In the marketing world, just use the words “search” and “local” in any sentence and you are likely to ignite quite a conversation. Both are on the hot list of late. Just where is the lead generation crowd in the curve with this?
“I have always felt like lead generation is an industry on the leading edge,” says Jason Barrett, co-founder and CEO of Go Local Interactive. “Search is a tactic used for lead generation, but the lead generation game has been going on a long time prior to search showing up on the stage. Local is another item that has been around for a long time but has not been as sexy until recently. If you want to see where things are headed, just look at the lead generation industry. Some of the most creative marketing happens with specific verticals in the space.”
Barrett will be speaking at the upcoming LeadsCon New York conference at The New York Hilton Midtown August 24-26. His session is: “How to Unleash the Power of Local for Lead Generation.”
Location-based Strategy Nationwide
While marketers have certainly realized the nature of local, the real opportunity exists with effort and thought on how to build a location-based strategy on a nationwide level. “This may be unrealized at this point primarily due to other tactics bearing fruit much more easily,” says Barrett, adding: “Lead generation at a local level takes work. The scale alone can appear daunting, but the results are there for those willing to put in the effort.”
Search remains at the forefront in driving quality leads. Search produces two critical elements: volume and quality. Barrett points out that there are other sources that drive volume, but the lead quality doesn’t always follow. Mobile, he says, is a great example of this. The volume that mobile has the potential to produce is "fantastic," notes Barrett. The key, he adds, is to manage the productivity of mobile by working on those elements that drive quality. Search still leads the way as the most effective lead generation channel, and this is true from a local perspective as well. But the trick is: “There are nuances that exist throughout the country, and those need to be recognized and accounted for in the way in which we market. This is where we find the greatest effectiveness with respect to our efforts.”
Capturing the Opportunity
Barrett’s goal for his portion of the panel discussion is to provide information regarding lead generation from this local perspective. “There are several ways in which local can be incorporated into a lead generation strategy, and I want the audience to walk away with a good understanding of some usable methodologies,” he says. Barrett will examine search activity, location awareness and what that accomplishes, as well as a user’s local intent. Barrett underscores that these three items are the major areas of focus for local lead gen — so listen up! His intent is for session attendees to leave with the understanding of the opportunity local presents for lead generation and how they can go about immediately capturing that opportunity.
Go Local Interactive, is, of course, very grounded in this topic. The firm is a full-service digital agency headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. It handles Web development, SEO, PPC management, social media management, local listing management and email marketing. Its aim is to connect clients to their customers through marketing campaigns and be perceived as a strategic partner in their marketing efforts. The company began with three founding partners, one of whom is Barrett. Of his background, Barrett says he has a “tech background with an entrepreneurial twist.” He has spent the majority of his career in the agency world with primary responsibility directing product offerings such as SEO, Social Media and Location Listing Management.
So, then, he is well-placed to size up where marketers need to focus more efforts. Barrett believes marketers should take a strong look at traditionally simple tactics like keyword research but pay close attention to location-specific demand. This is because keywords change significantly from one market to the next, he says. There is also a need to focus on location when working with devices that are “location aware,” such as smartphones and tablets. “Knowing the location of a potential lead can help target the platform, messaging, deals and other items to help optimize the experience,” he points out.
Barrett also believes the biggest challenge for lead generation marketers when it comes to local is time and commitment. “Lead gen marketers have long been willing to put in the work, so this should be very doable for this group,” he says. “Some can find the task arduous and monotonous. That in and of itself creates opportunity.”
Click here to register for LeadsCon New York 2015.