Keep Your Marketing Efforts Local

Especially if you’re a smaller brand with one, or a couple, location(s) in one general area: you don’t want or need to waste money on national efforts. Unless you have, or are trying to build out an e-commerce aspect to your business.

Recently, I was approached to purchase ad space in a national magazine—for a home building/remodeling service in Massachusetts. They couldn’t even provide data regarding the geographical distribution, so it was clearly a pass. No matter how bright and shiny an opportunity may seem, you must always ask—what can this do for my brand?

Small, Local Brands

Of course you should embrace localization efforts. Embrace the community you are a part of; let them know you’re proud and thankful to be there. It would make no sense to pay for national space if you aren’t able to serve national audiences.

There’s a podcast I listen to via YouTube, which is put on by a fairly popular ‘celebrity.’ The YouTube videos receive great views, and I’m sure the other platforms serve an equal or greater amount of impressions. While the podcaster is based in LA, I would surmise that the majority of his audience is not. However, a local pizza restaurant—with one location—is one of his most frequent sponsors. Every single time he runs through the ad, I think: “how much money is this brand throwing down the drain?”

If the pizza restaurant wanted to attract tourists during their time in LA, it would likely be cheaper and more effective to pay for ad space at LAX. Or to target a national social media audience with Los Angeles, Travel, and Pizza as interests. Even sponsoring posts on the @VisitCalifornia Instagram account.

If this pizza restaurant sold their sauce, dough, cookbook, or something (other than their shirts) online—maybe I’d give it to them. Instead, they use the space to promote their address and to get people to order pizza from them. Something I’d pretty confidently bet that seventy percent of this podcast’s audience couldn’t do once, let alone with any level of frequency.

Smaller, local brands can still have national audiences. These are best built online. And, they’re really only worth investing in if you have the ability to sell to them.

If you don’t have e-commerce capabilities, or potential, invest in this before national advertising efforts.

Larger, National Brands

As your brand, business, and profits grow: so should your budgets. If you’ve built up to a national scale, national advertising efforts make sense. However, their effectiveness is often limited. By publishing in a national magazine, or on national television, you cast a broad net to try and catch a broad audience.

With the same budget, and a little more thought you could create more localized efforts that reach more specific audiences interested and able to take action with your brand. In addition, you can reach these audiences in ways more relatable to them. The effectiveness of a message, and its relativity to its audience are highly correlated.

Currently, I live in New Hampshire and receive what I would consider to be a high number of television ads for a national fast food brand. The reason I’d consider it high? We don’t have a single location in our state. While the brand is quite large, and can afford this oversight, there’s clearly money that could be better spent.

Apartments.com also tries here, but they could try just a bit harder.

Instead of having Jeff Goldblum record fifteen or twenty different full sentences, they had him record fifteen or twenty different city names. By themselves. Then, spliced them (quite obviously) into that original base sentence.

I am sure Mr. Goldblum requires quite the fee. However, it would have been nice to spend a little more time here for production value. We’ll still give them the credit. This small detail makes a big difference.

Go Local, Not Loco

Taking the time and effort to craft more localized advertising campaigns will not only decrease your advertising spend, but increase your return on investment. By targeting your efforts, you can spend less money but receive a greater return.

Don’t go crazy trying to think of campaigns that will appeal to the masses. Think of ways to represent your brand in a way that will attract the clients you want and need to attract. Then, explore ways to get this message, and those visuals, in front of the right audiences, in the right way, at the right time.

How important to you think localized efforts are in marketing? Besides social media, what are some ways to effectively localize your efforts? Let’s brainstorm below.

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