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Trends In Local Marketing, 2015

SEO01The local marketing scene, like all of marketing in general, has been upended by the rise of digital media. That upheaval continues through to this year, but some trends are becoming apparent. If you’re looking to grow your business in 2015 and beyond, here are ad markets you’ll want to pay special attention to, and why.

Digital Marketing
Digital marketing in all its forms is, and continues to be the big winner here for the foreseeable future. It is currently experiencing double digit growth, and that’s not expected to change any time soon. In short, if you’re not marketing digitally, you’re missing out on the hottest segment of local advertising.

Print Media
Print media is becoming increasingly niche. It can work, and can be successful in small, tightly package bursts of advertising, but increasingly, print-based advertising only works in highly specialized areas, and/or if you’ve got a strong, standing relationship with a print-based vendor. Expect to see it continue to slowly decline in its overall importance in the year ahead, though you will see an upsurge in its use and effectiveness during election years. Knowing this, a savvy small business owner will develop those contacts during election years, and be able to arrange extremely cost-effective deals once the injection of temporary election money goes away. Print vendors will be eager to keep their remaining advertising clients happy during those non-peak times, and that can translate into a solid win for you.

For a long time, radio has been the staple advertising medium for small businesses. There’s historically been no better vehicle to reach local, niche markets. Its importance is receding, just as that of print media, but at a slower pace. The same basic tactic that works in the print world can work here too, because during those election years, radio advertising will see a boost, but in the off years, they’ll be clamoring to keep the attention of their remaining local clients. Use that to your advantage to gain leverage and keep those relationships current.

Local directories have been flat for the past few years. They’re still an important part of any local marketing strategy, they’re just now the crown jewel that they once were. Even so, the popular directories have been aggressively adding new features to keep themselves relevant and exciting, and in general, they’re doing a better job at staying relevant than the old style marketing mainstays, print and radio. Expect that trend to continue. You definitely don’t want to forego directory marketing, it’s just that it’s not the flagship mechanism that it has been in years past.

At the end of the day, all business is local, so you won’t want to outright ignore any marketing channel you’ve got the budget to break into. Also, however, one thing is especially true of small to medium sized businesses, and that is that there are never enough resources to go around. Never quite enough to do everything that you’d like to do. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to plan your marketing strategy carefully, and put those dollars to work for you in the areas where you’ll see the greatest total returns.

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