Local Marketing Revolution: How AI is Reshaping Your Business Strategy

06.24.2024 Nick Zinkie10

As a local business owner, you might be curious about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the marketing landscape and what AI means for local businesses. You’re in the right place! Recent advancements from tech giants like Google, Apple, Meta (formerly Facebook), and OpenAI are revolutionizing how local businesses connect with customers.  

Here’s a breakdown of these exciting changes and their practical implications for your local marketing strategy: 

1. Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE): Understanding Your Customers’ True Needs 

It’s time to move beyond keyword stuffing! Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is a game-changer for local businesses. This AI-powered initiative delves deeper than just keywords to understand the intent behind search queries. 

Example: Imagine a customer searching for “best coffee shop near me.” SGE analyzes their location, browsing history, and past purchases to deliver highly relevant results. Not only might they see listings for coffee shops, but also results for websites discussing “best pastries near [your town]” or “frozen drink options in [your area]”—even if those specific keywords weren’t used in the search query itself. 

What This Means for You: 

  • Content is King: Create informative and valuable content that addresses the specific needs and questions of your local audience. Think “how-to” guides, local business comparisons, and content showcasing your expertise within your niche. 
  • Local SEO Matters: Ensure your website and online presence are optimized for local searches. Consistently include your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) across platforms, claim your Google My Business listing, and gather positive online reviews. 
  • Think Beyond Keywords: Integrate long-tail keywords and natural language into your content strategy. While traditional keyword research remains important, a well-rounded approach that considers both user intent and relevant keywords will help you reach your target audience. 

2. Apple Intelligence: Optimized for Hyper-Local Marketing 

Apple’s recent WWDC event unveiled a suite of AI features under the umbrella of “Apple Intelligence” that will soon roll out with their iOS 18 update. These features, built into iPhones, iPads, and Macs, are designed to empower users with on-device intelligence and personalized experiences. 

How Local Businesses Can Leverage This: 

  • Real-Time Translations and Insights: Imagine a customer browsing your local store and using their iPhone’s camera to capture information from a product display or signage. With updated “Live Text,” including instant translations, you should ensure your marketing materials are clear, concise, and easy to capture, making it seamless for potential customers to access important details about your products or services. 
  • Stand Out with Siri Shortcuts: Apple Intelligence enhances Siri’s capabilities. Encourage your customers to create Siri Shortcuts for interacting with your business, such as ordering a coffee with a simple voice command or scheduling a local appointment. The easier you make it for customers to engage with your business, the more likely they are to choose you. 
  • Tailor Your Online Presence for On-Device Intelligence: Apple Intelligence personalizes user experiences across Apple devices. This means your business listing or app might appear more prominently for users who have previously interacted with your brand or searched for similar businesses in your area. Focus on building a strong online presence with positive reviews, high-quality photos, and accurate information to maximize visibility within Apple’s AI ecosystem. 
  • Enhance Local Search Visibility: Apple Intelligence integrates seamlessly with Apple Maps. Utilize features like “Live Look” (AR directions with real-time information) to ensure your business listing is accurate and includes captivating visuals of your storefront or location. This can significantly increase your visibility in local searches and entice potential customers to visit your business. 

Apple’s focus on user privacy means they won’t collect data directly from your business for personalization. However, by creating a positive user experience and optimizing your online presence, you can position yourself to benefit from Apple Intelligence’s on-device capabilities. 

3. Meta’s LLAMA-3: Supercharge Your Local Social Media Marketing with AI 

Meta’s latest AI model, LLAMA-3, is a powerful tool designed to understand and respond to human communication with nuance. Here’s how LLAMA-3 can transform your local social media marketing strategy: 

How to Utilize LLAMA-3: 

  • Craft Compelling and Targeted Social Media Ads: Go beyond demographics. LLAMA-3’s ability to understand context and intent allows you to personalize your social media ads for different local communities within your target audience. Imagine crafting ads that address the specific needs and interests of particular neighborhoods or customer segments, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. If you’re looking for help with personalized social media ads for your business contact us today
  • Break Down Language Barriers and Build Bridges: Does your community speak a diverse range of languages? LLAMA-3 boasts advanced multilingual capabilities. Use AI-powered translation tools to create inclusive social media content or chat with customers in their preferred language, fostering a welcoming online presence and attracting a wider customer base. 
  • Reduce Bias and Promote Fairness: Meta has emphasized that LLAMA-3 is built with a focus on data integrity and minimizing bias. This is crucial for local businesses, as it helps ensure your social media marketing efforts reach the right audience without unfair targeting practices. 
  • AI-Powered Assistant: The new Meta AI Assistant, powered by LLAMA-3, is readily available across Meta’s platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This AI assistant can help you brainstorm creative content ideas, generate engaging captions, and even craft personalized responses to customer comments, freeing up your valuable time to focus on building relationships and delivering exceptional customer service. Meta is also reportedly developing AI assistants for businesses that will answer customer questions and resolve issues efficiently, potentially streamlining your social media customer service in the future. 

With LLAMA-3, Meta offers a powerful and accessible AI tool specifically designed to empower businesses of all sizes. By leveraging its capabilities, you can personalize your local marketing approach, build stronger customer connections, and drive growth for your business. 

4. OpenAI’s GPT-4o and Google’s Gemini: Level Up Your Local Content Creation 

The landscape of local marketing is undergoing a seismic shift with the arrival of powerful AI tools. Recent advancements in OpenAI’s GPT-4o and Google’s Gemini have improved speed, user-friendliness, and practical applications. These AI models are revolutionizing how businesses generate high-quality content for marketing initiatives like social media posts, blog outlines, and emails. 

How These Tools Can Benefit Your Business: 

  • Boost Content and Personalization Efficiency: GPT-4o and Gemini can help you brainstorm topics, craft outlines, or even draft initial content. This can expedite the creation of blog posts, campaign landing pages, social copy, and more, which you can then personalize to fit your unique voice. You can further leverage these tools to generate variations of copy tailored for different neighborhoods within your local area, each addressing specific interests and needs. Coupling this personalization with help from a marketing expert to create targeted multichannel ads can help you reach your ideal audience with the right message. 
  • Experiment with Different Content Formats: Both GPT-4o and Gemini boast advanced capabilities in generating various creative text formats. Use them to explore new content ideas for your local marketing strategy. They can help you generate scripts for local video content, craft engaging social media stories, or brainstorm ideas for interactive quizzes or polls to boost customer engagement on your social media platforms. 
  • Beyond Content Creation: Both GPT-4o and Gemini offer functionalities beyond content creation. Imagine using GPT-4o to analyze customer reviews and identify common themes or areas for improvement. Gemini, integrated with Google Workspace, can assist with tasks like summarizing emails, scheduling meetings, or generating reports, freeing up valuable time for you to focus on core business activities. 
  • Optimize for Local Discoverability: GPT-4o’s voice assistant capabilities open exciting possibilities for local businesses. Imagine a potential customer asking their voice assistant about a product or service you offer in their city. GPT-4o, integrated with the internet, can access local business listings and maps to provide real-time information, directions, or even complete simple appointment bookings. This seamless voice-enabled experience can significantly boost customer engagement and convenience for local businesses. Prepare by claiming your online business listings, encouraging positive reviews, and ensuring your website is optimized for AI crawling. 

Understanding the Differences: GPT-4o vs. Gemini 

  • OpenAI’s GPT-4o: Focuses on speed and affordability, making it a great choice for generating large volumes of content or for businesses on a tight budget. This model offers an advanced voice assistant that makes searching the web and getting answers to questions on the go even easier. It also boasts superior video understanding capabilities, making it ideal if you’re looking to create video scripts or explore video marketing strategies. 
  • Google’s Gemini: Offers a suite of AI models tailored for different needs, from creative text generation to code writing. It might be a better choice if you’re looking for a more comprehensive AI solution or need to generate content in multiple languages. 

Use the advancements in GPT-4o and Gemini to streamline your workflow and spark creativity, but remember to edit, refine, and personalize the content to ensure it reflects your brand voice and resonates with your local audience. 

Dialing In Your Local Strategy 

The future of local marketing will be AI-powered but still human-centric. From deciphering customer intent to crafting personalized content and streamlining social media engagement, these advancements empower you to target the right audience and build stronger connections. By embracing these advancements and adapting your marketing strategies, and understanding more about what AI means for local businesses, you can keep your local business thriving in a competitive landscape while building lasting relationships with your community. 

Not sure where to start? Connect with a Cox Media expert for guidance on what AI means for local businesses and how all of these updates can fit into your marketing strategy.

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About the Author

Nick Zinkie

Nick is the Sr. Performance Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team with over 8 years of experience designing and implementing digital programs within B2B, B2C, and D2C (DTC) environments. He started his career as a web designer/developer and is passionate about telling compelling stories that help connect customers to brands through digital experiences. Outside of the digital world, you can find Nick having dance parties with his cute little toddler Cora, supporting his favorite soccer team Atlanta United, and enjoying a fresh cup of coffee.

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