change-up your mindset and allocate resources in different places. This collaboration can also provide you with other tracking metrics, such as Twitter hashtags, bitly, and qualitative analysis of local purchase and consideration conversation. By understanding what your audience will share, your campaign will go further without spending more on media buy and distribution.
It is also important to understand the local influencers – but not those that just have a massive Twitter following. There are people that have only a few thousand followers, and are already your brand advocates. These brand advocates already understand your ideas and brand proposition and have been waiting for the chance to help your brand. Help them, help you. They are an advertising channel and the most powerful one of all – word of mouth!
We can’t talk about So-Lo-Mo without the mobile component. Mobile is powerful when talking to customers that are in the store. Because a customer needs to “opt-in,” the content and message need to be tailored for them. There are channels like Pulse, which aggregate local content and deals for consumers, and serve it up via mobile applications. But again, a campaign on a local level, no matter the channel, takes you back to understanding your local audience and using those social data insights to ensure you are aligned to their needs so you make the best marketing decisions.
It is time to think beyond the click when it comes to local digital advertising and think more about marketing integration based on local audience intelligence. These local consumer insights are waiting for you in social data.