When marketers are managing ad copy for a large brand with multiple locations, it can be a challenge to keep the messaging consistent.
Companies want tailored, local ads for each region they serve to speak to the differences in audiences (or products) between locations. At the same time, companies also want to preserve brand consistency.
So, can tailored strategies and cohesiveness coexist? And why is brand consistency important to your boss? The answers are yes, and it's complicated. In this post, we'll dive into how brand managers can implement a targeted approach within brand guidelines, while keeping corporate happy.
Effectiveness of Location Targeting
The numbers prove it: location targeting for ads is effective. To demonstrate the power of location-specific messaging, Tiger Pistol conducted compelling research. In three case studies, the business found that ads run from a local Facebook Business Page were less costly and more effective than those run at the brand level.
On average, local ads cost half as much and had double the click-through rate of ads that ran nationally. And user behavior doesn't suggest any imminent reversal of these trends. The more targeted your ads, the better the return on your spend, for one simple reason: relevancy. The more relevant your messaging is to the audience to which you're serving ads, the more likely that audience is to click.
But if you have numerous locations, it doesn't make sense, logistically or otherwise, to have completely different ads for each region. Let's talk about the elements that are key to your brand, and why they should be protected.
Why Is Brand Consistency Important?
If you're working for a well-known company, you want to leverage that awareness by staying true to its recognizable brand elements. Chances are, these have already been defined by your corporate marketing department via a set of branding guidelines.
Generally, the most important elements of your ad creative are:
- Images (photos, graphics, video and illustrations)
- Colors and fonts
Your brand's logo, colors and fonts are highly visual and instantly create an association in the mind of your audience. Making that a focal point in your ad message will tap into that association and allow you space to localize other ad content.
Imagery is a great place to add a local touch. Just be sure to stick within your brand images guidelines so that it feels like the local representation of the brand. Does your company use people-based images with an airy-tone, is it more action-based with a professional-tone? There is a common thread that ties your brands marketing together, including that in your local images will ensure the message stands out.
Messaging will likely be a balanced combination of brand messaging and offers/promotions. While the statistics show local messaging is more effective, that doesn't mean oversight is unnecessary. Ideally, people at every level will understand the importance of delivering ads that speak to the local user while staying within brand guidelines. When that's established, you can start to think about how ads can be differentiated between regions.
Determine Key Differentiators Between Locations
How you distinguish your local ads from brand-level ads will depend on what distinguishes your branches. If the products, services and offers are the same, it may be a simple matter of incorporating the name of the region or specific addresses into your ads.
If there's a bit more room for creativity, you might also choose images native to that region. For instance, show images of your individual locations or use photos of the activities or people that define the area (e.g. skiers in Colorado or surfers in California). Using local lingo and colloquialisms can also be effective, so long as it suits your overall brand.
When certain locations have special offerings, it's key to highlight this in your ads, as well as on your social media profiles and website. Unique products and special sales tend to be especially enticing to audiences.
New location openings should also have unique ads to get the community excited about your presence. Bigger brands can play up tried-and-true value props, while lesser-known companies can promote new branches with an awareness campaign centered on telling everyone what you're about (and perhaps including a discount code).
As with most marketing efforts, maintaining brand consistency and giving autonomy to local branches is a fine balance. Ensure the whole team knows your branding guidelines, and has the creativity and ingenuity to differentiate locations in a cohesive, effective way.