Today we have 1.18 billion mobile connections, 700 million Internet users, and 600 million smartphones and the country is adding as much as 25 million new smartphone users every quarter making it a flourishing ground to launch digital initiatives. If you haven’t optimized your business for “near me” and enabled your local presence, it’s time you consider doing so. “Near me” searches are critical for marketers, since it allows you to reach your intended customers during micro-moments when they most desire your service or product.
Gone are the days of newspaper inserts, small print ads, hoardings and display ads to gain customer attention. Today, you can leverage the technology in selecting the precise location targeting and reaching your consumer through sharply defined marketing tools. Hyperlocal is the next thing in targeting potential customers in a more specific geography and a technology aided approach to be more impressive and effective in converting more business.
Stay up-to-date on potential customers intent signals and be sharp enough to convert them into business in the moments that matter.
Let’s understand that every physical location is unique and shall be treated that way. Many bigger brands may have vast national presence, but their business locations compete with regional & local players. Do you ever realise how competition, demographics, preferences, offers, product mix, inventory all change at a location level and hence each retail location must have a unique place of its own on the web?
Getting discovered digitally at the right time, to the right customers plays a crucial role in the success of your business. Most customer journeys start with a simple search, and you may miss the customer acquisition opportunity if your business locations do not have the right presence. Quite often we talk about the relevance of “near me” searches. There has been a tidal surge in the “near me” approach and the retailers can amplify their online presence deploying simple ready to use marketing tools to acquire more customers. Irrespective of what the customer is searching for, a synchronized presence across all digital channels, can now differentiate your business in an ever competing world and take your customer engagement levels to an all-time high.
The “Near Me” experience is no longer just about a physical location. Whenever you google for brands near you, you are leveraging the plethora and power of the digital world acting on the command of your fingertips. It is significant than ever, to deliver a seamless and pleasant ‘Near me’ brand experience across all customer touchpoints – be it search engines, Maps, Apps, Local Web Directories, Social Media Platforms or Voice Assistants. If they can discover you, they will be able to transact with you.
As a national brand, your website may have great visibility and presence. But what about your businesses’ physical locations? Do they really have the right ability to be visible to the potential customer searching for your brand or your product/service offering near their location? If they do appear, are they optimised to lead a potential customer through the conversion path.
More often than not, customers do not have a specific brand or product in mind while searching online. A vast majority of retail shoppers turn to search the most commonly used pre-purchase touchpoint highlighting the significance that brands need to be present everywhere with relevant information and be readily available at all times. Today there are many platforms that enable you to ensure that the information about your retail stores such as hours of operation, phone numbers, live status of the store (open or closed), or even special occasions are updated accurately across all your business locations simply through a centralised system.
Posting local content that feels more personal to your market segment can hit the nail hard and go a long way in attracting and acquiring more customers.
The multi-touch point journey of a potential customer begins with a simple search. Whether it’s a simple phone call, or someone looking for directions or a customer wanting to connect with you via chat – be omnipresent at all touchpoints and ensure you are discoverable and rank better on search. There are tools that enable you to get insights about how customers are interacting with your brand, monitor and respond to them in real-time. Build customers trust through positive reviews and recommendations, engaging them with genuine conversations forging a relationship and opportunity to build your brand credibility with them. Don’t miss any opportunity to respond on every piece of feedback and keep complete control of your online reputation at a brand level.
With an every surging internet population, modern-day shoppers enjoy access to information at their fingertips. Hence, brands need to facilitate customers’ in-store journey to purchase easier and simpler, informative and seamless. Many technology platforms today enable brands to convert potential shoppers seeking online information, into in-store customers through a hyperlocal approach. You can now create store level landing pages that help brands in boosting their retail location rankings. Create location-specific pages that are rich in content, tags, schema markups etc. that ensures that Google indexes all relevant information and improves discoverability on search. You can also provide real time location-specific information more relevant to the specific target audience such as local events, promotional offers, product listings, in-stock information, clearance discounts to new launches through content-rich location specific landing pages.
Have complete control over your brand store’s digital presence and stay relevant on multiple touchpoints such as google search, maps, and digital platform. Lack of information pushes the shoppers away to the competition due to a lack of information on the availability of products both in-store and online. You can use chatbots to answer simple queries of shoppers on the go and instantly provide information while they are looking for product purchase options.
The new consumer is financially and socially conscious, tech-savvy and insightful. For bigger brands, stiff competition from local businesses has been prevalent for years. While initially, the preference for local products was based on taste, local flavours, culture, context, and price advantage for example. Now it is more about the convenience of finding the item, in the right place and at the right time. Many local brands today rely heavily on the digital space to attract more customers. Global and larger brands looking to make inroads into a bigger market spread need to take cognizance of the growing need of consumers to go local, research customer connect strategies and focus on a more localised approach for their brands. This was further substantiated by a research where over 75% of the respondents said that they search for products or brands online before calling or visiting the physical location. Availability, distance, good reviews/ratings, and other requisite information influence their decision. Hence, global and bigger brands looking to explore this new age customer segment must ensure that they are visible at this very first stage. Technically also, Google works on the user’s location to determine the results and shows results based on the desktop IP address or geolocation of a mobile device.
Overall, your local strategies implemented effectively can take off your businesses to new heights and empower your brand to keep finding new customers and engage your prospects. Hyperlocal marketing is the next generation future for many businesses and brands. And those who recognise its potential at an early stage will remain ahead of the curve. By adopting the hyperlocal marketing strategies, global brands can build a strong local customer connect which in the long term will help boost sales.