10 Ways to Connect with North Texas

North Texas is among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. The region attracts transplants from every other state in the union as well as immigrants from Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and Africa, who come to take advantage of its relatively low cost of living and its record of job creation.

North Texas is among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. The region attracts transplants from every other state in the union as well as immigrants from Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and Africa, who come to take advantage of its relatively low cost of living and its record of job creation.

But whether your business’ target demographic lives in downtown Dallas, in one of the many suburbs that line the highway corridors between Dallas and Fort Worth or in an outlying community still defined by a more rural way of life, the individuals that comprise these audiences view themselves as Texans. So, what’s the best way for marketing professionals and advertisers to reach these Texans in the coming year? Belo Media Group has you covered.

1. North Texas’ Top Sites

How do North Texans stay informed? How do they share news about what’s going on in their neighborhoods, within their schools and even across city and county lines? Dallasnews.com is the online edition of The Dallas Morning News, the No. 1 news source in the region since 1885. Dallasnews.com is also the largest registration-based website in D-FW and averages more than 3.5 million unique visits per day. Professional sports are a significant feature of D-FW culture, and franchises such as the Cowboys (NFL), Rangers (MLB) and Mavericks (NBA) all rank in or near the top 10 most valuable in their respective leagues. Local weather, which tends toward extremes, is also an ongoing story. In addition to its award-winning investigative journalism and weather and sports reporting, dallasnews.com partners with the Spanish-language news outlet Al Día. These platforms provide your business with unprecedented access to engaged audiences across the region.

2. Display Ads

Whether you’re a large corporation wanting to purchase a banner ad that redirects users from the front page of D-FW’s most popular sites to your own company’s Web portal, or you’re a small to medium-sized business looking to experiment with local inventory feed ads that facilitate conversions by taking users directly to your virtual storefront, dynamic content is key. And not every ad needs to be “Texas-sized.” As in real estate, location is more crucial.

3. Mobile

In 2015, mobile accounted for almost half of all digital ad expenditures. This figure is only expected to rise in 2016. And, if the Pew Internet Project is correct and 64 percent of all adults in America own a smartphone, that means there are almost 4.5 million smartphone users in the North Texas market alone. Whatever mobile ad solution you choose, it should be optimized for the mobile browsing experience across all devices and operating systems (Android, iOS). And don’t ignore the potential of in-app advertisements, especially in connection with frequently used apps that users rely upon to “navigate their environment.”

4. Targeted Messages

Given the size and diversity of North Texas’ population, your business needs to sharpen its advertising and marketing materials and think in terms of scalability. Local sites provide a certain amount of targeting on their own. But what if you need to reach a key demographic, engage an audience in a specific geographic area or send a special offer only to those individuals who are most likely to click on an “if you liked this then we think you will like this” link? Targeted advertising can put your message in front of North Texans even when they’re visiting national and general interest sites (e.g., HuffPo), effectively localizing their entire online experience.

5. Email

Industry-leading email marketing service MailChimp shares benchmark statistics that demonstrate users still open more than 20 percent of all marketing emails they receive, and that CTRs still average above 2 percent. Wise CMOs and local business managers will continue to invest in the creation, targeting and optimal dissemination of email marketing content through 2016. What counts as optimal dissemination in North Texas? Be aware of major annual events such as the State Fair of Texas, the Dallas Marathon, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, etc., and time your campaigns accordingly.

6. Newsletters

How many North Texans are already lurking in your newsletter subscriber database? Consider curating specific content for this audience and encouraging additional sign-ups via targeted referrals and special offers. Pushing newsletter content that speaks to unique North Texas interests, proclivities and attitudes regarding business news (e.g., energy and technology stocks), sports, entertainment (e.g., country music and Americana), cuisine and travel (e.g., the Texas State Park system) can also help extend your business’ local reach in 2016. And remember: The audience for your newsletter is not the same audience for email promotions. Your newsletter subscribers are even more self-selecting — they’ve opted in, after all — and their desire for content that is relevant to them is that much stronger.

7. Search

SEO that will organically boost your page’s search results ranking and increase the local profile of your brand remains a critical component of any North Texas-specific marketing strategy. However, Texan English consists of more than a few “howdys” and a liberal application of “y’all.” For many North Texans, “mom” is “mama,” “dinner” is “supper,” tacos are a breakfast food and any variety of sugary, carbonated beverage is a Coke. Understand the way North Texans talk, and you’ll begin to understand the way they think. And don’t neglect paid inclusions (sponsored listings) if you have a specific product or solution with North Texas appeal.

8. Search Retargeting

Search retargeting allows marketers to transform previous searches into potential conversions. In retargeting, search keywords are harvested and behavioral profiles assembled. Ads are then presented to the Internet user who submitted the harvested search once he or she navigates away from search results page. Targeted ad content, therefore, follows the user based on interests and needs expressed in search queries. Imagine: a user searches the phrase “quickest way to light a fire” and, upon clicking a link to an instructable video, is also presented with an ad for your backyard grill and barbecue supply outlet.

9. Social

As we learned in 2015, “e-commerce through social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram continues to grow.” Advertising and content marketing across platforms as diverse as YouTube and Yelp can help your business discover new audiences, cultivate closer relationships with existing customers in North Texas (one goal of Facebook’s recently implemented “local awareness ads,” among other functionality) and encourage positive word of mouth and referrals via friends and followers. Focusing on North Texas-specific user-generated content can also be a great way to drive more engagement via your various social media outlets.

10. Native Ads

Sponsored content excels at highlighting specific products or services with North Texas appeal, particularly at the launch stage. Native ads, which are essentially information articles coupled with a CTA, allow for full integration of this content within established, trusted sources for local information. Native ads leverage the look, feel, tone and functionality of existing platforms and offer users a more seamless experience in terms of moving from discovery to conversion. Native ads are also an excellent choice if you have multimedia (video) you want to showcase as part of your campaign.

Is your business looking to make greater in-roads into the thriving North Texas market? Are you a marketing executive hoping to raise your brand’s profile in North Texas? Connect with the experts at Belo Media Group to learn more about what makes Dallas-Fort Worth — and the opportunities it presents — unique.