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THE CHANNEL MARKETERS

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO

DIGITAL
MARKETING

INTRODUCTION
Its no secret that we rely heavily on technology. We use it to read the news, play games, and find
new places to spend money. When we want to find a new frozen yogurt shop or mechanic, what do
we do? We search for it online and pay more attention to whatever we see first. Most often, what
catches our eye first is wherever we can get what were searching for the quickest. As a marketer
who sells a brand through local businesses, you want to catch consumers eyes first and let them
know youre right around the corner.

Digital marketing isnt easy, but its even trickier in the channel marketing world. You have to build
your brand, but your local partners have to keep up their own businesses. You know what messaging
works for your brand, but your local partners know their markets better than you do. How do you
navigate these challenges? You do it by reading this guide, which tells you all about the specific
marketing tactics you need to digitally promote your brand and your local partners. After reading
this guide, youll have a better understanding of what it takes to capture customers attention with
relevant, co-branded messaging that drives them to the nearest place to find your brand.

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TABLE OF

CONTENTS
Directory Listings.................................................................................................... 3
Reputation Management......................................................................................... 6
Local Paid Search.................................................................................................. 9
Dynamic Local Display.......................................................................................... 12
Video Advertising.................................................................................................. 14
Local Websites..................................................................................................... 16
Data Match Retargeting........................................................................................ 18
Marketing Concierge Service................................................................................ 20
Distributed Marketing Platform.............................................................................. 22
Conclusion........................................................................................................... 25

DIRECTORY
LISTINGS
When youre looking online for a new neighborhood restaurant, painting service
or cleaning company, theres a good chance that youll see search results from
sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Angies List. All of these results are directory
listings. These listings play a critical role in how your brand appears in online
search results. Generally speaking, the more listings that a business has, the
higher it will rank on the results pages.
Businesses can have two types of directory listings. A basic directory listing
contains the bare bones of what prospective customers need to know about
a business: name, address, phone number, and website. This information is
helpful, but it doesnt give customers a full picture of the business. Thats
where enhanced directory listings come in. An enhanced directory listing
includes all of the basic facts plus operating hours, services, payment options,
photos, and videos.

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WHY ARE DIRECTORY LISTINGS IMPORTANT?


People are looking for local business information at all hours of the day. This means that your
information needs to be not only updated at all times, but available across multiple platforms. Why?
The information that consumers seek slightly varies on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

When
searching on
a computer or
tablet

When
searching on a
smartphone

54%

of people search for


store business hours.1

45%

53%

look for directions to a


local store.1

42%

50%

search for a local store


address.1

38%

of people seek product


availability at a local
store.1
look for business hours.1
38% try to find a local
store address.1

Speaking of mobile devices, its important to note that smartphones are increasingly becoming
the go-to device for localized searches.
94% of smartphone users have used their device to find a nearby business or service.2
65% follow up their searches by visiting the local businesses they find.2
57% use their phones to search for information at least once a week (and 25% do so every
day).2

Consumers heavily depend on directory sites to find business information. Considering the
following statistics from an Infogroup survey, a bad listing can have dire consequences for
a business.
77% of people are unlikely to give a business a second chance if they find incorrect
information about it.3
68% of people will take their business elsewhere if they see a missing or inaccurate listing.3
52% of people have visited a permanently closed business because of inaccurate directory
information.3

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WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A


DIRECTORY LISTINGS PROGRAM?
A good directory listings program will keep your channel partners business listings clean and consistent across
as many channels as possible. These channels arent just online directories. Theyre mobile apps, search engines,
social media sites, and GPS devices. A top-tier program will do this through a process called local syndication. Local
syndication involves submitting enhanced business data to the top four data aggregators. These data aggregators
then push that information to multiple directories, including Google, Bing, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and AT&T. Heres
a graphic that illustrates how this syndication works.

Your program should be one that continually monitors business data and updates it at least once a month. This
ensures that the search engines get the right information about your local partners businesses. It also increases the
chances of the business listings appearing higher in local search results. Consumers dont take kindly to inaccurate
listings, so you need a program that refreshes business data as often as possible.
Another aspect of a good program is that it provides you and your partners with comprehensive reporting. You all
should get reports at least once every quarter. As a brand marketer, you should see reports that show which of your
partners are enrolled and how up-to-date their listings are with the different directories. Your partners reports should
show them the verification status of their listing with each directory (e.g. whether their listing is updated, in progress
to be updated, or needs more information). With this reporting, you can see if the program is truly making it easier
for people to find the local businesses that sell your brand.

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REPUTATION
MANAGEMENT
Consumers talk -- and they do it a lot. If people have an extremely positive or
extremely negative experience with your brand, you can guarantee that the
rest of the Internet will hear about it. You cant stop people from talking, but
you can monitor what they say and respond accordingly. Thats what reputation
management is all about.

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WHY IS REPUTATION MANAGEMENT


IMPORTANT?
If there is one thing that consumers use to learn about a local business, its an online review.
Not only do they look for online reviews, but they also put great trust in them.

88% read online reviews to learn more about a local business


(39% do so regularly).4

88% trust online reviews as much as they do personal


recommendations.4

85% read up to 10 reviews about a business before they feel


they can trust it.4

Given this, a reputation management program is a great tool to have in your local marketing
arsenal. It lets you see what customers are saying about the local businesses that sell your
product or service.
Reputation management helps you gain an edge over your competition. The more positive
reviews a company has, the more highly that consumers will think of it. If your local partners
have favorable online reviews, this can have a halo effect on you. Why? Customers will
associate your brand with the positive experience they had with your partner business. The
increase in customers that comes because of positive reviews means more eyes on your
product or service.
A reputation management program is just as important for your partners. Most, if not all, of
your channel partners are small business owners. This means theyre performing all their
business roles -- accounting, human resources, operations, management -- by themselves.
They dont have time to look for what people are saying about them online. This program does
the monitoring for them so they can focus on the day-to-day duties of running their business.

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WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A


REPUTATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM?
Reputation management programs work by collecting a companys reviews across hundreds of social media
platforms and review sites like Google, Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and Citysearch. The most positive reviews
will then be published to other review sites. This increases the chances of prospective customers seeing four- and
five-star reviews of your local partners businesses. Partners should then be able (and encouraged) to share these
reviews on their own social media pages.
The best reputation management program is one that gives small business owners an opportunity to respond to
online reviews. Your partners should get an email every time someone reviews them so that they can respond
quickly. This is especially critical for negative reviews. In fact, one negative review can cost a business 30
customers.5 An effective reputation management
program will not only take the work of monitoring
reviews off your partners, but it will also give them
the chance to provide customers with a genuine,
authentic response.
Your reputation management program should
also provide two types of reporting. Your partners
reports should show the number of reviews they
have, their average review rating (from one to
five), the reviews overall sentiment, and the total
number of visitors. It might also show some of
the top reviews that theyve received.

Whereas partners see their


individual performance, your
report should show you an overall
summary of all businesses enrolled
in the program. This summary
should include the number,
sources (i.e. websites), average
rating, and sentiment of the
reviews that all of your enrolled
partners have received. It may
also show the search terms with
which consumers found your local
partners on different review sites.

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LOCAL PAID
SEARCH
As the number of online searches for local products and services continues
to rise, you have to make sure that your brand and the businesses that sell it
are what consumers see first. A brand-approved local paid search program is
the best way to increase your partners online visibility without interfering with
your national PPC advertising program.

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WHY IS LOCAL PAID SEARCH IMPORTANT?


Paid search programs are important because they put your local partners where consumers can see
them in an online search. The graphic below shows the differences between where most advertisers pay
to place their ads and where consumers click on ads.
WHERE ADVERTISERS APPEAR

24% top
61%
right

15% bottom
WHERE CUSTOMERS CLICK

85% top
13%
right

2% bottom
A local paid search program gives your partners a greater guarantee that their ads will appear in the most
popular locations on screen. It helps if these are targeted to each searchers geographic location. Why?
Consumers pay more attention to geotargeted online ads. In fact, they perform two times better than the
industry average for non-targeted paid search campaigns.6

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WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A LOCAL PAID


SEARCH PROGRAM?
A local paid search program should take your national PPC ad copy and tag it with local partner information. This
way, consumers see your brands message and the nearest place to buy your product or service at the same time.
How are locations tagged onto PPC copy? One way is with location extensions. Location extensions amend the ad
copy with a nearby business address, phone number, and map marker. When people see a location extension on
their mobile devices, they will see a link with directions.

Another way is through call extensions. With a call extension, consumers can
call the closest local business that sells your brand with the push of a button.
Your local paid search program should also provide enrolled partners with
landing pages created on a subdomain of their existing website. This landing
page will contain all of the pertinent business information and may have a
web form through which partners can collect leads.
Each of your partners should get a report that shows their local paid search
program activity. It should show how their campaign keywords are performing. There should be a graph showing
the keywords that generate the most clicks, as well as the impressions, clicks, and click-through rate (CTR) of each
keyword. The report should also display the number of landing page views.

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AD

AD
AD

DYNAMIC LOCAL
DISPLAY
Banner ads are on nearly every website. How can you harness the power of
their reach while targeting customers at the local level? Three words: Dynamic
local display. Dynamic local display takes your brands banner ads and
customizes them with your local partners contact information. This means
that your audience sees a co-branded online ad and knows exactly where to
go to find your product or service. If theyre not yet ready to buy, then theyll
remember your brand when the time comes.

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WHY IS DYNAMIC LOCAL DISPLAY


IMPORTANT?
Part of dynamic local displays importance comes from the impact that display ads have on general search behavior.
Although theres variance by industry, display ads increase search queries of brand- and industry-related search
terms by an average of 144%.7 General display ads are effective, but localized display ads work even better.
Personalized ads have a CTR that is ten times higher than that of regular display ads.8

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A DYNAMIC


LOCAL DISPLAY PROGRAM?
In a dynamic local display program, your localized, brand-approved creative is targeted at consumers based on a
variety of data. The ads can be geotargeted by ZIP code, DMA, state, or some other custom region. Audiences are
also selected based on demographic, contextual, behavioral, and/or profile data. Once the targeting criteria are
set, the ads are placed in top ad exchanges to take up premium local inventory on different websites. Depending
on your brand and audience, they can appear on popular sites like Forbes, WebMD, iVillage, and Priceline.
Dynamic local display reporting will give your partners a comprehensive summary of their online advertising activity.
It will show not only the top sites on which their ads have appeared, but also the cumulative metrics for all placed
creative. These metrics include impressions, clicks, and hovers.

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LOCAL VIDEO
ADVERTISING
We spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube every single day.9 Imagine
how many online video ads we see just on YouTube. As a marketer that sells
a brand through local businesses, you need to make sure that your online
ads do more than just cut through the clutter. They need to make consumers
remember how to find your brand. A local video advertising program does this
by connecting it to a familiar nearby business. This, in turn, strengthens your
brand with a wider audience.

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WHY IS LOCAL VIDEO ADVERTISING


IMPORTANT?
Online video advertising has become increasingly more popular because of two significant behavioral shifts. The first is
whats known as multiscreening, or using another device while watching traditional TV. Almost 80 percent of consumers
use their smartphone, tablet, or computer while they watch TV.10 The other is the rise in digital video viewing, which
people do right from their computers or through smart TVs that stream online content. One in three adults over the age
of 18 owns either a smart TV or some other device that streams online video to their TVs.10 Of these people, 76 percent
say that this viewing experience is just as good as or better than that of traditional TV.10
Personalized online video ads are more effective than non-personalized ads because they are more relevant to consumers.
Because they are more relevant, they are also more memorable. One study found that personalized online video ads
increase reported purchase intent by 37 percent, brand loyalty by 73 percent, and brand favorability by 100 percent.11

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A LOCAL VIDEO


ADVERTISING PROGRAM?
In a local video advertising program, your partners customize brand-approved video creative with their business
information. This is how customers make the connection between your brand and a familiar business or location. The
ads they see are served based on their IP address and GPS information. The ads will play before (pre-roll), during (midroll), or after (post-roll) the desired video content. Your partners should pay for the ad only when it has been watched
completely.
Your partners should see reporting that displays comprehensive metrics about their online video advertising
performance. These should include the number of impressions, views, and clicks generated from one campaign. If you
are using call tracking within your program, then partners should also see the number of calls resulting from the video
advertising campaign.

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LOCAL
WEBSITES
Imagine visiting your favorite clothing brands website and seeing a pair of
pants you really want. You want to know if you can find the pants at a location
thats three miles away from you, but you cant find this anywhere on the
website. Frustrating, isnt it? This is where a local website comes in. Local
websites are the key to giving customers the information they need to make
business with your channel partners and your brand as smooth as possible.

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WHY ARE LOCAL WEBSITES IMPORTANT?


Local websites are important because localized marketing communication is important. Localized
communication typically generates a response rate that is 18% greater than that for national
communication.12 Consumers want messages that are relevant, and when they see these messages,
theyre much more likely to pay attention. This is the purpose that local websites serve.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A LOCAL


WEBSITES PROGRAM?
A local websites program should allow you to create a branded website template for your partners to
customize with their local business information. This means that you can control the design, navigation,
and layout to keep your brand and legal elements intact. At the same time, your partners can add
videos, photos, team biographies, and even their own blogs. This website should be responsive so that
customers can see them on any device. You should also be able to maintain and update content on all
of your websites at once.
Your partners should be able to use these local websites to connect with prospective customers in as
many ways as possible. The local websites should have a web form in which people can input their
information to show interest. Your partners should also be able to track calls from their customers.

LOCALIZED COMMUNICATION TYPICALLY


GENERATES A RESPONSE RATE THAT IS
18% GREATER THAN THAT FOR NATIONAL
COMMUNICATION.12

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DATA MATCH
RETARGETING
Its no secret that we live in a multichannel world. Consumers see millions of
marketing messages each day through email, TV, social media, direct mail, and
more. Integrated marketing is all about presenting consumers with consistent
messages through different channels. This is what helps your brand stick in
their minds. One way you can do that and involve your local partners is through
data match retargeting. Data match retargeting allows you to match customer
data points to send them marketing messages offline and online so that they
are more likely to remember your brand and where to find it.

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WHY IS DATA MATCH


RETARGETING IMPORTANT?
The importance of data match retargeting lies in one simple truth: The more often
consumers see your message, the more likely they are to remember it. A Google
study once found that viewing an ad on multiple screens increased brand recall
from 50 percent to 74 percent.13 The same study found that consumers opinions of
a brand were more positive when they saw the brands ad more than once. These
facts show the positive impact that data match retargeting can have on your brand
and those who sell it.

DATA MATCH RETARGETING ALLOWS YOU TO


MATCH CUSTOMER DATA POINTS TO SEND THEM
MARKETING MESSAGES OFFLINE AND ONLINE
SO THAT THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO REMEMBER
YOUR BRAND AND WHERE TO FIND IT.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN


A DATA MATCH RETARGETING
PROGRAM?
Data match retargeting works by taking customer data (e.g. postal addresses, email
addresses) from your CRM system and matching it to online cookies. Customers
whose offline and online data match up will not only receive direct mail pieces,
but theyll also see online banner ads with both your brands message and the
information for the closest local business that sells it. Prospective customers will
see these ads before and after they receive direct mail. These banner ads lead to a
landing page where prospective customers can find out more information or submit
a contact request.

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Sample Co
Team

MARKETING

CONCIERGE
Your local partners are busy running their small businesses. They probably
dont have time to figure out which digital marketing services will best fit their
needs. They also dont have the same marketing knowledge that you have.
How do your partners figure out how digital marketing works with limited
time and expertise? The answer is a Marketing Concierge program, which
is a custom-tailored service that helps your partners strategically develop
and execute local marketing plans. The program also includes one-on-one
guidance from a local marketing coordinator (LMC). Once you choose the
different digital tactics to offer your partners, you can then create full digital
marketing programs for them.

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WHY IS MARKETING CONCIERGE


IMPORTANT?
A Marketing Concierge program is critical for your partners to understand and be more
involved with their local marketing. This is especially true for those who prefer a do-itfor-me (DIFM) or do-it-with-me (DIWM) approach to local marketing. Because theyre
working with an expert like an LMC, theyre comfortable spending more on advertising.
In fact, small business owners who prefer these approaches spend $32,935 per year on
advertising, which is more than two times greater than the $13,654 that do-it-yourself local
marketers spend each year.14

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN


A MARKETING CONCIERGE
PROGRAM?
A Marketing Concierge program gives your partners expert guidance in the form of the
dedicated LMC. The LMC will consult your partners on their local marketing strategy
based not just on the digital tactics that youre offering, but also on their market dynamics
and business goals. S/he will also be available for your partners at every step of their
digital marketing journey. This means the LMC is a committed business partner that will
see your partners to marketing success.

WHAT IS AN
LMC?

LMC stands for Local Marketing


Coordinator and is the dedicated
representative that will guide your
affiliates through the process of
selecting the right programs.

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DISTRIBUTED
MARKETING
PLATFORM
All of these digital marketing tactics are great, but what happens once you
decide to use them? How do you make it as easy as possible for your partners
to take advantage of all this? The solution is a distributed marketing platform,
which is your comprehensive hub for all of your local marketing needs. A
distributed marketing platform has everything you need to automate, scale
and measure your channel marketing efforts.

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WHY IS A DISTRIBUTED
MARKETING PLATFORM IMPORTANT?
A distributed marketing platform is important for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to):

Greater
marketing
efficiency:

Cost
savings:

It needs to be easy to promote new offers and products without


taking tons of time or paperwork to get everything ready.
Because all of your marketing tactics are in one central platform,
your speed-to-market increases significantly.

Some marketers try to create a local marketing system by


bringing different platforms together. Each of these is expensive
on its own, so when they dont work together, it costs you more
to try to fix them. With a distributed marketing platform, you have
everything you need in one place. Because it also makes your
marketing more efficient, a distributed marketing platform ends
up saving you money.

Brand
compliance:

All of your partners are their own entities with diverse markets
and unique business goals. This makes it tempting for them
to take your product and put it in marketing creative that has
none of your brand elements. With a distributed marketing
platform, youre able to control what your partners can and cant
customize, thereby maintaining a perfect co-branding balance.

Scalability:

As your network of local business partners grows, youll need to


offer more marketing tactics to support that growth. A distributed
marketing platform lets you add marketing services and assets
seamlessly across your entire network to quickly equip all your
partners to promote your brand.

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WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A


DISTRIBUTED MARKETING PLATFORM?
One of the most important aspects of an effective distributed marketing platform is that its easy to
use. Your partners do a lot in their day-to-day lives as business owners, so they need something
that makes marketing easy. If the platform is too complicated, your partners will become frustrated
and disengaged. In turn, your brand loses the local support it needs to grow.
Your distributed marketing platform should provide you and your partners with thorough reporting
on your local marketing performance. You spend a lot of money on local marketing, so you should
know how your partners are spending it. As a marketer, you will see aggregated reporting that
summarizes your partners marketing activity. Your partners will see their own activity. The analytics
will help you understand and make informed decisions about your marketing.
If you offer co-marketing funds to your partners, you need a marketing platform that simplifies
fund management. You might depend on claims and reimbursements to keep your co-op or MDF
program running, but that requires a lot of documentation to maintain. It would be much easier if
you could distribute your funds in real time and have immediate access to reporting that shows
how your partners are spending their funds. Thats what a distributed marketing platform should
allow you to do.
Finally, your distributed marketing platform should be one that offers all of the digital marketing
tactics mentioned in this guide. While you may decide that you need some and not others, your
platform should offer these so that you can choose the ones that are right for you. You can then
create digital marketing programs for your network, offer them at a low cost -- thanks to comarketing funds -- and give them guidance through a Marketing Concierge program. All of this will
ultimately increase your partner engagement in building your brand and their business.

A DISTRIBUTED
MARKETING PLATFORM
HAS EVERYTHING YOU
NEED TO AUTOMATE,
SCALE AND MEASURE
YOUR CHANNEL
MARKETING EFFORTS.

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CONCLUSION
As technology continues to assert greater importance in our lives, digital marketing
will play a more prominent role in strengthening your brand. The tactics in this
guide will equip you and your partners to attract customers looking for your product
or service nearby. Weve included a lot in this guide and know that youll pick and
choose the right ones for your brand and your partners.
Whether you decide to use reputation management, local websites, or data match
retargeting (or all three!), youll need a distributed marketing platform that comes
with a Marketing Concierge service to have the most effective local marketing
possible. This will make it easier for customers to find your brand online and
nearby. The easier it is for customers to find you, the better your chances of building
customer relationships that last for a very long time.

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FOOTNOTES
1. http://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/howadvertiserscanextendtheirrelevancewiths earch_
researchstudies. pdf
2. http://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/omp2013usen. pdf
3. http://www.infogroupdatalicensing.com/sites/default/files/resources/real_time_whitepaper.pdf
4. http://searchengineland.com/88consumerstrustonlinereviewsmuchpersonalrecommend ations195803
5. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238501
6. http://searchengineland.com/locationbasedgeotargetingboostspaidsearchadperforman
ceimportancetrulylocaldatasearchmarketingdecisions213765
7. http://specificmedia.com/insights/research/whitepaper2/
8. http://www.invesp.com/blog/onlineshoppingpersonalization/
9. https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
10. http://www.iab.net/about_the_iab/recent_press_releases/press_release_archive/press_release/pr042015
11. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/PersonalizedOnlineVideoAdsBoostBranding/1008655
12. http://www.gleanster.com/report/buildingabusinesscaseforlocalizedmarketingautomation
13. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/foradvertisingstudysaysmorescreensarebetter/?_r=0
14. http://www.biakelsey.com/ResearchandAnalysis/Infographics/1504DIWMDIFM%26AnnualSpendLCM18.
asp#.VV3qAvlVikp
ABOUT SPROUTLOUD:
SproutLoud is a hyperlocal marketing platform that helps brands across dozens of verticals manage their
marketing campaigns and programs with the local businesses that sell their products or services. The platform
has four distinct strengths: providing the most robust co-op funds management tool on the market, automating
the customization and distribution of local marketing activities, aggregating best-in-class marketing service
partners, and delivering real-time business intelligence to the brand. SproutLoud is a privately held company
and is headquartered in Sunrise, Florida.

Marketing Concierge is a registered trademark of SproutLoud Media Networks.

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