How to Market Your Local Business Globally (And Why You Should)
Regardless of whom you’re targeting, the goal for any business should be to create a cohesive brand identity.
The golden arches of McDonald’s are recognizable whether you’re in Los Angeles or Hong Kong, giving consumers a sense of familiarity when they see this symbol.
The same holds true for local businesses.
You want to be recognized and identifiable in your region—the #1 option among locals for a particular good or service. But once you’ve reached this point, how can you expand your brand identity into other markets? Nationally or globally?
The truth is, even if your local business is performing well, marketing to a set audience can have its limitations—primarily on your bottom line.
More significant potential for growth might exist beyond one’s zip code. With the right global digital marketing strategy in place, you can witness scalability like never before, even for a business that’s historically classified as “local.”
Benefits of Global Marketing
What is global marketing, and how can it revolutionize your business?
Going international can provide ample benefits for a business. In addition to exposing the company to a whole new consumer base, it allows them to hire from a wider pool of employees.
The benefits of global marketing can include higher profits, better scalability, and more sustainable growth; do this successfully, and the brand flourishes.
One can take different approaches to enhance brand identity. For example, when it comes to digital marketing, this could include a PPC or SEO campaign targeting specific geographic areas or a social media campaign that uses advanced audience targeting.
Regardless of your marketing techniques, it’s essential to understand how to integrate localized marketing into a global marketing approach.
What is Localized Marketing?
Localized marketing involves understanding buying habits and consumer behaviors within the culture where your business is actively marketing. Then, use this knowledge to target audiences within a specific area, showing reverence and care for local customs, preferences, and customer needs.
When local businesses try to expand into other markets, a heavily localized approach can prove a bit dicey.
It’s easy to get too locked into one location and not differentiate brand voice enough to target other audiences effectively. This can happen at the web design phase, building out pages that are too location-specific. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to get stuck using place names on every page when marketing to audiences in many different places.
The key is to balance your localized efforts with a global approach. It’s okay to have pages targeting specific locations, as this is a crucial way to connect with people more personally. At the same time, you should focus on designing a user-friendly website for people worldwide and include information about your brand that is universally understood. If there are any differences in languages, it’s imperative to articulate the correct messaging to all.
Global vs. Local Targeting
Let’s dig deeper into the differences between global and local targeting from a digital marketing perspective.
Consider location modifiers for most keywords in specific markets. For example, “Plumbing Dallas” wouldn’t be used to target homeowners in Dubai. Likewise, “Beach clothes for southern California” wouldn’t be used to target eCommerce customers living in Denver.
Keywords are the foundation of any digital marketing strategy, but this is especially true when targeting a wide array of consumers who reside in different places.
At the same time, there will be specific keywords that span across global markets. These terms usually help guide long-form informational content like “how to fix a leaky faucet.” Customers in both Dallas or Dubai might be interested in that article.
Paid ads are another discipline where local and global differences are often prominent.
Ad spend and cost per click are two vital PPC metrics that vary drastically from one market to the next. As a result, you’ll find a highly competitive landscape in specific locales, where businesses are pumping out ad dollars at a substantial rate. Elsewhere, you’ll discover bargain-level PPC values that can allow for more aggressive campaigns.
Certain parts of the world are highly competitive for specific keywords, while other areas are less costly. Therefore, it requires research and testing to uncover the best values in any given locality.
Globally targeted campaigns are usually used for the top of funnel brand awareness, as these tend to be less location-specific. In these global PPC campaigns, you’d primarily be targeting terms related to your brand name and close competitors.
With greater expansion comes greater competition. Businesses that go global have to account for new and different competitors in each local market as well as globally.
A global marketing strategy has to account for these variables by conducting a thorough competitive analysis in each local area of expansion. As a result, you may have to contend with a combination of local mom-and-pop businesses as well as widely recognized brands.
Take a service-based business fighting for page 1 real estate on Google…
These businesses typically deal with local, single-location competitors and national or global chains like Home Advisor, Houzz, or Home Depot. So naturally, the former’s marketing strategy will be entirely different from the latter’s, and competitive analysis must dissect it all.
Social media usage is one global marketing trend that will continue to flourish in the years ahead. Nearly 5 billion people worldwide use social media platforms, but the nature of their use can differ from one location to the next.
Citizens of first-world countries ubiquitously use Facebook, but they favor Instagram or Tik Tok in other parts of the world.
This is where competitive research comes into play, and consulting with an experienced social media marketing agency will help you represent your brand in the best possible way across social channels.
Global marketing issues arise when brands aren’t highly established, and it starts with solidifying a presence across social media.
How to Effectively Market Globally and Locally
Let’s establish an actionable roadmap for getting your brand noticed in both local and global markets. Here are the most critical steps to take towards crafting your successful marketing strategy.
Keep Google My Business Updated
Maintain your Google My Business account with regular photo uploads, Google posts, and review generation efforts to collect as many 5-star ratings as possible.
If you expand out to multiple locations worldwide, you’ll want to spend time optimizing listings in each place. This includes building business citations for each site and crafting pages on your website that are specific to each location.
Balance Local SEO with Global SEO
Don’t get too hung up on each location. You also want to focus on developing informational content that caters to a broader audience.
Create content that positions your brand as a thought leader in the space. This content will bolster your overall domain authority, which will help improve your global and local rankings.
What types of content should you publish?
Professional marketers will deliver extensive keyword research, competitive analysis, and more to give you the best chance at creating high-quality content that will rank.
Social Media Location Tags
Whether you’re starting as a new business or you’ve recently just expanded to a new location, you have to take necessary measures to get noticed.
The easiest way to do this is by creating social media location tags, announcing to the world that you exist in a specific place. These tags should incorporate some of the most popular spots in that area to ensure you are placing your brand in front of active searchers.
Don’t forget hashtags, either. These can often go alongside a location tag, increasing the probability of someone finding you.
Speak to a Broader Audience
Above all, businesses should focus on developing valuable content for readers. Of course, one must make SEO considerations, but the end goal is to share your expertise with a broad audience.
The results are more organic traffic to your site, a higher conversion rate, and more global brand recognition by achieving the end goal.
These global marketing concepts aren’t revolutionary, but they can have revolutionary implications for your business’s bottom line.