5 Lessons in Local Mobile Advertising from Big Brands

5 Lessons in Local Mobile Advertising from Big Brands
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Although local advertising may seem synonymous with small-business, the majority of the money that's spent on local advertising comes from national brands. And with Google reporting that 50% of its mobile search is for local content (compared with about 17% of its desktop search), local advertising increasingly means mobile advertising.

So what can small-business owners learn from the big guys? Representatives from national brands and powerhouse ad agencies addressed the triumphs and troubles that national brands have faced in their attempts in hyperlocal mobile advertising at the "Big Brands Go Local" panel at this week's Street Fight Summit in Manhattan. Here are the five take-aways for your business -- no matter the size.

1. Make your copy personal. Local mobile advertising allows you to talk directly to a particular type of consumer-- know who you are talking to and what they care about. Highlight what you do well that they are interested in. And consider how it's going to be displayed -- both on smartphones and tablets.

2. Combine digital and traditional advertising tactics. Look at your advertising strategy for potential to cross promote across different types of media. Sean Muzzy CEO of Neo@Ogilvy, the digital media arm of advertising giant Ogilvy, gave the example of Ticketmaster's successful mobile push to drive customers to use of kiosks in Walmart

3. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure that all of your advertising efforts are clearly communicated. "Internal communications is such a big factor when it comes to mobile as it is blurring the lines between all media," says Kerri Smith Director of Mobility at iProspect, a global digital marketing company that represents big brands such as Gap and Converse.Print advertising doesn't work independently anymore, she says, and brick and mortar stores rely on digital more than they ever have before, so it's important that the different people working on your advertising efforts communicate what is happening across platforms.

4. Provide valuable calls to action. Several of the panelists mentioned the value of "click to call" functions within mobile ads. Providing potential customers with a meaningful call to action can often increase your ad's conversion rate. Where traditionally a click would take a user to a landing page, mobile gives you the option to turn the click into a direct call to a reservation line, or turn-by-turn directions to your business's front door.

5. Don't expect a one-size-fits-all solution. If your product or service is one that takes a longer consideration time (like high-end goods), calls to action might not work the same as they do for businesses like restaurants. And if you choose to work with an ad agency that specializes in mobile, ask how they determine location and accuracy (the people are at a location on weekdays from 9-5 versus on the weekends are likely a different market). Understand how far customers are willing to travel for your product and set "geo fences" accordingly.

Related: How to Get Mobile 'Showrooming' Shoppers to Buy More In-Store

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