ThinkOTB Agency

Local advertising: 5 effective ways to market to local audiences

August 31, 2021

It’s easy to forget the importance of local advertising. Particularly with many brands focused on spreading their message across the UK or globally! But, local audiences have a lot of spending potential. Our marketing agency is regularly asked to create targeted campaigns which really help build a local connection. Hyperlocal marketing is invaluable to business. If you’re looking for local advertising ideas, we’ve put together five great examples that worked. We’ve also 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. And that’s not us exaggerating, it’s the truth! 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. It’s one of the best local advertising ideas you can choose!

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. Make your ad stand out with eye-catching colours or imagery to take advantage of the format. For example, an advert for a film about planes using the windows to make it look like the passengers are on a flight! This can really help grab peoples’ attention.

Location targeted social media

There’s around 53 million social media users in the UK alone. With that kind of reach, it’s no wonder most brands have some sort of social media presence. The problem is, sometimes social media is too large. It can create a disconnect rather than bring people together. That’s why opting for a regional spin might benefit your brand. Use local dialect, references or even involve customers directly within your campaign to stand out.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.

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. It featured 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!

Do you need more help with devising local advertising ideas for your business? Get in touch and take a look at the work we do.


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