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5 Easy Ways to Take Your Marketing Local

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 1.39.45 PMBack 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.
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Introducing the Corporate-to-Local Marketing Guide for Financial Services Companies [New eBook]

In a recent study by Google, 94% of consumers search for local information on their smartphones and 85% of those people take action based on the search results – meaning they’ll visit a local business or call a sales professional. As the buyer’s journey has largely shifted online, it is increasingly important for companies, especially trust-based companies within the financial services and insurance industry, to connect with consumers where they are researching, seeking advice, or contemplating a purchase.
In our latest ebook, Making the Shift from Corporate to Local Marketing: Five Ways to Maximize Advisor Success in the Digital Age, we outline how financial services companies can leverage new technologies to engage clients and prospects at the local level.
Download the ebook to learn how to leverage local marketing tactics into your overall marketing strategy by:

  • Aligning your corporate brand with your local presence
  • Localizing your advisor and agent websites
  • Creating and maintaining easily shareable and accessible content across all digital channels
  • Enabling deeper client relationships through personalized communication
  • Integrating social media into your local events strategy

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Local Facebook fans beat corporate fans 40 to 1

Earlier today, independent research group Mainstay Salire released a white paper comparing the fans of corporate and local Facebook pages. According to Mainstay’s data, the typical Facebook post from a local Page reaches five times the percentage of fans as a corporate post, and eight times as many of the fans reached will engage with that post. (Engagement could mean anything from viewing a photo or watching a video to clicking a link, liking, commenting, or sharing.)
Combining those two factors—five times reach and eight times engagement—Mainstay concludes that a local fan is 40 times more valuable than a corporate fan on Facebook.
This new data confirms what has been reiterated time and again both by Facebook (as evident in this fMC conversation between Facebook VP David Fischer and Walmart CMO Stephen Quinn) as well as Hearsay Social, where making the enterprise successful on social at the local level has always been our top priority.
Our design team whipped up an infographic to visualize exactly how this plays out when you trace the path from a Page post to actual engagement on the user level:

What else can we learn about the benefit of local pages? Depending on your social media goals, there are benefits across the board, though it’s clear now that just accumulating as many fans as possible shouldn’t be the end goal.

1. Getting more link clicks

We know from our research that a large portions of posts on social media contain links. Most people post those links in hopes that someone will click them, but are people more likely to click links from bigger or smaller pages? As it turns out, smaller pages see higher clickthrough rates per fan. Not only do more fans see the link, but more of those that see the link are likely to click it.

2. Using more effective media types

Not all post types are equal. We looked at this before but it is even more obvious when comparing corporate and local pages. Looking at “People Talking About This” (PTAT), which is a count of everyone that has commented on, liked, or shared your post, we can see that certain types of posts get more traction. For local pages, photos are the most effective form of media, followed by status updates, videos, and, last of all, links. Interestingly, photos are the second most effective media type for corporate pages, trailing videos. My take is that large corporate pages videos get the most PTAT/Reach because corporate has a bigger budget and thus higher production value on the videos they produce and post to Facebook.

3. Avoiding negative feedback

Not everyone is aware of the negative feedback metrics on Facebook but they are very important. When your posts appear in someone’s News Feed, the user can choose to hide the story or to unsubscribe from your page’s posts completely. In either instance, you would lose the opportunity to reach that person with your content. Looking at the percentage of fans reached who submit negative feedback, we found that larger pages are more likely to elicit negative feedback. This could be caused by many factors, but it most likely comes down to lack of interesting, original content from corporate.
To conclude, we cannot say enough how important it is to make sure you update your Facebook timeline with unique, timely, and relevant content to the user. And, for large enterprises struggling to engage with individuals across social, the key lies in unlocking the power of local.
Feel free to share in the comments any trends you’ve noticed on your own social media pages! And be sure to download the Mainstay report, The Power of Going Local: Comparing the Impact of Corporate vs. Local Facebook Pages.