As local businesses keep going online, the digital marketplace has become more competitive than ever. More business owners are striving to improve the online visibility of their brands to drive more buyers to their local stores. That’s why the success of most local businesses depends on how effective their local marketing strategy is. Thus, local marketing automation has become a thing in recent times.
A report, for instance, has it that as of 2019, about one-third of online buyers in the United States searched for local businesses on the internet daily. This stat indicates that a considerable number of customers who patronize local businesses in the U.S. will most likely come directly from an internet search or after conducting online research.
Local businesses can’t help but make the most of this advantage. That explains why locally targeted ad spending by U.S. national brands grew from $54.4 billion to $68.9 billion between 2014 to 2018.
Local Marketing Automation (LMA): What Does It Really Mean?
Local Marketing Automation (LMA), or “local enablement software,” is a geo-specific marketing effort geared towards maintaining a brand’s core message and vision while also appealing to the unique culture of a specific location. LMA, in other words, gives businesses a means to reach out to audiences in multiple locations while presenting a single, cohesive brand.
This is especially important when you consider that a local marketing campaign typically targeted at a rural market in Alaska, for instance, would not translate well to an audience based in the metropolitan area of New York.
As the term suggests, LMA automates and simplifies local marketing workflows and processes.
LMA tools, for example, help local marketers in aligning localized messaging with national branding, thereby centralizing brand marketing messages. The tool also helps in creating local advertising by using templates and in organizing content such as texts, images, and so on
But that’s not all. Because LMA offers a lot more than just “automation.” Matter of fact, a dedicated Local Marketing Automation tool should also comprise Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) functionalities that help local marketers execute campaigns.
How Local Marketing Automation Differs From The Traditional Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a broad term that refers to cloud-based software, tools, and applications that help digital marketers or companies scale and carry out personalized digital marketing via conditional logic and prospect behavior.
Marketing Automation tools simplify online marketing, ensuring that digital marketers do their job more effectively by automating repetitive cross-channel marketing tasks. That is to say, it helps achieve more digital marketing with less effort.
This is similar to what Local Marketing Automation does, except that, while traditional marketing automation tools typically enable result-oriented digital marketing campaigns, local marketing automation tools mainly help provide location-based advertising and digital marketing solutions, with core attention on effective “localized” branding. This sort of branding is all about reaching audiences in multiple locations while presenting a single, cohesive brand.
LMA also helps align local marketers with their national brand management teams. And with the power of LMA software, local marketers can now address potential customers as individuals from different locations, not just a generalized audience. This makes it possible to create tons of personalized and locally-targeted messages in the shortest possible time.
Is Local Marketing Automation Software A Single Or Multiple Tools?
Local Marketing Automation software represents a single, specific tool or application that provides brand templates for local marketers, helping them execute their key activities. The system also delivers other functionalities like customized workflows, reporting analytics, digital asset management, etc.
Nonetheless, your brand can use multiple tools to supplement or complement the functionalities of local marketing software. For example, you can always replace your LMA tool’s “email sending” function with a tool like Eloqua.
Top Local Marketing Automation Software Examples
1. HubSpot Marketing Hub
HubSpot Marketing Hub is an all-in-one marketing tool reinforced with key functionalities like list management, email marketing, social media marketing, landing page creation, Search Engine Optimization, content management, reporting and analytics, and so much more.
SEMRush is one of the top names as long as Search Engine Optimization is concerned. The platform largely relies on competitive intelligence with an emphasis on SEO functions like backlink checking and keyword analysis to ensure your local SEO is up to par.
Birdeye is a comprehensive customer experience platform that enables over 80,000 businesses worldwide to attract new leads, convert leads into customers, and engage those customers in one place.
4. Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is a new name for what was formally known as “Google My Business.” This free tool lets users promote their business profile or website on Google Search and Maps. Having an account allows you to view and connect with customers, list your products and services, post updates, accept online orders, and so on.
MINDBODY is a business management software for wellness and fitness services. It provides cloud-based appointment scheduling, calendaring, and bookings from the company bearing the same name (MINDBODY, Inc) based in San Luis Obispo, California.
The platform also serves as a marketing automation tool that helps maintain club member enrollment and engagement.
As the name suggests, “BrightLocal” is a reliable search engine optimization tool that stresses LOCAL performance while tracking search rankings, building citations, and monitoring online reviews.
Reputation.com allows medium and large-scale multi-located or web-based companies to effectively handle their reputation management by monitoring and optimizing their customer experience.
Over 50,000 SMBs and local businesses rely on ThriveHive to cater to their marketing and advertising needs. The tool executes essential functions like email, display advertising, SEO business website, local directory management, and social media marketing.
With Grade.us, you can generate, monitor, and market online reviews, which will help you to,
- Increase your company’s search engine visibility.
- Create and showcase social proof to ensure effective reputation management.
- Obtain feedback to improve your customer experience.
ReachLocal provides an all-in-one system that offers SMBs diverse digital marketing solutions such as search engine marketing, web presence, display advertising, lead conversion, online marketing analytics, and so on.
The tool also helps optimize local digital marketing, bringing your brand to the doorstep of your potential customers.
Benefits Of Using Local Marketing Automation Tools
It’s not only time-consuming but also quite expensive and overwhelming for brands to manage multiple online citations, claimed and unclaimed listings, online reviews and ratings, landing pages, and data feeds for thousands of locations.
LMA tools enable brands and local marketers to seamlessly handle most of these overwhelming tasks by providing some of the following benefits:
How Do Local Marketers Benefit From LMA?
LMA software helps local representatives who have little or no digital marketing experience to carry out advanced local marketing tasks like creating direct mail and social media advertising, building landing pages for their websites, sending attractive email campaigns for more customer conversions, and developing relevant print collateral.
Local marketing automation solution also allows locals to customize brand templates with relevant information, like phone numbers, residential addresses, or customized pricing information.
How Do Brands Benefit From LMA?
The primary benefit of LMA to distributed brands is more cost-efficient marketing that guarantees more sales in the local markets.
Besides cost reduction, your brand will also benefit from LMA in terms of consistently delivering high-quality advertising, leading to more traffic and, eventually, more customers.
Other Benefits Of LMA
1. Increased Search Engine Rankings
Local marketing software plays a huge role in making local markets more friendly to search engines.
But how exactly?
Well, Google crawlers are paying more attention to ranking factors like site authority and validation. Such validation is derived from consistent business information across multiple directories and backlinks.
The role of local marketing software is to automate these listing distributions and landing page development and optimization, which hastens the entire process and ultimately improves the organic search results of your business location.
2. Increased Productivity
The essence of “automation” in any field is handling time-consuming tasks effectively while enhancing productivity! The same translates to local marketing software.
It is incredibly overwhelming and time-intensive to manage manual tasks like SEO, schema markup, search engine map management, online directory listing management and distribution, development and maintenance of local-level landing pages, and so on.
Automating these processes allows local managers and marketers to focus on their primary (and more important) tasks, which are marketing your brand (to attract new customers) and bringing the message about your products and services to the doorstep of potential local customers.
3. Cost-efficient Marketing
Marketing has proven to be quite expensive in recent times. Research has shown that digital ad spending skyrocketed to $389 billion in 2021.
LMA brings about better SEO which can reduce your CPC, for instance, affording you more cost-effective marketing.
4. Improved Message Coordination And Consistency
Another critical importance of LMA is ensuring coordination between national and local marketers through a CMS. This feature typically centralizes brand marketing campaigns, messages, and product information. It also collects and harmonizes location data such as addresses, product selections, and so on
This will allow you to stick to your brand guidelines and ensure brand compliance by distributing brand-approved, accurate, and consistent marketing information across locations.
5. Expanded Local Marketing Expertise
Digital marketing is a vast field, and so are the required skill sets and expertise.
Fortunately, LMA software fills the gap in the digital skills needed to carry out local marketing campaigns by expanding your campaign execution capacity as a brand or marketer.
The 21st-century local-level business depends not only on analog media’s marketing materials: local digital marketing is simply the way forward!
More business owners are embracing the recent marketing paradigm shift, which is all about making your business location visible on the internet, occupying the first page of the search engine, and ensuring your brand message is consistent but relative to different persons and locations — all in a bid to drag more online customers to your local stores.
Achieving the above can be complicated or seamless, depending on what digital marketing strategy, tools, or software you employ to AUTOMATE your local marketing process.