By ‘local interactions’ we point to all interactions and information exchanges between stores and consumers. Furthermore, local marketing is getting more and more attention and it becomes a priority to manage those interactions in order to maintain a good online reputation.
What type of interactions are we talking about?
Before going to a shop or store, we usually go online to make a quick check about the place we are going to visit:
- We look for ‘cold’ data like opening hours, phone number or an itinerary.
- We also look for ‘warm’ data like ratings and we check reviews that are left behind by previous customers to get a sense of the overall experience in this store.
Today a large number of options are available for customers to interact with a point of sale. They can call the store directly from the web page, publish comments and ratings, contact the point of sales through various chats or even book an appointment via agenda.
The stores also have more means to communicate with their online audience. They can answer and interact with the reviews posted every day by customers, they can display local promotions, share events and communicate specific information or even diffuse geolocalized ads.
All those data and interactions should be managed correctly in order to:
- Maintain and improve the branding and image of the company. When we consider the fact that 50% of mobile users are less willing to buy a service or product that has a bad online perception, we can only imagine the profit that would be made if interactions and online reputation is managed properly.
- Maintain and optimize your local SEO. On Google for example, a store with a better reputation an positive comments will appear higher in the local search results.
The rise in the number of platforms and websites available for the publication of your local data
The rise in the number of local interactions is thus the result of a rising number of online communication tools, and an increase concerning the number of players active in the field of local digital marketing. We can distinguish different type of players within local digital marketing and in order to optimize the overall online presence a company should be present on each one of them.
First of all you have local search engines and social networks. Google is the biggest player when it comes to search engines. Google feeds local results thanks to Google Search and Google Maps. When it comes to social networks Facebook is of course one of the most important players. Facebook also understood the need for local presence and made it very easy for people to leave comments and share their in-store experience online. Then you have Yelp and Trip Advisor that are more specific for the food and travel industry.
We can also list big directories like Pages Jaunes and local databases that provide information about businesses in a specific city or country.
Then we have navigation systems (Here,TomTom, Waze, Apple Maps, …) that integrate your business location if you integrate your data in their system. This is especially important if your business should be found by GPS like restaurants near the motorway, gas stations, hotels,...).
A last channel that can be used to share data and information about a store is on the Store Locator of the company’s website.
Now that we know where this rise is coming from and what the impact of those interactions are,it is key to organise your network and raise awareness towards your local store managers.