[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Google’s BIG Local Marketing Plays

Google Maps & Shopping Campaigns See Xmas Upgrade

One of the most overlooked and underserved aspects of digital communications is the ability to physically move audiences.

For the past 20 years, most online marketing tactics have centred on serving web impressions, driving clicks, watching vids, generating Likes and encouraging online comments.

Also, Poking.

Remember when Poking was “a thing”?

Turns out, it is still is….

Within the past twenty four months, digital platforms have stared to increasingly turn their attention to bridging the online – offline divide.

None more so than Google, which this week has rolled out a series of location-based campaign features, as part of the Christmas budget grab.

The new features include new Maps inventory for Local campaigns, alongside updates to Shopping campaigns for brick-and-mortar promotions and optimisation.

Cedric Dupont, Director of Product Management, Local ads

“Whether people want to visit a neighbourhood park, museum, local store, or restaurant, Google Maps connects them with the places they’re interested in.

In fact, people tap on location pins in Maps hundreds of millions of times per week to explore and get information about the physical world around them.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to feature your locations as users get directions to a destination.”

According to Google, search interest in local businesses hit a record high last year, and now sees 350 times more search interest in "local" + "near me" queries than there was ten years ago. 

Local Campaigns To Drive Local People

For organisations that want to drive local footfall, there are two methods for doing so via Google:

  1. Local Campaigns
    • Suitable for almost everyone, e.g. restaurants, libraries, car dealerships, wineries, etc.
  2. Shopping campaigns
    • Suitable for retailers

Local campaigns are specifically designed to help businesses drive visits to physical locations. To fully capitalise, Google does require integration with a businesses’ Google My Business listing.

However, in the event that this is a challenge there are workarounds, whereby a business might optimise for other local actions like calls or directions instead.

Not only can Local campaign advertisers have their locations show up when users are getting directions in Maps, but there is now expanded inventory across the wider Google Display Network.

Local campaign advertisers will also be able to soon upload a local product feed and select a set of products to feature in ads that can run across the Google Display network. The ads might feature an individual store’s opening hours and specific items available at the nearby location.

Buy Online Pick Up Offline

Earlier this year, Google launched the beta program for it’s Store Pickup capabilities, as part of Google’s Shopping campaigns.

The Store Pickup feature, available for Shopping campaign advertisers that run Local Inventory Ads ads, is getting more granular with more fulfilment options:

  • Pick up today: show which products are available for immediate store pickup, with the possibility of paying online first
  • Pick up later: promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be quickly shipped to a nearby store within a few days

Also, within the coming weeks, Shopping campaigns will be further upgraded for retailers, offering the ability to include store visits as a conversion goal alongside online sales.

If you have products that are especially effective at driving consumers to stores—such as high-consideration products like furniture or luggage—you can add store visits bidding to your Standard or Smart Shopping campaigns.

Store visits in Smart Bidding is also fully available for Search campaigns to help you maximise conversion value across your website and stores.

Heading into 2020, local marketing has never looked so good.


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