The first rule of advertising: you have to reach the right people, at the right time, at the right place.

Today, consumers are spending more and more time online. The average American spends at least two hours of their day online, a number likely to increase as our social lives and jobs propel us to spend more time near a computer or mobile device (Mashable, 2011).

For advertisers, this presents both new opportunities and new challenges.

Online advertising offers myriad opportunities: display ads, email marketing, SEO, site sponsorships, and more. It’s not always easy to target the right consumer via these digital channels – and with privacy concerns surrounding browser tracking, advertisers need new ways to effectively target their intended audience.

The concept of locality online is still relatively new to most community businesses, but it’s a part of online marketing that’s rapidly gaining importance. Here are three reasons online advertisers need to “get local”:

    1. Consumers work, shop, and play within a 30-mile radius of where they live. For local businesses, the value of geo-targeted online ads is huge. For instance, if you’re a car dealership in Phoenix, don’t waste marketing budget on online banner ads that someone in Orlando might see. Use locally-targeted advertising to reach the right audience – the local audience.

 

    1. Customers research online, shop in-store. In fact, according to Internet Retailer, 83% of US consumers go online to research electronics, books, music and movies before buying in a brick-and-mortar store. Online brand exposure’s vital when introduced to a local market, especially for small businesses. While SMBs may not be able to compete with the big advertising budgets of mega-retailers, they can leverage less expensive online advertising opportunities to get their brand in front of a local customer at the right time – when they are ready to purchase.

 

  1. Customers prefer to buy local. They may be doing research online, but Forrester reported that 75% of consumers said they would actually prefer to purchase goods locally. People perceive greater value when they get to interact with a member of their own community rather than a faceless computer. Using local advertising gets your message in front of the customer at the right place – where they’re going to make a purchase.

You don’t have to be stuck scratching your head to figure out where advertising dollars are best spent – go local, online. Many companies are offering businesses the chance to evolve their local, online advertising strategy. Yodle helps local businesses boost their online presence with a suite of online and mobile marketing solutions. For online advertising targeted to specific geographic areas, advertisers turn to us: MyTurf Ads. ReachLocal ensures that clients’ local business information is updated across 20,000 web directories. It’s clear advertisers are going online but also keepin’ it local.

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