By Ashley Furness published July 5, 2012

4 Technologies for Smarter Localized Content Marketing

localized content marketing, CMILocalized messaging can be one of the best strategies for making a national brand immediately relevant. After all, a place says a lot about customers — like what language they speak, holidays they celebrate, or sports teams they follow.

Unfortunately, localized content marketing is also among the most time-consuming and expensive of marketing tactics. Thankfully, new technologies are making the practice cheaper, more automated, and manageable. Below are four new technologies every company’s CMO should add to its arsenal.

1. Leverage local search listings

Companies such as Yext PowerListings and SIM Partners let companies control their local search listings across myriad search platforms, such as Yahoo, Yelp, and Foursquare. The technology ensures the correct address, website, and phone numbers are listed, while allowing marketers to add custom promotions, descriptions, and photos next to the listing in the search result.

These technologies save companies from having to individually contact and negotiate with each search platform. A user dashboard also allows users to instantly make changes and track how many times their listing showed up and was clicked on.

“Every business wants to make sure they are everywhere consumers are searching,” says Yext Sales and Services Vice President Wendi Sturgis. Her company has run diagnostics on more than 200 companies’ local search results, and has found that at least 50 percent of those listings were wrong or missing. “That’s a huge missed opportunity,” she says.

2. Meet your local content creators

Personal stories and recommendations are extremely powerful in today’s Yelp-ified world. A company called Compendium provides tools for brands to creatively encourage, curate, and promote customer-created content. This saves marketers from having to create unique content for every location they market to. At the same time, they maintain control of their messages by using Compendium’s tools to monitor and publish posts as they are submitted.

The platform provides creative methods for inviting customers to write about their experiences. Users can also submit photos specific to that location that marketers can leverage in other ways. Tracking codes on each article reveal successes that can then be used in other marketing materials.

3. Provide customizable marketing assets to local affiliates

New localized marketing automation platforms such as Balihoo and Saepio overcome challenges they may have had with using digital asset management systems. Marketers can now deliver customizable assets to their local affiliates, such as microsites, email templates, branded content, custom media and other content marketing materials. They can also add their own addresses, logos, social media buttons, etc., while keeping the nationally-created infrastructure intact. With these platforms, corporate marketers can also receive timely, aggregated results reports from their local marketing efforts.

“The goal is to make it really intuitive and easy for the local marketer to use,” Saepio CEO John Thomson said.

4. Leverage on-location displays and shopping apps

Finally, we are seeing the emergence of location-based media companies, such as Adcentricity, that operate a network of in-store television screens, location-based shopping apps, in-window displays, digital projectors, radio partners, and interactive gaming stations. Using these networks, marketers can choose geographically relevant settings and can target selected segments in those locations across various media in one media buy.

For example, if a company wanted to target drivers, they might run a breaking news brief that features their product in a gas pump display. Marketers could either create the video content in-house, or show a clip of a public broadcast that features their company.

Research for this article was provided by Ashley Furness with SoftwareAdvice.com/crm.

Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo.

Author: Ashley Furness

Ashley Furness is a market analyst and blogger for research agency Software Advice. She researches and reports on topics related to CRM, MA, SFA and sales and marketing trends. Previous to her current role, she was a business journalist for major publications in California and Texas. She also led sales process management at a daily deals startup.

Other posts by Ashley Furness

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