With the current recession, it may seem to be a difficult year for local businesses overall. The limited resources and restricted cashflow have forced many business owners to cut down on certain expenses and try to be creative when it comes to advertising. Local advertising is still powerful because it is focused and has a higher customer conversion rate.
The online market for local search advertising is actually growing compared to 2008, and that is why considering a combined local direct-marketing and local search strategy is a smart way to go. For all intents and purposes, this serves as the second part to our prior blog article. We talked about the benefit of combining search marketing with direct mail. We would like to highlight why local advertising is important and, especially, what the best way is to reach out to your local market and create that branding advantage that many business owners fail to do in this economy.
Why Local Advertising?
Local advertising is focused on your community, is well-targeted and is still the strongest way to brand your business. It is wise to advertise to those who are nearby and ready to convert as new customers or just to remind your loyal customers that you are still in the market.
Consider the Leaders
Whether it is print or internet advertising, focusing on your local market is important. Many businesses advertise, hoping to reach their local market while spending a considerable budget; but they fail to accomplish their goals for several reasons. It is good to set a budget, but it is wiser to set a realistic goal. When advertising locally, you need to consider how to maximize your ROI. For example, advertising in a publication such as Clipper Magazine is cost effective. You are not only getting a well-branded ad to represent your business, but are capturing the audience of the magazine as well–something that took more than 25 years to build! If you are considering a direct-mail resource, consider the best!
Why Add Internet Efforts to Your Budget?
First, local internet advertising, especially search marketing, has proven to work well and that is why its usage has increased tremendously in recent years. It has a better conversion rate than any other form of internet advertising since your business is located at the direct request of someone looking for your services. By combining your direct- marketing efforts and search, you are technically present online and not only in targeted print advertising.
Search marketing is not simple, however. It requires expertise and you need to know a few things to get the most for your money. Many search agencies will charge you a fixed percentage to start running your advertising campaign on search engines or targeted sites. Before using any search agency, you should get familiar with the industry to understand what the service requires. Paid search is advertising your business listing through paid search advertising programs (search engines or content site partners). Pay-per-click is the most popular form of paid search and it basically optimizes your ads to compete with others for a better position. The cost per click is calculated based on your quality score and bid. We think that charging clients hourly is a better system than a fixed percentage since optimizing the ad and monitoring it takes a few hours. Clipper Magazine’s Web division has Google-certified in-house staff to assist you and to manage your ads. Our goal is to make local search consulting and management accessible to local businesses, even those with a restricted budget.
The point: With the recession, focus on your local market and how to increase your ROI. You cannot afford to spend your advertising dollars on programs that are not trackable and are not delivering results.