The local market is where everyone competes — from mom/ pop businesses to national brands. While businesses competing in just a few local marketplaces have the luxury of focusing on only the markets where they operate, larger brands must compete in a myriad of local marketplaces to remain relevant in today’s highly competitive online and offline environment.
How does a brand like Harley Davidson market to target audiences in Texas? In California? In New York City? To thrive, they need to adapt their strategies to local marketplaces. Fortunately, there are a number of ways for them to do just that.
Local Marketplaces Are Everywhere
According to Forbes, nearly 75% of shoppers use their mobile phones while shopping. As many as 79% of these shoppers wind up making a purchase. Frequently, these shoppers are actually buying locally. When buyers use their smartphones to search for an item sold by a brand, they see a localized search results page because Google presents these shoppers with results associated with their geo-location. This is helpful to shoppers, since they're most likely to visit a the specific store in their own area.
Simplifying the Message
Many global brands simplify their message in a way that promotes brand recognition to each of their target audiences. For example, Allstate shows how they provide a personalized service in each of their local markets while emphasizing that all their customers, no matter their location, are in "good hands.” A simple message like “good hands” with the corresponding profile landing page of a local agent’s photo is easy to share and generate across multiple locations.
Keyword Ranking for Local Markets
For brands to compete in local markets, they must be easily identified in a shopper’s search results. That means the brand must create geolocation website pages that are crawlable by Google. Each page should be optimized for the locality, and it should include the brand’s local address, phone number, and business hours. By boosting keyword ranking in each target locality, brands can begin to stand out and attract local audiences. By failing to optimize for local SEO, a business can sink in the search results where it’s less likely to be noticed by busy consumers who seldom scroll beyond the first or second page of a search.
Sometimes a simplified message isn’t enough to appeal to each target audience. A marketing initiative that appeals to Wichita, Kansas might fall flat, even when translated, in a marketplace like Tokyo, Japan. Working with a professional marketing firm that's experienced working with local marketplaces can help big brands win with local audiences. With improved messaging and SEO optimization for the local marketplace in question, brands can more effectively define their brand for these local audiences, so they can continue to attract customers to their website and through their doors.