Last year, AI arrived fast on the world stage and, especially within the marketing industry, quickly began to dominate the conversation.

However, in the current world of over-exposure to advertisements, we all know that some messages hit home more than others. Localized content delivered through traditional local channels that tells us about our neighborhood and community has that effect.

In spite of the clutter, many of us still maintain solid relations with local media that we trust and keep a personal connection with (think: local newsletters, magazines, your local radio station with that DJ you love and follow on social media, etc.). We keep these local media options in our rotation because their content is relevant to the area we live in — we grew up watching or hearing about it, and makes us feel at home.

Traditional marketing tactics still work

Want proof that traditional media channels still drive results? Look no further than political campaigns this election year. eMarketer forecast data shows that 7 in 10 political ad dollars will go to traditional media:

Traditional vs. digital % of US political and total media ad spending, 2024 bar graph

Source: Insider Intelligence | eMarketer Forecast, Dec 2023

As a brand, consider tapping into traditional marketing methods. The level of trust and familiarity is a great opportunity for you to build awareness and cultivate strong, genuine, and long-lasting relations with clients, taking them seamlessly beyond purchasing into advocacy for your brand.

How to use traditional marketing methods to drive results

So, while you should be leveraging the power of AI to do marketing faster, smarter, and more easily, it’s also imperative for brands to keep in mind the power of human touch through hyper-local marketing. This helps your brand stand out of the crowd in various ways:

1. Build brand awareness and recall

It’s easy to build a sense of connection when we encounter familiar brands in our daily lives through city newspapers, local organizations’ magazines, billboards in our neighborhoods, or broadcast media. A consistent presence in very local traditional media helps brands build recognition and stay top of mind among consumers.

2. Publish localized content with emotional appeal

Traditional marketing outlets offer the best opportunities to deliver messages that strongly resonate with local audiences. Through locally relevant references, visuals, and music, brands can inspire emotional appeal. Local media outlets are often open and very flexible to bring your idea to life: A live television segment with testimonials or a compelling print ad with a picture of a familiar local spot can leave a lasting impression and strengthen the bond between your customers and your brand.

3. Generate word of mouth

Local media promotion stimulates conversations. When individuals see or hear compelling advertisements, they are more likely to share their experiences with friends, family, or colleagues, extending the reach of the message and building trust. It’s the original reputation and influencer marketing.

4. Engage with the community

When your brand becomes part of their day to day, local audiences will develop a sense of familiarity with it. Repeated exposure to targeted and relevant content aligned with your audience’s interests and needs can make them feel that your brand genuinely knows and cares about them, and, hence, can be trusted.

Local media outlets such as newspapers, radio, and local TV stations serve specific geographic areas, which can help brands connect with their communities. For instance, advertising in the local newspaper, sponsoring a radio segment, or hosting an important local event can help build a sense of familiarity and trust among residents.

5. Participate in shared local experiences

Traditional media ads have the power to create shared cultural experiences. Memorable campaigns can become part of popular culture, sparking conversations and connections among individuals who have seen or heard them. These shared experiences contribute to a sense of community and connection.

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and a local law firm has done such a great job taking over the local media that their spokesperson has become a celebrity and, in a way, part of the identity of the city. Interviews, articles in the news, memes and jokes online, and tons of free press have exponentially amplified the brand’s paid efforts.

Tim Misny makes them pay billboard, happy easter from Tim Misny billboard, Tim Misny northern lights facebook post

Photo sources: Cleveland Magazine/ Facebook: Tim Misny / Facebook: Mistakes on the Lake

How to boost your local marketing

While AI continues to expand across the marketing landscape, traditional hyper-local media advertising still plays a vital role in building and maintaining connections between brands and their audiences.

To win in local, focus on uniting these two tactics: local traditional marketing methods and AI. This will allow you to sprint ahead of the competition and win over the hearts of local consumers.

BrandMuscle supports top national brands and their affiliates to win their own markets down to the zip code level and identify the right opportunities through an omnichannel approach. The result: strategic plans for each location that include digital strategies and the best traditional hyper-local opportunities to engage local communities.

Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more.

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