Last month an article on Chief Marketer on local marketing included the following statement: “Consumers are the center of their own worlds, and marketers—from big businesses to small—must determine what shoppers care about at a local level.”
I absolutely love that, which is why I used it verbatim. It is a fantastic description re: the need for brands of every size to engage with consumers where they live, literally.
And unless you’ve been on another planet for the past few years, you know that online marketing has completely altered how companies can locate, communicate and engage with their prospects and customers–so much so that the opportunities to really convert and retain customers has become deeply targeted, localized and personal.
The new platforms and tools have leveled the playing field, allowing small(er) brands to go after and win the same customers as the big brands.
Below are seven tools that CMOs of any size need to A) be aware of and B) realize that just because they have a bigger budget on a national scale doesn’t mean locally-based competitors cannot or are not besting them when it comes to engaging with customers.
1. Rightside: This tool helps brands see that they may have not been getting the most from their domain name because they opted to only focus on what was on the left side of the dot. There’s also marketing power to leverage on the right side of the dot with a more descriptive extension beyond .com and .net. In fact, TLDs are becoming an ideal way to differentiate yourself from competitors online while providing more ways to optimize your presence within search engines as well as tell your unique story and address specific parts of your audience.
2. Brand24: In order to know what people are saying about the marketing campaigns you have already implemented or gauge sentiment about your brand, you need to be tracking what’s being said across social media platforms. Considering that you can’t be online all the time on every platform in case someone says something, it’s good to have a tool like Brand24 that does all that for you and then regularly delivers a report about what is being said about your brand–good and bad–so that you can react to what they are saying in real-time. The faster you can address a negative comment, the more likely you are to keep that customer who was dissatisfied by turning the experience around for them. This is also a way to see whether your marketing campaigns are really receptive or you need to tweak them so your audience is more engaged with what you are sharing.
3. BuzzSumo: Since content is what drives the success of most online marketing efforts, it’s good to have a tool that tells you what type of content performs the best by industry, competitor, author and influencer. Not only can you get great content ideas that are focused on the most relevant topics your audience is looking for, but you can also identify terms and phrases that help your optimization efforts. Plus, you will be able to start finding those influencers that can promote your content and take your online credibility to the next level.
4. Redirect.com: If you need targeted local traffic for your eCommerce store or startup you need to be creative and look for alternative sources to Google and Facebook. There are millions of domain names which are registered and but waiting for a website to be built. Redirect.com works with the owners of those registered unused domain names. People searching for specific items will type in a domain name and redirect.com will use that traffic to redirect it to a relevant site such as yours.
5. Insightfully.co: Insightfully is a technology company that uses predictive analytics and cross-platform search to create a better and integrated database for you by taking social contexts and discovering where you can help others using your skill set. As your network grows it is really hard to keep up with what everyone is doing and how you can help people in your network, Insightfully predicts what your network has been doing and where you can help people.
6. OpenSponsorship.com: Influencer marketing is increasingly popular but finding influencers in your vertical is hard work and time consuming. Open Sponsorship is a market place for sponsors in the sports or fitness market. Unlike many of their competitors it does not just focus on super brands but also mid-tier campaigns too.
7. Outro: Helps marketers generate triple opt-in referrals and warm introductions from the people who know, trust and love you and your brand. All three individuals pre-approve each introduction. These inbound leads help drive more sales and/or better recruiting. Your clients, employees, investors and friends now have a streamlined and efficient way to scale their ability to make introductions. They have always wanted to help, but before Outro, it was too time consuming and difficult.
Last September I penned a piece entitled “Big Enterprise, Local Customers: Why Big Companies Can’t Neglect Local Marketing“ in which I wrote that big companies, no matter where they are in the world, need to work harder at local marketing. Those that prioritize local understanding and communication gain a competitive edge.
Well the above seven tools are being utilized by small(er) brands who are indeed prioritizing local understanding and communication as a means to gain the competitive advantage over their bigger brand brethren.
This post originally appeared on Forbes