Walking around town, it is clear to see that the local economy is booming as businesses open after lifted COVID restrictions. As people flock back to going out and visiting businesses in person, it is important for local businesses to get consumer attention and earn their dollar. Earlier in June, Anvil posted an article reviewing strategies for local businesses to attract returning shoppers with paid media. With that foundation in place, we can continue to build on that article and explore more advanced options on how local businesses can gain customers back to their stores using paid media advertising.
A local campaign takes ad text, image, & video assets you provide and shows them across Search, Maps, YouTube, & the Display network with the goal of driving offline conversions such as store visits and phone calls. Google will target users based on several factors including your vertical, population density, and a user’s location. This is a great option to advertise a business across multiple channels if you are not doing so already. Taking advantage of the ability to utilize Google’s platforms other than just search means your business can reach users at multiple phases of their buying journey.
For example, say a customer is looking for a new a new mountain bike to explore trails with. They might start their journey on YouTube looking up product review videos on the latest mountain bike models. A few days later, they might visit blogs discussing mountain biking trails and local shops. Finally, the customer decides they are ready to buy and searches Google Maps for “bike stores near me.” Each one of these digital touch points during the buyer’s journey are areas a local campaign might show an ad, while a traditional search only campaign might not. This is the advantage businesses can get using a multi-channel approach with their advertising via a Local Campaign.
Shopping campaigns allow you to visually promote in store and online inventory across Search and the Display Network. Some of the benefits of shopping campaigns are that they have the ability to further your reach to customers across channels and let them know what products are available instore for pickup. Shopping ads are also eligible to show up alongside search results for a double whammy! It is shown that having multiple results appearing in the results page tends to increase CTR and improve buyer perception. If this wasn’t enough depending on your industry Shopping ads are also shown to have lower CPCs and higher conversion rates as well. The main drawback to these types of ads are that the inventory feeds can be difficult to setup and maintain. Be on the lookout for plugins that work with your ecommerce platform to upload inventory into the Google Merchant center. This can be a real time saver and help keep product details up to date.
Local Service Ads
Local Service ads are a little more niche than the previous 2 options, but can be a cost effective way to drive new leads. Your business will need to fall in one of the eligible service categories in an eligible area to use Local Service Ads. Once your business is certified or guaranteed via Google you can start showing ads to potential customers in need of your services. The best part about these ads are they are charged on a cost per lead basis as opposed to a cost per click. This means that you are only charged once someone reaches out to you about your business!
While Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing, might not have as much search volume as Google there are some benefits that make it worth testing ads on the platform. Microsoft Ads, depending on the industry, can come at a lower cost per click and as a result a lower cost per conversion. Advertising with Microsoft ads also gives advertisers the option to run ads with Microsoft’s search partners which includes sites such as msn.com, aol.com, and even duckduckgo.com. Microsoft advertising is also always introducing new ad formats and extensions that other platforms have not which could give certain businesses a boost in engagement. One of the best parts about Microsoft advertising is the ability to import Google Ads accounts directly into the system. After a quick quality check and making small additions to things like extensions specifically for Microsoft ads everything should be set up to run.
With more and more people returning to in person shopping now is the time to engage those customers and win new business. By following the strategies laid out here your business can start that customer relationship. If your business needs help with advertising locally or nationally feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.