Local marketing: 5 effective ways to advertise to local audiences

With many brands focused on spreading their message across the UK or globally, it’s easy to forget the importance of local marketing. Local audiences have a lot of spending potential and our marketing agency is being asked more and more to create targeted campaigns which really help build a connection.

We’ve put together five great examples of local marketing media, and shared why they might help your brand build a regional audience.

Bus advertising

Whenever we go outside, we’re probably going to walk past a bus. Over 90% of the UK live around five minutes from a bus stop, so that’s not just us exaggerating! Advertising on buses gives brands a big, mobile billboard with city-wide reach, so if you’re trying to find an efficient way of speaking to the local population, there’s few better options.

One example we love is for Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm. This ad wraps around the entire vehicle, coating it with bright colours and images. When we see buses nearly every day, it’s easy to pass over the more standard and mundane adverts. Making your ad stand out with eye-catching colours or imagery which takes advantage of the format (say, an advert for a film about planes using the windows to make it look like the passengers are on a flight!) can really help grab peoples’ attention.

Local advertising - bus back

Location targeted social media

There’s around 53 million social media users in the UK alone (that’s nearly as many people as who came to our last birthday party!). With that kind of reach, it’s no wonder most brands have some sort of social media presence.

Localised instore signage

The problem is, sometimes social media is so large that it can create a disconnect. That’s why opting for a regional spin might benefit your brand – using local dialect, references or even involving customers directly within your campaign.

That’s what Lidl did in their attempt to move away from their reputation of low quality. Inviting customers to try their products then tweet about them, they put up banners of those posts in local stores to let the consumer do their marketing for them! Although this was a nationwide campaign, it still has a nice local spin to it which could influence your own brand.


Visibility is an essential quality for out-of-home advertising, and what’s more visible than a giant ad greeting you at every traffic light? Nearly three quarters of consumers look at messages on roadside billboards, that’s why it’s important to make your message stand out. Willow Estate Agents in London made great use of the format with an eye-catching and modern line drawing of London landmarks, giving their ad that oh-so important local link.

Localised billboard

Digital bus stops

Ads on bus shelters are an effective way to speak to audiences, reaching 92% of the population every week. Digital bus stops let brands get a bit more creative than a static poster and allow multiple ads to be shown in one area.

A great example was the ‘Are you ready Reading?’ campaign, promoting the city’s smartphone interactive bus shelters. Featuring some nice wordplay, punchy text and a scannable QR code people waiting for the bus could download discount vouchers, games and video clips simply by standing next to the ad, thanks to NFC technology. This digital poster really adds a bit of excitement to the bus stop, and we thought waiting for the bus couldn’t get any more exciting.

Door drops

According to Royal Mail, 83% of door drops are opened, read or filed. They’re cheap too, which means if you’re working to a smaller marketing budget these might be an effective option for your brand to connect to local audiences.

The great thing about door drops is that most people pick them up and leave them on the side before throwing them away. That means they could be visible to potential customers every time they go to the kitchen for a coffee (which is more than ever in this age of home working).

Door drops are no longer just two-sided flyers. You can die-cut, add QR codes for immediate access to your website, and even include video. Plus, they’re easy to localise, so you can precisely target your audience by postcode and throw in a mention of that pothole that never seems to get fixed!

If you’re looking for advice on creating an outstanding local marketing campaign, get in touch and take a look at the work we do.

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