The businesses that succeed in the rapidly-changing digital landscape are the ones who anticipate and adjust to local marketing trends. Retailers and services need an ongoing strategy or they’ll soon be left behind.
Drive-to-store marketing is rapidly becoming an essential investment among brick-and-mortar retailers worldwide, accounting for 54% of retail ad spend. According to a 2019 IHS Markit study, digital media will propel DTS advertising growth to claim 65% of the market by 2023.
This is good news for local businesses as it means that they are finding ways to thrive amidst the explosion of online sales. However, businesses must account for and exploit emerging digital marketing trends that impact their local visits, sales, reach and efficiency.
Here are five foolproof drive-to-store marketing tactics:
1. Optimise consumer searches with local-related keywords through SEO
Local SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of designing your website to help people who are looking for a business like yours find you first. These days, four in five consumers will use a search engine such as Google to do a local search. Consumers predominately act on these results, with over 70% who used a smartphone going on to visit a business within five miles.
One way to boost your online presence is to include local keyword phrases in your website content. You can utilise keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner to adjust your landing page to Google’s likely interpretation of the searcher’s intent.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: create keyword phrases for individual pages of your website based on consumers’ likely input in search engines. Be geographically specific. Neighbourhoods, landmarks, and area names are good keyword modifiers. If you have a London flower shop in Covent Garden, for example, you could use “King Street flower shop”, “flowers near Covent Garden”, or “best florist in West End” in your content. Remember, it’s important to optimise content by assigning each keyword phrase to the relevant page on your website.
2. Surge to the top with local intent
When customers are searching for a business or service, you want yours to stand out in the pack. Google and other search engines now employ algorithms that assume local intent. In other words, when your customers search online, Google analyses their geographical location, keywords and other data to rank results. In fact, nearly half of Google search queries contain local intent. Why not utilise this feature to drive foot traffic to your store?
When a potential customer carries out a search for a business, a couple of well-defined sections dominate the top half of the results page: paid ads and the local pack, or “snack pack.” The local pack is an organic and user-specific set, the top listings that Google is guessing are the most customised fit. Keep in mind, over 90% of searchers will choose businesses on the first page of results. What are some ways you can leverage your results to edge out the competition?
You can list your business on local links and respond to reviews. Customers also search on Facebook and online directories. It’s essential to maintain up-to-date profiles, ensuring the accuracy of addresses, phone number, and website across platforms. Drive-to-store marketing is the wave of the future for local businesses; keep calm, capture local intent and you won’t drown.
3. Put your business on the map.
One of the simplest ways to instantly raise your digital profile and drive customers to your store is to claim your Google My Business listing – yet 56% of businesses haven’t done this. Within Google My Business, input your business name and location(s), verify that your hours are up-to-date, include services, and add photos. This feature is linked to Google Maps – make sure your pin is in the correct location. Strategically define your business under Categories. You should also use Google posts to keep your customers engaged.
It’s not enough to claim your listing, you can amplify your local marketing by monitoring and maintaining your GMB, ensuring that your information is current and accurate. Here, you can also respond to customer reviews, highlight promotional offers, and look out for inaccurate edits.
4. Use geofencing to drive customers to your store.
Imagine a technology that allows you to customise an advertising creative to customers who wander near your shop. Or to capture customer decisions, based on their visits to your competitors. Geofencing, which relies on GPS location services, enables local businesses to identify and target customers in your area, send a location-based alert, and monitor customer product preferences. Geofencing not only drives foot traffic, but can enhance the customer experience through apps like the Product Locator. Over 50% of customers visit a specific retailer after receiving a location-based alert. Studies show that mobile is the fastest growing digital sector affecting local marketing. Retailers should take note of this trend and capture the opportunities of mobile use and geofencing.
5. Gear your website to local specific content.
Relate to your local customers by creating content that speaks directly to them. At the same time, rank in local searches while positioning your business as a leader and influencer in the community. This is where your business can shine while garnering significant results in search-to-store traffic. Ideas include writing blog posts about local news events or activities; including a map on your website; creating videos about causes that your business supports; and establishing individual pages dedicated to local-specific products or services.
The bottom line: There are multiple drive-to-store strategies your business can employ to drive foot traffic to your store. You can look to a reliable partner like Localistico for digital marketing expertise in leveling up your SEO, consolidating and monitoring data, and maximising your local marketing strategy.