How National Brands Can Think Local About Search, Content
National brands must learn how to build a regular stream of content for people in a specific area they can share with others. This will drive business to local shops and stores -- even for franchise locations.
BIA/Kelsey estimates local media revenue will climb from $132.5 billion in 2012 to $148.8 billion in 2017. National brands will account for $51 billion of total local media spend within four years.
One company supporting this movement, Balihoo, said Friday it secured $5 million in funding from OpenView Venture Partners, an existing Balihoo investor. The company, which provides marketing automation services to local and national brands, said it will use the funding to grow the business and build up its product offering.
The funding follows a prosperous 2012 for the company, with more than 60% year over year revenue growth, supporting more than 300,000 marketers. Balihoo also added a local social media feature that enables brands with a corporate Facebook page to augment national content with local targeted content to users in specific markets.
Content becomes the perfect tool for search marketers to attract local buyers to Web sites from search engines like Bing, which inked a deal with Local to integrate local-based product data in search results queries. A licensing partnership gives consumers access to product, price and availability from brands and retailers at about 75,000 locations. Google provides something similar, but not through Local and its shopping platform Krillion.
With an early lead in mobile and local online shopping tools, one analyst expects eBay to grow mobile merchandise volume to $20 billion. Analyst Colin Sebastian writes in a research note for Robert W. Baird & Co. that the eBay Marketplace sits in a good position to benefit from rapid growth in mobile, because it leverages recent acquisitions that connect local store inventory with eBay's online platform.
Even the national Internet radio service Pandora has begun to run more local ads. Pandora continues to build out its local sales force -- now in 29 of the top 40 markets, according to J.P. Morgan Analyst Doug Anmuth.
On Thursday, New Orleans Tourism Marketing said it created a way for the city's fans to stay tuned in to an "authentic sound." It created a partnership with Pandora. The agreement aims to give listeners a taste of the local sound and entice them to visit local venues.