Digital Advertising Goes Local

February 06, 2018   /   by  Diane Callihan

Local Businesses Reap Big Benefits from Digital Ads

While tech companies, online retailers and national brands have been quick to adopt and capitalize on digital advertising and marketing strategies, local businesses—like restaurants, car dealerships, real estate agents and other brick and mortar retailers—have been a little late to the game.

But that is changing.

First of all, pretty much everyone (77% of Americans) now owns a smart phone, and they are using those devices to find products and services locally. In fact, SearchEngineLand recently reported that local searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall.

Additionally, advances in hyper-local technologies (such as Wi-Fi hotspots, RFID, GPS and other tracking technologies) have made it easier than ever for local businesses to find, target, attract and engage potential local customers.

Local businesses can now deliver real-time, location-targeted mobile ads that are the perfect storm of relevancy to their consumers – delivering the right ad at the right time and the right place. That kind of precision has caused local online advertising spend to steadily grow.

Local online advertising spending in the United States from 2010 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)


There are many channels and methods that take advantage of all local digital marketing has to offer.

  • Google AdWords and Facebook Ads local targeting are the most popular channels and for good reason. Businesses can target users within a distance range of their address.
  • Getting listed on a range of local directories can help people find your business more easily in search. Creating location-based landing pages on your website can also improve SEO.
  • Other social media channels (like Snapchat and Instagram) can provide unique targeting and customer engagement opportunities.
  • Advertising on review sites like Yelp can be a powerful way to get local traffic.
  • Geo-fencing and geo-targeting lets you set a perimeter through GPS or IP and target people with specific messages or offers when they enter or exit, a great way to build customer loyalty, gather customer insights and drive sales.

Another benefit to local digital advertising is that, unlike more traditional methods like billboards or direct mail, you can actually track exactly what is working and what isn’t and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

If you own a local business and are interested in what digital marketing can do for you, let’s talk. We’d love to help.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.