Local Advertising 101: How it Differs from Online Advertising and How You can Use it

local advertising

So many types of advertising media exist. There’s print advertising in the form of magazine and newspaper ads, direct mailing, TV and radio commercials, and then there’s billboards and digital signage.  All these can be used for nationwide campaigns, regional marketing campaigns, or local advertising campaigns, depending on your goals.

Local advertising simply means you’re targeting a specific area, such as a city, town, or even a small neighborhood, in your marketing campaign. For instance, a restaurant may want to target consumers living within 20 miles of his location. It won’t make sense for this restaurant to target consumers 50 to 100 miles farther, unless they have other branches. In this case, local advertising in the form of billboards, digital signage, flyers, newspaper ads and direct mail coupons would do well.

Does Local Advertising Work?

That depends on your target demographic and your business. But it’s more effective in specific scenarios, compared to national advertising.  Aside from mom and pop stores and restaurants, local advertising also works for brands that cater to a specific local’s events or celebrations.


How does Local Advertising Differ from Consumer to Consumer?

Jackie and Marie are sisters with a similar demographic. They’re both working moms with two kids about the same age, and their income levels are both within $40,000 a year.  Jackie and Marie might be part of your target market for kids and household products.

So you’ll plan your marketing campaign to both of them, hoping to hit two birds with one stone. But what you don’t know is, despite the similarities, Jackie and Marie live more than 2,000 miles apart. Marie lives in a small suburban town, while Jackie lives in a thriving metropolis.

Marie’s experience as a consumer spans a 15-mile radius, with a small grocery and a couple of restaurants within walking distance, or a short ride away. Jackie, on the other hand drives a lot—she drives her kids to school, drives to the grocery, to play dates, to work, and to soccer and dance classes.

As you might have guessed, local advertising works for both of them. But it’s not possible to hit them both with the exact same ads, unless your business operates in both locales and have the same products and offers. With Marie, you might have smaller competition, but Jackie has more choices.

What makes Local Advertising Effective?

  • It’s personalized to the immediate buyers – the local consumers.

According to Gartner, businesses that focus on connected processes or multi-channel for local marketing can boost their revenues by 10% to 15%.

Several studies already show that personalizing ads according to people’s location increases your ad’s relevancy (Tweet this), and therefore its effectiveness. For small business owners, there’s just no point in spending on huge advertising campaigns that make blanket offers to a huge audience that may or may not be willing to drive hours to visit your store.

  • Local advertising that integrates social media, such as in-store digital signage with a social media feed, allows store owners to engage people in real-time. Digital signage also eliminates the need for flyers, which take time and money to update.
  • Local advertising offer a smaller but more targeted audience, compared to nationally distributed ads.

Examples of Local Advertising


  • Sponsor a local sports team: In exchange of giving them funds for their uniform or gear, the local basketball or baseball team (whatever sport, really) in your neighborhood will sport your brand’s logo.
  • Advertise in digital signage networks with installations in your town. For instance, a restaurant can have signage ads showing in a nearby hospital, or golf club. That way, you’ll be top-of-mind when potential customers are done with their errands and looking for a place to eat.
  • Join the local chamber of commerce in your city. Network with other business owners and potential customers. Events like this are usually give and take, and don’t turn up immediate leads, but its’ a good way to get the word out in your community.

Would You Go Local?

What do you think? Would your business be better served with online advertising, national advertising or local advertising?

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