Social media, local marketing, and mobile usage are exploding. Though each can be critically important to a successful digital marketing campaign, social, local, and mobile are not in separate silos. People are not just social or local or mobile, they're all three, so your efforts must be integrated accordingly.
This trifecta is now often referred to as "SoLoMo" (social, local, mobile), and the numbers behind the SoLoMo trend are hard to dispute. According to Google, 40% of all Google searches on mobile devices are local, 71% of smartphone users have conducted a search because of an ad they've seen online or offline, and 88% of people who look for local information on their smartphones take action by the following day.
Search isn't the only medium driving action on mobile devices. Social media use also heavily involves mobile, with 55% of Twitter users accessing the platform via smartphones or tablets, and more than 425 million people accessing Facebook via mobile devices. YouTube traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011, and people now watch more than 600 million videos on YouTube mobile daily.
Clearly, people are social, local, and mobile, so your digital marketing efforts must be, too. Here are seven effective ways for your campaigns to become more SoLoMo.
Bar none, the most effective way to increase your local marketing results is to localize your campaigns to the cities and neighborhoods you're targeting. Show that you're committed to—and immersed in—your local culture by tying your campaigns to local weather, events, news, traditions, holidays, sports teams, etc.
For example, offer discounts on hot soup on a cold day, or a free giveaway after a local sports team's victory. Prove that your business is an integral part of the local scene, and demonstrate your loyalty to the local community.
When planning and implementing your social, local, and mobile campaigns, don't forget the marketing fundamentals. Be sure to showcase your key differentiators. How are you different (and better) than the competition? Why should people care about your company? What's in it for them to use your products or services? Make your messages relevant and compelling so your target audiences will care about what you're saying and take action accordingly.
We live in a multiscreen world, but each screen has unique characteristics and benefits. A smartphone, for example, fits in your pocket and is useful for short bits of text. A tablet, on the other hand, has exceptional resolution and better accommodates bigger visuals and interactivity. Adjust your campaign accordingly. You might focus on text messages for smartphones and provide more immersive experiences on tablets.
4. Be searchable
Ensure that your key audiences can find you easily by making your business searchable. According to Google, 20% of all Google searches are local, and that number doubles to an impressive 40% on mobile devices. Whether you're embarking on a social campaign, launching a video, posting a blog, or introducing a new app, optimize your content to maximize visibility in the search engines.
5. Encourage sharing
Offering a coupon? Encourage users to share that coupon with friends. Staging an event? Provide an incentive for people to bring guests. Whatever you're offering, make it easy—and lucrative—for people to share. Offer a bonus, incentive, or value-added content when people post a link to your offer on their Facebook page or Twitter feed. The more people share, the more they'll help "widen the net" of exposure for your company.
6. Go Hollywood
Regardless of your organization, industry, or marketing campaign, you can always find a way to make a cool video that your audience will appreciate and value. Various tests have proven that the inclusion of video in landing pages increases conversion rates. Video works, so channel your inner Hollywood director to increase marketing results.
7. Go analog
SoLoMo is often considered a digital-only activity. However, even the greatest online campaigns get a positive boost when you add offline efforts to the mix. Though social and mobile are certainly important trends, not everyone is online all the time. We live in an integrated world where customers interact with brands online and offline every day. Customers don't consciously make the distinction between online and offline messaging; they simply have brand experiences. Therefore, supplement your online efforts with local offline marketing, as well. Your brand must be visible, memorable, and engaging—online and offline.
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Your best bet is to take a "surround-sound" approach to SoLoMo, ensuring that you have a positive brand presence wherever your target audiences live, work, and play. To be social or local or mobile isn't enough. The most effective campaigns combine all three. Deliver your messages via a variety of touch points to maximize exposure, awareness, excitement, and, ultimately, sales.