More and more, we see advertisers ask for geo-targeted online ad campaigns. These advertisers range from local- or regional-only companies, national companies seeking to make a play in a particular region, or franchise companies looking to support franchisees all across the country. Luckily, we as online media planners have far more options than ever before to execute creative geo-targeted online media plans. Keeping up with the latest offerings in local can be overwhelming. In fact, there are so many options, this will be a multi-part column.
Considerations for Local Online Media Planning
Building a robust local media plan can be more challenging to source, can take more time, and requires considerable strategic thinking. When developing a geo-targeted media plan, consider these several important factors:
As we review the options for a geo-targeted plan, be aware that some considerations might not be strictly "media" and there are some areas where opportunities overlap. Let's start first with the low-hanging fruit.
Google local ads: a new form of locally-targeted AdWords currently only available in San Diego and San Francisco (see below example).
Internet Yellow Pages and Local Directories
Location Review Sites
Some of these review sites are for residents and some are for travelers (or both!).
Regional Media Sites
These days all regionally-focused newspaper, magazine, radio, and television media outlets also offer advertising on their Web sites. Finding these sites may not be easy, but here are a few directories to help:
In part two of this column, we'll be covering other locally-targeted media options including mobile. If you plan local ad buys, be sure not to miss it!
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A ClickZ expert columnist since 2005, Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is president and founder of Maryland-based WebAdvantage.net, an online marketing company that provides results-centric, strategic Internet marketing services, including online media planning, SEO, PPC campaign management, social media marketing, and Internet consulting. Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and an award-winning entrepreneur, Hollis is the Maryland 2007 SBA Small Business Person of the Year. Hollis speaks extensively on online marketing, having presented for ClickZ, the American Marketing Association, SES, The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association, The Kelsey Group, and the Vocus Worldwide User Forum. WebAdvantage.net's client list has included Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, K'NEX Construction Toys, and Visit Baltimore. The agency was recognized as a "Small Giant" by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council and was chosen as a "Best Place for Business Women to Work" by "Smart Woman Magazine."