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Local Digital Advertising: The Ins and Outs

Posted by Zuri Stanback on May 26, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Local digital advertisingLocal digital advertising makes it easier than ever for SMBs to match the presence of national brands. Even companies that have never advertised before are taking advantage of its ability to deliver prime customers at point-of-purchase.

Just one slice of this market — location-targeted mobile ads — is expected to grow from $8.5 billion last year to $26.7 billion in 2020, at which point local digital advertising spending is expected to capture 43% of mobile ad spend in the U.S., according to MarketingCharts.

But before you jump in, here are a few things you'll want to know.

Location, Location, Location (but Not Always)

Firstly, there's a critical difference between local advertising and "location-targeted mobile ads". The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently produced a guide defining it as follows: When it comes to digital media, "local" means the people and places typically associated with a particular area. When it comes to "location," however, you're talking about ads that reach consumers in a specific place at a specific time. They are not necessarily "local" people. Whatever approach you take to local media planning, be sure it's in line with your overall marketing objective, whether that's branding, driving traffic or something else.

Trust in Your Toolbox

With the information gathered by smartphones, you can find customers, engage them with meaningful content and stay with them through the purchase journey. Geofencing enables you to target consumers based on location. For instance, if you want to target runners, you can geofence around marathons, or around running stores. This helps you reach consumers strategically, based on their proximity to desired audiences. You can be as general or as granular as you like. The key is finding actionable data.

Whenever a person goes anywhere or does anything, their device creates a data point. A trusted media partner can help you make sense of this tidal wave of information by leveraging intelligent, optimized consumer profiles built from the aggregation of these points. In turn, this allows you to target, and speak directly to, the right person at the right time. Gone are the days of mass messaging — consumers today expect relevant ads and ignore anything that isn't.

Shop Local: It's Much More Than a Slogan

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of purchases in the U.S. still happen in physical stores. In the second quarter of 2015, e-commerce only accounted for 7.5 percent of total retail sales. This is where making optimal use of local digital advertising can make a difference that helps your business — by assisting your customers to find the perfect shopping experience, local or otherwise.

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