Back in the old days — meaning before the Internet — all business was local. People actually went to their banks, barbers and supermarkets in their local neighborhoods. Shopkeepers and owners knew their customers by name and were able to easily connect with them, learn their preferences, and build trusted relationships. Face-to-face interaction was often a prerequisite for making a purchase and eye-to-eye contact was essential to gaining one’s trust.
Well, times have changed.
Today, people do things vastly differently when it comes to making purchase decisions. People can find whatever information they want 24/7 online, and they’ve usually made up their minds before they even contact a service provider. And although the way people research, interact, and transact has shifted online, people are still looking to connect with trusted professionals for many types of services and products.
Yet, from a local perspective, global corporate teams may be seen as out of touch, still trying to force-fit corporate messaging that doesn’t speak to local consumer needs and cultural realities. To combat this reality, companies must seek to localize their business and provide personalized interactions, which are key to both in-person and online sales. This includes investing more in local marketing channels — e.g. social, mobile, and web — because that’s where clients and prospects are engaging.
Here are five ways to shift your marketing strategy to the local level.
1. Align your corporate brand with your local presence
Brand consistency is an important part of building trust and growing business. Today’s companies must learn to “think global, act local” by revitalizing its marketing organizations for greater success. This means humanizing the corporate brand by sticking to its core values of helping people and then localizing across local markets, as well as shortening the feedback loop between corporate and local teams to ensure brand consistencies and guidelines.
2. Optimize your advisor websites for mobile
If you’re trying to drive local traffic to your advisor websites, they must be optimized for mobile. More local searches are conducted on mobile devices and tablets than desktops and laptops. If your advisor websites are not mobile-optimized, your company will simply not show up in local search results. What’s more, Google now gives ranking preference to mobile-friendly sites, so this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
3. Streamline the way local teams access and share content
Although this tactic seems intuitive, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for local teams to access a rich library of corporate assets, campaign resources, and brand guidelines if you want to improve corporate-local brand alignment and visual consistency. By using a single, central technology for content selection, approval, and sharing across dozens of diverse local markets, you can have greater efficiencies and economies at scale in your marketing operations.
4. Deepen client relationships through personalized communications
Trust is a critical component in building lasting advisor-client relationships. In a digitally-crowded world it’s becoming harder and harder for clients to tune-out the noise from spam-like, non-personalized marketing communications — i.e. canned corporate jargon and non-relevant messaging from corporate brands. One way to meet this challenge is to rethink your approach to email by providing more personal and personalized experiences.
5. Integrate social media into your local events-based strategy
Finally, it’s important that you leverage the power of social media to amplify your advisors’ local events while raising awareness back to the corporate brand. This might include using Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to amplify local promotions through the local community activities of your agents and advisors. Volunteering in community services days, participating in mentoring programs, or sponsoring a local sports Little League, for example, are all social media-worthy events that help establish your local teams as trusted professionals within their local communities.
These five strategies are a good start to a solid local marketing program. Supplementing these tactics with traditional marketing initiatives will establish your company as a leading industry authority in your local areas.
For more insights on how to shift to a local marketing strategy, download our latest ebook: Making the Shift From Corporate to Local Marketing: Five Ways to Maximize Advisor Success in the Digital Age.