So much has already been said about the importance of SEO that the majority of companies already know they cannot afford not to invest in this digital sphere of their business.
However, thanks to Google updates as well as ever-changing customer behavior, there’s an even greater emphasis on thinking and acting local, both in terms of SEO and other marketing tactics.
This is where old but gold strategies such as direct mail steal the spotlight with their power to bring more audience to a brand’s doorstep.
For local companies that want to stand out, be remembered, and create a worthy customer experience (all of which lead to loyalty), it seems that blending the best of both worlds, printed and digital, can lead to the best possible results.
Encourage Online Reviews
Most of us nowadays spend some time researching online when we’re about to make a purchase. We’re looking into online ratings, reviews, personal recommendations from friends and family, you name it.
Since this has become the normal behavior in the decision-making process of almost every buyer, it only makes sense to leverage the power of online reviews to build a reputation for your brand.
Using direct mail initiatives combined with a variety of personalized messages, promo-codes, coupons, free samples, if possible, and similar novelties, you can invite your current and potential customers to share their thoughts online.
For example, a jewelry brand can send a free necklace based on the previous purchases and general preferences of their customers and ask for a review. Get creative, and your bit of print can get more of your customers to share their thoughts online!
Think Social Thoughts
Another behavior-driven marketing essential is your social media presence.
In addition to putting your social media icons on your website and every other possible place, you can use your direct mail to make your social profiles known.
In fact, direct mail can serve as a perfect incentive to get more people to become your followers.
Send them a well-designed invitation with the sole purpose to join your social network, but you should always aim to give them a good reason.
This isn’t just for them to click the “like” button, but to become genuinely interested in what you have to share, and to inspire engagement from day one.
Offer vouchers for your new products, discounts, or even a chance to enter a contest for your most valuable product or service. That way, they’ll have a great reason to become involved and you’ll give them a chance to keep in touch!
And more social media followers equals an improved online presence, which Google loves.
Make your brand known
Even as you make your first steps into your niche, you need to start thinking about the best ways to promote your business and make its presence known.
From the moment you register a business name and officially launch your company, you should make some noise on those online platforms that serve both as business directories, but also as perfect review-generators for your company.
Websites such as Yelp and Bing are all excellent spots to start while claiming your Google My Business page is also essential for getting more eyes on your brand.
Simultaneously, as people start associating your physical address with your brand, the time is perfect to start inviting your neighbors and locals to stop by your store and check out your brand.
Since you’re new to the hood, you can organize a small launch event and notify the residents via direct mail – invite them to a tasting, a trial of your services, or whatever it is that you can offer to your customers.
Code Up Your Visuals
Technology isn’t limited to the digital sphere, although it makes sense that you’d utilize it far more in that particular aspect of your branding.
You can further empower your local audience to connect with your brand online but via a postcard or a similar direct mail item.
By using QR codes as a part of your direct mail campaign, you can invite your customers to check out your brand’s video on YouTube, or take them to a specific page on your website.
In fact, thanks to the improvements in this tech for Apple phones, you no longer need a special app to read the code, but your camera has the ability to scan it on its own, making the process even faster and more convenient.
This fact alone will make QR codes grow in popularity in the months to follow, leaving plenty of room for marketers to infuse their direct mail strategies with this interactive technology.
Keep Things Personal
On a final note, when it comes to creating locally relevant content that utilizes the power of old-school marketing (and takes it to the next level), generic, cookie-cutter solutions won’t cut it.
You need to delve deep into the minds of your consumers to show them that you understand and appreciate their needs.
Make each and every one of your direct mail pieces personal, and they will not lose relevance in the years to come.
On the contrary, they will bring more relevance to your local marketing game, thanks to their enormous potential to connect brands with their audience in ways digital or printed media could never do on their own.
Guest Blogger – Emma Miller
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and the latest business trends.