Five ways global brands can tap into the local customer
The KPMG India report considers the “new consumer” to be the one who is financially and socially conscious, tech-savvy and insightful. It deep-dives into the evolution of consumer behaviour post the pandemic and found out that 60% of the consumers across all age groups - expressed their desire to replace foreign brands with indigenous brands and 41% were even willing to pay a premium for these indigenous brands. This shows a growing inclination of customers towards locally available products. Global brands looking to make inroads into a larger market base need to take cognizance of this growing need of consumers to go local, re-evaluate their customer connect strategies and focus on a more local flavour for their brands.
For global brands, stiff competition from local businesses has been prevalent for years. However, during the pandemic, this competition has taken on a new angle. While initially, the preference for local products was based on taste, local flavours, culture, context, and price advantage for example. Now it is more about the convenience of finding the item, in the right place, availability of the products/services at their preferred time etc. and they rely largely on the digital space for such details and then go for the business that best suits their requirements.
This was further highlighted by the results of a recent survey we conducted, where 72% of respondents said that they search for products or brands online before calling or visiting the physical location. Availability, proximity to their location, positive reviews, and other requisite information influence their decision. Hence, global brands looking to reach the new age customer today must ensure that they are visible at this very first stage by ensuring the availability of consistent, relevant and accurate information online of their products and services.
In marketing terms, we refer to this as leveraging the power of SEO. But to bolster the local connect, we further define it as a ‘Local SEO’. While SEO improves the global or national site visibility of a brand, a Local SEO is a process of optimising business, product, or services for a search query based on location. Technically, Google works on the user's location to determine the results. It then shows the customer what they are looking for based on the desktop IP address per geolocation of a mobile device.
Here are 5 ways brands can connect with local customers while competing with the existing local brands.
1. Leveraging alternate channels
As a first step, a seamless discovery of your business location is one of the important and basic requirements today. Brands need to maintain updated and accurate information such as name, address, working hours, and services they provide and creating their digital presence on Google My Business (GMB). At SingleInterface we create a strong digital presence for businesses by creating their local listings on GMB and ensure that all relevant information about each and every business location is accurately published and managed, with the aim to maximise discoverability and ranking higher on local search results.
2. Integrated brand and local keywords
In order to rank higher on Search Engine Research Pages (SERPs), brands use a set of keywords that represent their services. At SingleInterface, we sort these keywords, based on location, create microsites, and then tag the relevant keywords to the location to ensure that the right information about their products and services gets highlighted.
3. Simplifying the customer journey
The purchasing journey of a consumer can involve anywhere between 20 to 500 touchpoints, and the chances of losing a customer midway are very high for multi-location brands. Trimming the unnecessary touchpoints in the buying journey helps to quicken the process of guiding a customer from discovery to the retention stage. For every brand we manage, we adopt a robust hyperlocal marketing approach that addresses this exact problem. We help brands reduce the steps in a customer's journey by directing them to the correct product page within a few seconds.
4. Route traffic
Today non-branded searches are at an all-time high. These are searches that are focused on categories rather than brands, such as ‘pizza near me’ or ‘salon near me’. For a global brand to tap into this growing market and appear on SERPs, they need to build their repository of non-branded keywords by creating content targeted at these category / product related keywords at a location level. They also need to have their microsites loaded with relevant local information that features these keywords. When creating a microsite for a brand, we at SingleInterface ensure these elements are present to boost the chances of a business appearing in non-branded keyword searches.
5. Static URL for better conversions
Having a static URL has several advantages for brands looking to build their local visibility. While a brand’s main website would be dynamic, at SingleInterface, by creating microsites, we increase the presence of static URLs which help improve the ranking of a website on Google and provide better clickthrough rates, as users can read them easily. However, for multi-location brands, updating these URLs on a regular basis can be a mammoth task. This is where we come in. Not only do we set up the microsites, but also manage them and ensure their data is updated regularly.
By adopting these hyperlocal marketing strategies, global brands can build a strong local customer connect which in the long term will help boost sales.