When we think of growing brands, the aim is usually to get your product to a wider audience. But what happens when your brand presence has reached a national or global level?

For big brands, one of the most prevalent problems is addressing how to interact with consumers at a local level. You’ve grown to such a point that it’s hard to make your marketing relevant to the majority. It’s a daunting prospect; there are too many people to please, how do you maintain that level of relevance?

When you have a large international customer base and stakes in various places nationally or globally, honing localisation tactics to an art can be a stressful and long winded process. But when done properly, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture for your business.

Why invest in going local?

Local engagement has been proven to increase customer response and return. According to CMO Council Research, brands that focused their marketing to a local level improved the relevance of their services to customers by 67%. There was also a 39% increase in customer conversation and connectivity and 30% improvement of loyalty and advocacy.

These days, most consumers have multiple devices, which has not only enhanced opportunities for multiscreen marketing, but allows users to search more readily for local information across their technology. Of Extract Target’s 2014 Mobile Behaviour Report, 73% of users who owned a smartphone also owned a tablet.

While consumers are increasingly becoming dependent on virtual interaction and research, the end goal is usually to experience something in the moment, and more importantly, within their physical location. From searching restaurants to looking for weekend activities, it’s the potential for experiences close that count the most.

For big brands, making the most of social media to localise your services is crucial. Your customers are your best advocates, from sharing photos on social networks to telling their friends about your brand on Facebook, or even reviewing your brand on their blog. The internet is the first point of contact when gathering information about your brand, but it can also be a powerful tool for you when creating a local focus for your product.

So let’s get back to the basics. How do you make the most of local engagement?

Know your area

It seems like an obvious point, but you can go deeper with it. What kind of area are you targeting, what’s the local culture like? Seemingly banal aspects like the kind of environment can contribute to the way you market and how you connect with your potential audience. Do some recon on the area, the kind of people around it and try to see what the most popular features are, or what makes it unique. After you’ve taken these things into consideration, you can decide how you can make your brand relative to the area and people within it.

This can be anything from guerilla marketing, setting up pop up locations or distributing freebies near busy areas, or tailoring your product to become something that might be useful or meaningful to the local population.

Engage in sponsorship partnerships with local events and venues

Keeping updated on local events, such as festivals, concerts or sporting matches in specific areas can help you market your product to wider audiences. Particularly if you have trouble trying to get your product in front of a particular demographic, partnering with venues or event teams helps do half the work for you. Not only can you build customer relationships in new and innovative ways, but developing partnerships like these are an investment for the long term.

For example, several companies such as Intel partnered with Sydney’s Vivid Festival, creating check points where festival goers could interact with their own specially designed Vivid feature.

Create Campaigns

There is something exciting about having the spotlight turned on your location. Creating localised campaigns can generate huge customer interest for your brand. For example, Magnum have created a series of pop up stores around Melbourne and Sydney, allowing customers to create custom designed ice creams. Similarly, when Starbucks launched their Spice Latte competition, they conducted a competition which allowed users to gain points for their state in order to be the first to taste it.

You can take this one step further by encouraging people to share their offline experiences online.

Localisation is all about creating participation for people in their local areas. The more interactive and accessible your brand is at a local level, the more successful it will be.