At the Local Search Association annual conference a few weeks ago, search and marketing experts in the local space provided insights into trends and challenges the advertising, marketing and search industry faces today.
Here are 10 of the top takeaways shared at LSA17.
1. Location drives almost all consumer engagement, even for national brands
According to Rob Blatt at Momentfeed, 85 to 95 percent of consumer engagement for brands happens through location assets such as local listings and local pages. That would explain why 50 percent of brands are using location data to target customers.
A strong shift in marketing budgets toward location-based marketing is naturally following that trend. Data from the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) found that 25 percent of leading brands’ marketing budgets are spent on location-based marketing, and that number is projected to rise. Companies in the US increased use of location-based marketing by 5 percent from 2016 to 2017, while those in Canada increased use 6 percent and those in the UK 7 percent.
In terms of dollars, Neg Norton, president of LSA, shared that in 2016, $ 12.4 billion was spent on location-targeted ad spending, rising to $ 32.4 billion by 2021, equivalent to 45 percent of all mobile ad revenue.
With local often being synonymous with location in the marketplace, these numbers emphasize that local marketing and local presence are just as important as national campaigns. Last month, I observed factors that influence the appearance in search results on Google Maps, and notably, national brand reputation was not a ranking factor.
As consumers increasingly look locally for information, all businesses — whether traditional SMBs, franchises or local stores belonging to national brands — must recognize how location needs to be a core part of their marketing strategy.
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