Are you taking advantage of all that local marketing has to offer? Amazon Local Services (ALS) is a relatively new and simple way for customers to buy services from local providers, like carpenters, auto mechanics, and electricians. ALS’s rollout last year is prompting other technology providers to consider doing something similar.
The introduction of more ALS-types services would be good news for consumers. It would also be good news for local small businesses. But it’s just one of a growing number of marketing trends now occurring that are re-shaping the local landscape and the way local businesses promote themselves. Businesses that take advantage of these trends can create new revenue streams, boost profitability, and increase their survivability long-term.
Below are eight additional local marketing trends that can help you boost business if you serve a local marketplace.
Simpler Social Media Management
Use of customer relationship management software is increasing—and with good reason. Today’s software provides simpler, more efficient social media account management—all while integrating more and more social media platforms. These refinements allow businesses to respond faster and easier to online customers.
Reviews Gaining More Power
Look for the value of reviews to increase in 2015. A rise in the number of customers favoring reviews started last year. Experts expect this trend to reach its optimum strength in 2015. Reviews are great for people looking for brands, products, and services on the web.
Increased Use of All-In-One Marketing Tools
Marketers are looking for tools that make their jobs simpler and easier. The number of tools, software, and apps that allow them to cover many marketing fronts is growing. Meanwhile, point solutions, such as Richrelevance in web personalization, are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Emarketer’s All-in-One Marketing tool is an example.
Still using bulk emails and text messaging? Those are so old school. Just because someone signs up to get your bulk emails doesn’t mean he or she is opening them up and reading them. Micro-targeted messaging lets you drill down into smaller customer segments to provide a much more targeted, personalized message. SMS Messaging is one way to boost personalization.
From cell phones to tablets to wearable watches, the world is going mobile. Savvy companies are making sure their websites are optimized for the full range of devices. It lets you reach out and touch customers with timely offers and mobile coupons. Expect mobile payments to also accelerate. People are using mobile devices to pay for just about everything.
Upswing in Location Based Targeting
Want to improve the ROI on your digital ads? How about their relevancy? Local advertisers can do both using location targeting tools and services. This marketing approach lets you customize display ads to audiences in different locations using demographic data, such as income, age, or home ownership. Two tools for doing this are Twilert and WeLink.
Increased Use of PDAs
A recent survey by Thrive Analytics indicates that 56 percent of smart phone users employ personal digital assistants (PDAs) to search for local information. In addition, 64 percent of users use such services weekly, while 50 percent of use occurs when users are searching locally. Invest in tools that make sure businesses are available and searchable by all PDAs, like Siri, Google Now, and Cortana.
More companies linking online/offline worlds — Numerous tools exist to link the offline world with the online one by tying digital ads to in-store visits, sales and traffic. Take advantage of these tools. They can help you refine your digital marketing strategies and boost profitability. Tools in this category include Datalogix, Placed, ADometry, and LiveRamp.
These eight trends are just a sampling of what’s happening in local marketing. Not all of them apply to every local business, but at least some apply to every business. So if you own a local business, investigate local marketing tools, like Amazon Local Services, to see which ones fit your needs. They boost profitability, competitiveness, and survivability. They can be game changers.