Most of my local clients over the years have had one thing in common – shoestring marketing budgets. With so little money set aside specifically for marketing, there was usually much deliberation over where they should invest those marketing dollars to increase their local discovery.
As a local business, you may recognize some of the most common recommendations for a local marketing strategy:
1. Website (for marketing landing pages, local SEO, directions, etc.)
2. Social Marketing (Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
3. Video Marketing (YouTube — where you host videos for your other online pages)
4. Optimized Local Directory Listings (Yelp, Google Places/Plus, etc.)
So, let’s say that you followed the common path of recommendations and now have a website, a Facebook page, a few YouTube videos and a presence on several of the highest traffic, online directories. Now what?
What I’d like to do is show you how you can take some of your foundational marketing pieces and easily add display advertising to your current marketing strategy.
Integrating Display Advertising Into A Local Marketing Strategy
In traditional search marketing (search engine optimization or pay-per-click), when your potential customer types in the keywords for [Manhattan pizza], they get local search results for pizza restaurants.
Display is very different. Your potential customer is browsing the Internet but probably isn’t looking specifically for pizza in or around Manhattan at this moment. Oh, but they have been looking in the very recent past, so display networks are smart enough to capture that interest in pizza along with the time frame around the content they consumed, as well as the searcher’s geographic location.
Now, getting your coupon, ad, promotion or banner in front of a potential customer may be as simple as getting in front of them while they are checking the weather, reading a news article or watching YouTube videos.
Here are some strategies where combining your existing online marketing with display advertising could reach potential local customers:
1. When Customers Are Reading Relevant Content OnlineConcept: your potential customer may be reading restaurant reviews on Yelp or Zagat, or they could be reading a blog post that is raving about a new item on your competitor’s menu.
How to Implement: through media buys or using keywords for targeting in Google’s Display Network or Bing’s Content Network. With keyword targeting, you will want to use a good number of conversational words (not the same words people use for SEO or finding you in a search engine) that are relevant to your business. For example: [new hairstyle] would be a good keyword for a local hair salon or [how to change a tire] would be a good keyword for a tire shop.
Cost: usually inexpensive when done in-house, but it can also be risky if you don’t know what you are doing or how to track where your ads are being shown. Google has some great, free resources on how to set up your Google display campaigns.
Tips: you can start with a very small budget when you are geo-targeting one or two ZIP codes or targeting a small local radius around your business. If you are trying to build your social presence, consider an ad campaign that directs searchers to follow you on Facebook or Twitter for Facebook or Twitter “only” discounts and specials.
2. Targeting Specific Sites & Landing PagesConcept: you choose the specific sites and/or landing pages on a site (example: travel.cnn.com) where you want your ads to show. For B2B (such as a cost-per-acquisition) targeting, a good managed placement would be Manta.com, but for a restaurant a good managed placement might be Zagat.com. Many online directories and review sites are available in the Google Display Network and in other ad networks for ad placement.
How to Implement: a campaign for targeting specific URLs (managed placements) can be easily set up in the Google Display Network. If you are working with another ad network, ask them about this type of targeting. They may call it something different (like white list targeting) but many ad networks do offer this type of targeting. You will need at least one, but preferably two or three, sets of banner ads in the most common sizes for this strategy.
Cost: the cost will be a little more than keyword targeting, but banner ads normally outperform text ads (which are commonly used in keyword targeted campaigns).
Tip: this is a great strategy for targeting YouTube channels that match your audience (example: auto stores might target do-it-yourself mechanic’s YouTube channels). Another tip is to possibly use your profile page for the managed placement you are targeting as your landing page (such as your Manta profile if you are using managed placements on Manta, or to your YouTube channel if you are placing ads in YouTube videos or channel pages).
3. Using Interest-Based & Behavioral TargetingConcept: display networks have kept a historical log on your potential client, and they know their general location (even down to a ZIP code), as well as their interests (such as pizza, gardening or sports). Most searchers do not realize you can see and change your interests in Google, but if you are curious about what you may be personally targeted for advertising from Google, it is under your Ads Preference page.
How to Implement: media buys based on interests or behavioral targeting and interest-based targeting in Google’s Display Network.
Cost: these clicks will cost more in the Google Display network because of the micro targeting, but you will also see less traffic for interest targeting when you target a small geographic area.
Tips: this traffic is very focused and would be very low for small geographic areas; so, get the most out of your ads by using very targeted ad copy that includes the geographical information in the ad (example: Fort Worth barber shop. 20 years of happy customers. Click here for 50% coupon for your first visit)
Do you use any of these strategies already? What other display advertising strategies does your local business use?
Image via Shutterstock used under license.
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