Why National Brands are Going Local for Marketing

National brands are largely taking a local approach to marketing their business. But, why? With the power of a big name behind them, do they really need to focus on local to get more customers and grow their business?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Here are five reasons why national brands are going local for their marketing.

Consumers Search with Local Intent

I don’t know about you, but when I search for a business, I’m typically using some kind of geo-modifier like “doctor near me” or “doctor in Dallas.” I want results for a  business near my location. And most consumers do, too. In fact, a Google study found that four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches.

Meaning that if your marketing strategy isn’t targeting the locations you’re operating in, you could be missing out on these searchers. And this goes for any type of marketing strategy: paid search, listings management, SEO, etc. According to one study, local marketing spend has been steadily increasing over the last five years with the largest increase expected this year. So, if you’re not targeting consumers searching locally, your customers are likely visiting local businesses or national brands currently investing in a local marketing strategy.

Customers are Reading (& Leaving) Local Reviews

Something you can’t afford to ignore are online reviews. You might be thinking: I didn’t create and don’t manage a local Yelp or Google My Business page. Nowadays, that doesn’t matter. Consumers can create these pages for your locations and leave reviews for your business that could be going unnoticed by you, but not your customers. Over 95% of consumers read reviews about local businesses, and 90% say positive reviews influenced their purchase decision, so managing your local online reputation should be a key focus of your marketing strategy.

Your Customers are Local

No matter where your business operates, your customers are local. Your business location in Topeka, Kansas, serves customers in Topeka, Kansas, just like your location in Miami, Florida, serves locals there. Sure, you may have the occasional out-of-town visitor or tourist, but you’re primarily serving those in your area. So it’s important to have a local presence wherever you operate.

This has led to many national brands establishing separate social media presences, microsites or landing pages, and listings (which are a must) for their different locations so they can tailor content and interactions to their customers there.

In one ReachLocal survey, 70% of local business respondents said social media marketing was effective at driving growth for their business. So, if it’s working for them at a local level, it can work for national brands at a local level, too. Chick-fil-a is one business that does this: They have different Twitter accounts for their locations that tweet pictures of employees and patrons, specials or events, and engage with customers specific to that location. It humanizes a big brand and creates a sense of community around their business.

Local Marketing Can Humanize Your Brand

One thing national brands have over local businesses is typically a larger budget. And many national brands are choosing to use this budget to invest in the communities they operate in. Sponsoring or hosting local events, offering location-specific promotions, and engaging with these communities on social media can all work to humanize your brand and help you become part of the fabric of the local communities you operate in. Marketing your national business locally gives you an opportunity to connect with all your customers while growing your business across the country.

A Local Marketing Strategy is Effective

As a national brand, you’re competing with other national businesses along with local businesses in your industry. And that can be difficult. While national marketing campaigns can help you build brand awareness, local marketing campaigns can help you reach consumers in a more targeted way and at a point when they’re searching for your goods and services. We’ve also found that large companies and corporations can benefit from a lower cost per click and higher return on investment by localizing their marketing.

Ready for Your National Brand to Go Local?

At ReachLocal, we have teams dedicated to helping large national brands market their business on both a large and local scale. Get started with one of our experts today to learn how you can effectively market your business where it matters most.

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Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Sr. Marketing Manager for USA TODAY NETWORK | LOCALiQ. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and her dogs.

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