Marketing Locally, Not Globally

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Marketing Locally, Not Globally

It’s easy to search the web and see what the “other guys” are doing – not just around the corner, but clear across the continent. But, what you should be doing – more than anything else – is thinking and marketing locally. Why?

For starters, 1/5th of all Google searches are “local” in nature. Jump that up to 40% when it comes to mobile searches. So, if you’re looking for a gimmick that really works – you want a local marketing strategy.

Luckily, improving the way you market on a local level isn’t all that hard – and you can still take a cue from what your favorite “maverick” dealership in Albuquerque or Santa Barbara if you’d like. You just need to infuse messages and methodologies to ensure local prospects are seeing what it is that you’re doing.

Localize Your Website – For starters, when it comes to your website, you want to make sure your content is locally optimized. Your automotive marketing agency can help you do this – or, if you’re web savvy, you can certainly manage this on your own. Optimize for long tail keywords and not just the short tails – for example, if your used car dealership is in Omaha and you’re only trying to optimize for the city name, you’re going to have a LOT more competition for attention than if you optimized for “used car dealer Omaha”. Going after the long tail keywords like this helps to ensure your website will pop up on the first page of search. And, if you diversify these keywords and optimize for long tails across a plethora of potential searches – using things like brand names, neighborhoods or smaller cities and towns in your area and beyond – you’ll likely perform even better.

Optimize For Mobile – Optimize your website for mobile too. If 40% of customers are looking for local stuff via their mobile devices, your website should be easy to view on said devices. Plus, Google tends to give better scores to sites that are mobile optimized.

The Hashtag – In your social media marketing, adding a #CityName to your posts across all modalities can help to raise your profile.

Automotive Direct Mail – When it comes to your automotive direct mail, you can make your pieces more local simply by mentioning the town or city by name. This is especially important for large ownership groups with multi-city and multi-state dealerships. Another easy way to localize automotive direct mail campaigns is to create niche promotions solely for customers in a special segment of your local market area. Creating local “tent” events outside of the dealership at an area mall or fairgrounds and promoting that with a direct mail invitation is also an easy local gimmick that can drive up traffic.

Geo-Targeted Email – When it comes to email, much of the above applies – and, did you know that marketing emails can actually be geo-targeted? Like automotive direct mail, if your prospect list was created professionally, you likely have target zip codes available to you – so why not use them to get a better response from customers?

Bottom line, the more locally minded your marketing strategies, the more likely you’ll be to effectively reach the targets you need to in your area.

Bonus tip: use your location to further advantage by networking with other non-competing business and combine your resources and potential audiences by cross-promoting each other’s events and wares. This can make your local advertising dollars go twice as far, twice as fast.

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica has been working in the automotive marketing industry since 2005. She has helped dealerships all over the country develop effective marketing strategies to retain their current customers and generate new ones.