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Agile marketing

Geo-specific marketing content

The secret to great geo-specific marketing content

Advertising, Agile marketing, Business, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

At the risk of stating the obvious, the internet, and by extension, smartphones, have redefined borders in marketing. Businesses can find work from the other side of the globe; brands can advertise in any and all countries simultaneously, and companies can now boast an employee-base with more cultural diversity than a Benetton ad.

All of this sounds like great news for marketing, but marketers are struggling to keep up with the advances in technology, as evidenced by the number of nationally-targeted generic PPC campaigns. But content that tries to please everyone rarely leaves a lasting impression on anyone. That’s why geo-specific marketing is so vital.

geo-specific marketing works on the concept that graphically diverse content, and locally-specifical targeted ads appeal to a more varied spread of consumer. For marketers, it not only enables a more efficient media spend, it can also provide a significant advantage over competitors. In fact, 60% of advertising professionals already believe geo-targeted ads deliver a stronger ROI than generic ads and 50% said they deliver a higher response rate.

So how can you begin to integrate geo-specific marketing into your own campaigns? Read on for some top tips on how to make your content both international and locally relevant.

Develop a local vernacular table

Every region, country, and even every city has its own cultural and linguistic nuances. When creating ad content, it’s vital to consider not just what you say, but how you say it. Filtering your advertising language through the vernacular of a target region can make a huge difference to your success rate. Of course, international companies should have already included translations for different countries. But even when marketing to two countries with the same national language, you should try to tailor the content to their specific dialect.

Say, for instance, you run an international digital video rental store based in the UK. In Britain, to advertise a newly returning show you would most likely refer to it as the ‘new series’. However, the US more commonly uses ‘seasons’ in reference to a string of episodes. Failing to make the distinction could see your ranking slide in America, as people searching using their own national vernacular find other, more culturally relevant entertainment offers.

vernacular

Customise the channels you use

Last year, the Local Search Association (LSA) of the US released data showing mobile devices surpassing PC use in the search for local businesses and services. While this should warrant a change in focus for companies based purely in the US, companies operating internationally should already have a clear idea of mobile consumption in other countries.

India and China both rely heavily on mobile technology, and businesses based in these countries have already tailored their content and ads accordingly. Mobile has the added advantage of pinpointing exact locations, allowing you to integrate offers into the ads providing they are in a nearby location, further increasing the relevance of your ad above competitors. With geo-specific marketing, it’s not just who you market to and with which content, but also the channels you use to reach them.

Geo-specific marketing content

Develop locations with limited uptake

By dividing regions, you gain a stronger understanding of the areas in which your content is and isn’t working. By being able to directly compare different geographic locations, you can edit your content and ads according to what works best in each selected region. Take a look at the websites and ads of local competitors and try to break down each element – the tone, language used, page layout, etc. – and experiment with each.

Alternatively, you can choose to drop under-performing regions from your campaigns entirely. Remember, one of the central strength’s to geo-targeting is that it restricts your ad-spend to ensure you only reach out to relevant visitors. This allows you to focus your budget and time, but can leave you open to losing what little influence you have in other regions.  

 

Geo-specific marketing contentPersonalise the marketing experience

Personalisation is a must in modern marketing. Companies risk alienating consumers by not tailoring their content, and this includes the geographic location. Even incorporating language with locally distinct vocabulary for different regions is a form of personalisation. In fact, studies have shown that 67 % of smartphone users want ads displayed to them customised to their city or zip code, while 61% want ads customised to their current surroundings.

By referring to the areas in which your geo-targeted ads are being shown, you can relate to your customers directly and further reduce wasted impressions. For local businesses, in particular, personalisation equals greater brand recognition and a greater ROI.

Geo-specific marketing content

Target geo-specific events

You can personalise your content even further by referring to geo-specific events. By referring to an upcoming local, regional or even national event, you can add a timely element to your content and channel the exposure into increased ROI. Of course, marketers already look to integrate anticipated events like local sporting fixtures into their marketing plans. But there are also a myriad of geographically specific events that could increase ROI but just can’t be predicted.

A sudden heat wave can be a big boost for a number of industries, including sunscreen manufacturers, soft drinks companies and outdoor clothing stores. Marketing with content that addresses both a consumer’s location and their current climate can be a major boost, but can also save companies with less relevant offers from wasting revenue. For instance, a company selling winter coats might decide to drop their ad-focus in a region currently experiencing a heatwave, preferring instead to focus their efforts on areas going through a cold spell.

Geo-specific marketing content

Use geographic reporting tools

Geographic reporting tools allow you to develop more sophisticated testing through comparing different offers or promotions in the same region. This is hugely important to informing your overall social strategy, particularly when going head-to-head with competitors for local ad-space.

Google Website Optimizer allows you to segment your traffic and define subsequent actions based on that segmentation, in part automating the process behind your geo-specific marketing. There are hundreds of resources out there to help you make the most of geo-targeting tools, but they’re not the only means of fine-tuning your geographic focus.

You can also use analytics packages to study the browsing behaviours of previous site visitors. This allows you to pinpoint consumers’ tendencies and provide relevant, location-specific content, even if they’re not currently in the area.

Geo-specific marketing content

Don’t limit yourself to ad space alone

If you have a blog, write content with a specific focus on a particular area, taking into account all the previous points, including changing vernacular, posting times and the channels you use.

The more control over your campaigns, the more you can begin to understand why people respond to content in the way they do.  

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different means of communication following the initial hook. For example, try optimising a landing page with geo-targeted content from a geo-targeted banner. Compare the results with a generic, non-geo-specific landing page and see which yields the highest conversions. From this, you can begin to develop a stronger understanding of where geo-specific content is most needed.

Geo-specific marketing content

Consider the little things

It’s not just the language and dialect of a region that you should consider. When creating content, either onsite or in your advertising, it’s important to consider the little details. Ensuring your content is in the relevant currency may seem like a no-brainer, but companies still persist in using just one. Less obvious but no less relevant are metrics like weights, volumes, distance and speed. You should always crawl your geo-specific marketing content with a fine-toothed comb to guarantee your content has the full impact. Remember, even the smallest error, when seen enough times, becomes obvious.

Visuals also play an important part in the geo-targeting process. Test different images in different geographical settings to see which types of image warrant the best response. Be sure to keep a record of these, as they could go on to influence future geo-specific marketing campaigns.

Geo-specific marketing content

Conclusion

In marketing, as in so many other industries, it really is a case of right place, right time. Geo-specific marketing gives you an extra edge over competitors, be it in the local arena or on a national or even international level. It takes time and more than a bit of patience, but those willing to put the work in can really take advantage of a new digital society.

Integrate agile marketing into your digital strategy

How to integrate agile marketing into your digital strategy

Advertising, Agile marketing, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

These days businesses need to be able to adapt at a moment’s notice. The internet has given us round-the-clock coverage, instant updates and regular access to all the latest news; it’s no surprise consumers expect brands to keep their output contemporary.

Marketing campaigns need to maintain a liquidity, adapting to the changing needs of the consumer while staying relevant in a dynamic environment. So, by all means, lay out your strategy, but don’t try to carve each day in stone. Businesses capable of responding to changes around them are more likely to entice a new audience, and thus increase their overall reach. Brands that rigidly adhere to their pre-planned marketing strategy with no wiggle-room for new developments, on the other hand, will find their campaigns lagging behind competitors as they struggle to stay in the spotlight. So, just how do you integrate agile marketing into your campaigns, and why do so many marketers struggle to keep pace?

Incorporate client feedback into your campaigns

The growth in social media and corporate responsibility has disrupted the traditional flow of marketing, adding a new dimension to the way content is distributed and consumed by audiences. Today, customers can give feedback directly to companies in full view of their peers. Marketers have to engage with this feedback to prove they are receptive to change and that they really listen to their audience. But some marketers have gone one step further, integrating the customer comments into their campaigns and even building marketing campaigns around feedback alone.

Responding to your consumers is essential to prove you recognise your client-base as individuals, but it also lends a human element to corporations. Just check out the exchange below to see how a humorous response can earn you major social props.

Agile marketing for your digital marketing campaign

Don’t be afraid to engage with other brands

Agile marketing doesn’t just mean engaging with smartasses online, it also requires you engage with other brands when and where it’s relevant. The more witty, elaborate and/or memorable the exchange, the better the audience response and exposure. After popular male perfumery, Old Spice tried to take a bizarre swipe at Taco Bell on Twitter, Taco Bell responded with a concise but scathing putdown.

Agile marketing in your digital marketing
Although the banter between brands is usually lighthearted in nature, the competitive ribbing can give both brands a major boost and entice new customers. Honda tried to drum up interest in its new minivan with a playful Twitter campaign involving foodstuffs likely to be sucked up by the minivan’s built-in vacuum cleaner, but Oreos responded with some clever agile marketing of its own. The best thing about this approach is these social media ‘spats’ rarely have a winner. Providing the exchange is entertaining enough, both parties will be rewarded with increased media and consumer attention.

Make sure it’s relevant to your customer base

Before getting too excited about the prospect of igniting a Twitter ‘feud’ that spreads like wildfire across the digital landscape, it’s important to consider your core brand values, and how well these would be reflected in your choice of subject matter and any other key actors involved. Agile marketing requires a deep understanding of your brand’s perception in the wider world, and poorly judged social marketing can severely damage your brand image.

When the cooking site Epicurious decided to tie their latest recipe (whole-grain cranberry scones if you were wondering) to the Boston Marathon bombing, it highlighted exactly why marketers need to stop and consider timing and tone before trying to engage with a consumer-base. Newsjacking (attaching your brand to a trending topic, such as by adopting a popular hashtag on Twitter) can very easily go wrong, as evidenced in the Tweet below.

Integrate your campaign with topical news

Agile marketing relies on an ability to pivot your strategy according to new developments, both internal and external. For planned events such as the 2016 Olympics in Rio, marketers can prepare their material early and consider each new deployment of content. But agile marketing is all about responding to the unscheduled, going off-script and creating a unique reaction to a particular situation. Culturally significant events are a great opportunity for marketers, but often the best replies come from situations that couldn’t be anticipated.

During the 2016 Euro football, supermarket chain Iceland jumped on the unexpected success of the Iceland international squad with some brilliantly timed Tweets. When Iceland (the country) were drawn against England in the quarterfinals, Iceland (the supermarket) stepped up their social campaign and earned themselves thousands of more Likes, Retweets and Followers.

Agile marketing in your digital marketing

Allow testing and data to take precedent

Agile marketing has existed in some form for several years, but it’s only since the proliferation of data harvesting tools and personalisation platforms that it has been able to be truly agile. Adapting your marketing strategy relies on understanding your competitors, the context in which your campaigns are implemented and the personal preferences of your clients. Marketing attribution has made meeting the latter requirement decidedly easier.

Through monitoring how clients interact with your content, you can adjust your approach according to their personal preferences and ensure your material reaches them through the most effective channels. Agile marketing, by its very nature, is unpredictable, but data gives you the confidence to engage with consumers with a more informed, personalised approach. As your campaign progresses, you can develop a stronger understanding of the most effective content for each consumer and begin to introduce incremental, data-driven changes to your strategy.

Be mindful who you align with your brand

As we said earlier, the topical news is a great platform for getting your brand out there, but this doesn’t mean you should jump on every news story going. It’s important to consider if your brand has any place in tying its name to a popular news piece, particularly if it’s on a subject with no relation to the brand’s purpose, or a sensitive subject that may deem any attempts at brand association as exploiting a painful situation for your own gain. Likewise, as a marketer you have to ensure your brand is associated with people appropriate to your brand message.

This becomes more challenging when agile marketing is involved, but even when a quick decision is needed on a potential brand association, it pays dividends to research the other party and make sure they fit with your core values. When renowned road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his titles following a doping scandal, brands had to move quickly to disassociate themselves from him, and other brands quickly reconsidered sponsoring him for future events.

Agile marketing in your digital marketing