The 3 Local Marketing Tactics to Double Down On (and Which to Drop)

Aaron Gilbreath | July 19, 2023

Social media ads, events, direct mail, podcast sponsorships, out-of-home ads…

In a world filled with an overwhelming number of marketing channels, it can be challenging for your affiliates to choose the ones that drive the best results.

You equip local partners with a variety of marketing options — but the tactics they choose to invest in still leave you skeptical about impact.

Leaving you wondering: Are your partners using the most effective tactics?

Or are they just throwing darts at the board, hoping something hits?

Getting the most out of your local marketing program is all about giving your affiliates the tactics that work. And avoiding them wasting limited time and resources using the wrong channels.

To help you drive local marketing wins like never before, we analyzed 27 marketing channels to identify which tactics to increase, which to decrease, and where to walk away.

Dig into The Most Effective Local Marketing Channels Report for all the data or keep reading for the highlights.

Local Marketing Channels to Double Down On

The data clearly shows where your affiliates should focus to drive marketing results.

1. Referral Programs

47% of affiliates are currently using referral programs to generate new business. And we advise increasing that number.

When executed well, offering incentives for existing clients to refer new clients — like giving them a discount on future purchases for recommending your brand — can help your partners gain new customers in local markets. It’s all about gamifying referrals to generate word of mouth.

If your affiliates don’t already have a referral program in place, create one. With 35% of your affiliates expressing faith in referral program effectiveness, increasing usage across your partners is an easy win. When you show them that it works, more affiliates will use it.

2. Hosting Your Own Events

It’s easy to feel obligated to have a presence at all the big industry events. When competitors are there, shouldn’t you show up, too?

But back up a bit. For local affiliates, capturing local customers and market share is everything. There are ways to generate buzz with the right audience and get locals in the door more strategically.

Only 32% of affiliates currently host their own events, but it’s one of the most effective tactics.

So, provide incentives to encourage your affiliates to invest in local events instead of those national and regional events where they get lost in the crowd.

Scale down. Get people through the door and give away branded promotional items while offering customers a festive, memorable experience that can convert them into loyal customers and let them know who you are as a brand.

3. Direct Mail

When seemingly every brand was sending marketing materials directly to prospects’ homes, the tactic’s impact suffered. There was just too much of it for the messaging to break through.

As brands scaled back or abandoned direct mail for other channels, it created an opportunity to stand out.

Right now, 58% of affiliates use direct mail. Here’s your chance to capitalize on this pendulum swing, because direct mail, when executed well, can cut through the noise of local digital marketing and reach your target audience.

We see this as a resurgence. Strike while the iron’s hot.

These are only 3 of the 18 tactics that local partners should increase or optimize their usage of. To get all the channels you should double down on, dive into the report.

Local Marketing Channels to Drop

Now it’s time to see how not to reach local customers.

4. Broadcast Radio

That fact is, most people today listen to music on streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music. However popular traditional broadcast radio once was, consumer habits have changed. And your marketing strategy needs to change too.

29% of your affiliates still advertise on the radio, yet it’s considered one of the least impactful tactics. It’s time to put this inefficiency to an end.

Encourage your partners to invest their time and marketing dollars in channels that drive better results. Educate affiliates about why channels of the past no longer work. Since most people play it as background noise, they don’t hear the ads that affiliates pay good money for. The listeners who do can easily skip them by changing the station.

In a world of streaming audio, invest in tactics that reach your target audience with greater precision.

Get your copy of the report to see the other 6 tactics that your affiliates should ditch.

Optimize Your Local Marketing Program

Now that you know a few tactics partners should (and shouldn’t) rely on, you can optimize your program to boost impact.

Help your local partners stop throwing darts in the dark in the hopes of hitting the board. By increasing tactics like local events and decreasing ones like broadcast radio, you can maximize your local marketing program impact and get the most from your investment.

The insights we shared in this post are just the tip of the iceberg.

Discover all the insights in The 2023 State of Local Marketing. Read the full report to learn what other tactics drive results and which to deprioritize.

And remember to subscribe to  The State of Local Marketing newsletter to be the first to get the newest data each month!

The Most Effective Local Marketing Channels Report - Read the Report

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