6 minutes

How to Use Geographic Targeting to Get New Sales Leads Fast

September 29, 2021

For Marketers to succeed in generating new sales leads in your local market, you need to focus on the geographic area that is most relevant to you. That’s where local lead generation comes in.

By using the local lead generation and geographic targeting tactics in this article, you’ll be able to hone your marketing to the customers who are most important to your business, save money, and time that would otherwise be wasted on areas out of your reach.

In addition to helping give new businesses a competitive edge, local lead generation can also be key to expanding a company into new markets.

Let’s imagine a party planning company has seen remarkable success in a small town in the U.S. They have loyal customers and a steady flow of business, but they’ve saturated the market and they’re not seeing regular year-over-year growth. It might be easy to assume that all they need to do to grow their business is increase their marketing budget, and increase operations in new neighborhoods.

However, without a clear local lead generation plan, it’s likely that the old tactics won’t yield the same results. This is why it is important to understand both how leads are generated in the first place, and how geographic targeting tools are used in accessing new markets in a meaningful way.

What is Lead Generation?

No matter what kind of business you’re running, you need a steady stream of potential customers, also known as leads. A lead is a potential customer for your business and lead generation is the process of identifying and making contact with those potential customers.  Generating new sales leads is a crucial process for both B2C and B2B teams, no matter the size of the business.

Lead generation generally falls into two main categories: outbound and inbound. Outbound lead generation includes cold calls, direct mail, advertising, and email marketing, while inbound lead generation includes SEO, social media, and PPC (pay per click) marketing. Both streams share the common goal of maximizing visibility, growth, and revenue. 

Having a solid lead process will also enable you to determine the average cost of lead generation. From there, you can find different ways to optimize your strategy to reduce your cost to acquire new leads. A powerful lever you can pull in reducing these costs, especially for small businesses, is developing a local lead generation strategy.

Why Local Lead Generation is Different

To optimize your lead generation you will want to hone in on the places, cities, or geographic areas where you are most likely to generate potential new customers. Let’s once again take that party planning company mentioned earlier and imagine they’re looking to expand into at least two new areas. 

Let’s say the success of their business is largely thanks to kids’ birthday parties and retirement celebrations. Given this, the party planning company will want to employ geographic targeting technologies to develop leads in one or more locations that are popular among young, growing families and another location that is favored by empty nesters and soon-to-be retirees. You get the idea― your local lead generation is going to vary according to the location you are marketing to, and your target customer segments.

What Is Geo-targeting?

Geo-targeting, also known as geo-targeted advertising, is when a business delivers content tailored to a consumer’s geographic location. It is an invaluable practice in prospecting new sales leads in the right area. When a consumer is targeted with advertising based on their locality, there is a higher likelihood that they will connect with that ad or offer. 

Keep in mind, when we talk about geo-targeting, we’re talking about employing location data to determine the behaviors of individuals in a particular market. It’s important to understand who your target customers are, develop an understanding of their needs, and then use that information to determine the best geographic targeting strategy.

It’s also worth noting that while geographic targeting can be used to target specific locations, it can also be used to avoid specific locations. Let’s say your product doesn’t ship to a certain city or state. By using some geo-targeting solutions, you can ensure that you don’t waste precious lead generation dollars by running those campaigns in areas where you won’t be able to do business.

How to use Geo-Targeting to Find Leads in a New Area

In short, geo-targeting helps marketers and businesses better understand consumers, measure advertising effectiveness, and deliver personalized campaigns. 

By using some of the tactics and technology below, you can quickly up your game in local lead generation.

Using Social Media Geo-targeting Software

The major social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, all offer different levels of social media geo-targeting as part of their ad product. You can visit each of their websites to learn more about their specific offerings in the space.

TikTok, for example, allows you to target ads based on Country/Region, State/Province, Metro Areas, City, and U.S. DMA. While Facebook allows you to also geo-target advertising based on whether a user is traveling or not.

Let’s imagine the product your business offers is most relevant to people who are traveling in a specific city but don’t live there. Perhaps it’s a special adventure experience targeted to tourists such as a rental car package. It’s possible through Facebook to target your advertising specifically to people who are in that city but don’t live there.

You can then measure the performance of that campaign against other campaigns that you might run without similar targeting, and refine your lead generation strategy.

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

A strong local SEO strategy will also help you boost your organic search lead generation. You should consider how users in the local community might search for your product.

For example, a potential customer who lives in Boise, Idaho, who is looking for plumbing services, might search for something like “Boise plumbers”. It’s important to make sure your website content includes these keywords, so your page can rank in search results.

You can use multiple tools online, some of them free, to research keywords that local customers might be using to find services in your industry.

Some businesses go so far as to include the SEO keywords in their business name, to supercharge their SEO potential. This can be a powerful way to ensure your business ranks on search engines, however, it may limit your ability to rank for other terms and expand your reach. The name of your business, and the content on your website, are important to your SEO strategy. You can consider using SEO research tools such as Moz and Semrush to discover quality keywords. 

Local SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Unlike SEO, SEM is where you pay for placement on search engines. It gives you more control over the search result pages that your business will rank highly on, and therefore it’s possible to apply more sophisticated local lead generation strategies. 

To effectively employ local SEM, it’s important to thoroughly research keywords that potential customers might be searching to find your business. You can conduct this directly on Google through the Google Keyword Planner, or via the many third-party tools available on the market. Once you know your keywords, you can structure your ad campaigns based on location, ensuring that the ads appear only when users are searching from specific locations.

The best local search engine strategies combine both SEO and SEM, with the SEM ensuring that your business is visible on search results, and the SEO will give users a reason to click through to read your content and convert.

Local Lead Generation Software

There are many other companies and software solutions available that can help support your local lead generation strategy. For example, Google Search Console is a powerful tool that gives you insights into where your content is appearing on Google and how users are interacting with it. By understanding how your content is performing and the keywords that are driving the most traction for your business, you can continuously improve your business content.

Another tool that can be used for local lead generation is a landing page creator, such as Unbounce, or Typeform. By using one of these tools you can create multiple landing pages for your business, with subject lines and CTAs focusing on different local areas, which can be paired with social media marketing and SEM to help improve your local outreach.

The companies that are the best at local lead generation tend to combine some of all of these tools in an effective sales process cycle, and continuously assess their tactics and lean into the most effective ones. Additionally, they use this information to help them more deeply understand their customer base, which in turn can improve sales and help identify new markets to expand to.

It’s a big world out there, with many options available, but it’s always a smart idea to start small, and local lead generation is the key to creating a successful new business.

Ecosystem Qualified Leads

B2B companies that tap into their ecosystem for lead generation experience a conversion rate from lead to customer that is 2X higher. Not only that, on average the deal size increases by 41% and the win-rate by 43%. By using Reveal, you can safely exchange leads with partners that have a presence in the locations your company wants to be. There is no stronger signal than customer of your partner. By targeting these leads, increasing presence in current markets and expand into new markets is not only easier but far more successful. 

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