Let’s talk about hyperlocal marketing for a minute. “What is Hyperlocal marketing?” you may ask yourself, and how can hyperlocal advertising help your business grow? Let’s explore this relatively new marketing strategy below in our Beginners Guide to Hyperlocal Marketing.
We’ll start by clarifying that you’re not imagining things if you think that the prefix “hyper” has been attaching itself to so many words over the years! Whether a co-worker is described as hypersensitive after reacting to a bad performance review or a teacher tells you that your child is hyperactive, your familiarity with the prefix is likely to be solid.
It stands to reason that the marketing community would join the bandwagon, adopting this prefix in 2009 to describe a unique approach to a discipline that focuses on community-based techniques that allow one to target specific people. But why local? Why not regional or national—or international, for that matter?
Because no matter how many new theories and practices become marketing trends, in the end, it all comes back to local, says John A. Quelch, Dean of the China Europe International Business School and former Harvard Business School Research Associate Katherine E. Jocz. That’s why they wrote a book about this marketing trend three years later.
Now you find yourself searching for ways to up your local marketing game so you too can taste the success your competitors are enjoying. Our hyperlocal marketing guide will get you there if you’ve got an inquiring mind and you’re a risk-taker. Please wait until you learn how much sense this concept makes when applying it to your business efforts.
What Is Hyperlocal Marketing and Advertising?
No mystery here. Imagine super-targeted, niche marketing on steroids focused on a single city or community, emphasizing the people living there. Sure, it’s a buzzword, but it’s an important one. After all, it takes marketers back to basics that have roots in ancient marketplaces where the person with the largest goose and the loudest voice attracted shoppers because he appealed to their sensibilities.
This type of marketing is perfect for businesses on “shoestring” budgets because there are no expansive media buys to hog a budget. Further, you needn’t have a business degree to know that like-minded people congregate in the same spaces and neighborhoods. So as a target area shrinks, your chance of appealing to consumers increases, and you can apply any number of creative hyperlocal marketing strategy ideas to achieve your goal.
Ruth J. Morrison, CEO, and founder of What’s The 411 Networks, points to a perfect confluence of social media, mobile devices, platforms, consumer-centric websites, and highly targeted promotions that give businesses unique opportunities to reach locals in ways they never have before. There’s something terribly nostalgic and personal about reaching out to folks in the neighborhood. Savvy marketers know where they’re coming from, and they know exactly what to say and do to get their attention.
Local SEO vs. Hyperlocal SEO
Although local and hyperlocal SEO both focus on finding local services or products, local SEO is broader. For example, imagine that someone is searching for pizza in Manhattan, New York. Using the search term “pizza in Manhattan” may show results in the entire Manhattan borough. That is an example of a local search. If someone in the Tribeca area of Manhattan searches for “pizza in Tribeca” or “pizza near me” with location services turned on, the results will show the closest options. That is an example of a hyperlocal search. The key idea to remember is that local searches may include regions, districts, or cities, and hyperlocal searches focus on neighborhoods, streets, and smaller areas within cities.
4 Types of Hyperlocal Marketing Services
Traditional Hyperlocal Marketing Services
Just because you’re focusing your efforts on a finite area, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and experiment using traditional marketing ideas as your fire-starters. Meet the neighbors on the field of battle by forging partnerships with non-competing enterprises. Introduce yourself. Figure out ways to mesh your business models and consider joint efforts that run the gamut from street fairs to coordinated events.
Choose a charity the neighborhood cares about and work with that non-profit to raise awareness and revenue for your business and the cause. How to choose a charity that will pull heartstrings? Ask around. Business owners aren’t shy about expressing their opinions; choosing the right charity relies upon collaborative thinking and makes an awesome rallying cry that benefits everyone. Hosting a local contest is a popular option, too.
Hyperlocal Guerrilla Marketing Services
Mind if we address the gorilla in the room? The term guerrilla marketing is as misunderstood as the way this word is spelled! This type of marketing is inspired by unconventional military actions that are so unique that they tend to outwit the enemy. Pairing guerrilla marketing with every Hyperlocal Marketing Strategy in the book is not just a natural fit, but it’s doubly effective because tactics are offbeat and made for local campaigns.
What constitutes a hyperlocal guerrilla marketing effort? According to Juan Perez, writing for Highbrid.com, sponsorships are ideal ways to engage a community or neighborhood because everybody loves the idea of helping locals succeed. Toward that end, a cultural event, “creative brand placement,” or cross-promotion that binds a business community together with a single aim has the power to drive traffic and make a difference.
Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing Services
Shane Gibson had it right when publishing his “Three Tools for Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing” article in Entrepreneur Magazine. He notes, “You can’t outspend Fortune 500 companies, but you can change the game.” His focus on Facebook, Twitter, and other social marketing conduits drives home the importance of using these tools to reach locals because they’re free—unless you’re in the mood to affiliate with entities like “Meetup,” which will set you back some bucks.
Hyperlocal SEO Services and Mobile Marketing Services
We don’t have to tell you that mobile has replaced the once-essential PC, so optimizing your app or mobile site to get in on the action of hyperlocal mobile targeting and advertising isn’t just suggested but urged. Showcase your business by naming your app creatively, so your brand serves as a text anchor. Interface your website and app page, and don’t skip creating a dedicated landing page that’s for locals only.
One of the most attention-getting types of hyperlocal advertising comes from sponsoring a local sports team. What acronym should you always keep in mind when implanting SEO copy and creating hyperlocal content? SILL: Social media, Indexing, Links, and Local hyperlocal content pages. Add a Google presence, and you’re good to go.
5 Ways to Make Every Hyperlocal Marketing Strategy Successful
Think the U.S. has the market cornered on this style of marketing? Not so fast. Global commerce has discovered the art of hyperlocal marketing—even as far away as India. The India version of Entrepreneur Magazine shows the world exactly how this type of marketing works, citing five strategies you can take to the bank in India or Indianapolis:
1. Put every marketing idea to the test. Does it feel local? If so, what hot button can you push to drive your efforts? Editors suggest holding an impromptu rainy day special when the weather is bad to build a solid base.
2. How important is establishing relationships with your business community? Of the utmost importance. You can’t fully explore shared direct mail efforts, co-op ad buys, or coordinated mobile messaging collaborations without ties.
3. Maximize opportunities to send out invitations. Whether it’s to your store opening, a brand introduction, or a celebration tied to holidays and special occasions, use invites to educate, engage, and nurture relationships, so you build a loyal following.
4. Learn the secret of relevant content. In your rush to keyword stuff, emotion, innovation, and common sense can get lost in translation. Write to one person. It’s a technique that’s been employed by copywriters for decades, and it still works.
5. Make every experience unique to engender loyalty. Consumers who know you’ve invested in the community are more likely to turn to you when they shop, and if the personal attention they get is memorable, they’ll come back. This truth is at the very heart of relationships between neighbors.
5 Hyperlocal Marketing and Advertising Ideas
At BigCommerce.com, Texas-size strategies to drive growth are business as usual, which is why we turned to them for a strategy gut-check to wrap up this article. Not all of these are “marketing as usual.”
1. When last did you rethink your business’s values as they relate to the locals you’re trying to reach? Do you work hard to instill trust in your transactions using relatable, conversational language that speaks directly to neighbors? Do you work to empower the people you want to attract? Can you appeal to folks concerned about social issues like sustainability, healthy living, or products made by local crafters?
2. Are you super-fastidious about the keywords you use so you neither talk down to people nor confuse them? Because you’re so busy stuffing, do your sentences make zero sense? Talking to people in the same language–how they talk in their own communities– seems like a no-brainer. Still, you’d be surprised how often clever grammarians work harder to employ correct English than use a colloquialism that grabs attention from everyone in the zip code.
3. Are you creative when it comes to appearing in local publications such as magazines and newspapers? Plenty of groups, organizations, and churches publish online newsletters with space to spare, and you control the copy and art if you advertise in these. Tailor your message to the audience, and your chances of success are considerable. Consider this: your brunch menu is ideal for folks who are hungry right after church. Your invitation to bring the church program to your eatery for free coffee is the very essence of local marketing.
4. Manage your reputation so you don’t wind up as the recipient of bad reviews that can turn off people in your target area. The best way to deal with this is to take the approach used by public relations professionals who deal in crisis management: prepare for review assaults upfront. Huddle with your staff to come up with various ways to kill bad reviews that run the gamut, from simple letters of apology to discounts.
5. Launch a loyalty program with teeth. What started with grocery store green stamps back in the 1960s escalated to frequent flyer miles in the 1970s and came home to roost in the 1980s when test “frequent shopper” schemes were launched. Loyalty programs are made for locals because you’ve already got a geographic advantage. Use social media tools at your disposal to reward your neighbors for choosing you over competitors, and there’s no reason your bottom line won’t tell the story of your success as a marketer.