The word ‘hyperlocal’ is increasingly becoming popular and several hyperlocal startups based on food, groceries and other services are gradually popping up around us. Clearly, there must be something to this word. Let us enlighten you.
The term ‘hyperlocal’ in layman’s language, pertains to or is focused on matters concerning a small community or geographical area.
Several businesses advertise on a city or an area-wide basis, but it isn’t local enough for many advertisers these days. Some of them try to find customers only a few feet, blocks and streets away.
This is not to imply that they are short-sighted where their business is concerned or are sabotaging their business by focusing too narrowly – they are in fact smart as they are targeting customers in their natural habitats, viz, at work, at home, local nearby stores etc.
So, in this article we will tell you all about hyperlocal marketing, how and why is it so effective, how brands can implement it and which brands are killing at it.
What is Hyperlocal Marketing?
In layman language, Hyperlocal Marketing is targeting customers in a very specific area which generally has geographical restrictions. One can target an area which is far from their current location or which is close at a distance of a few blocks or streets.
This practice is observed for customers who might be looking for something specific and performing “near me” searches on their respective mobile devices.
There are times when we are frantically looking for something due to an emergency, like a cyber cafe to get print outs, ATMs, grocery areas nearby, hotels/motels nearby or places of interest nearby when visiting a new place. This simple process is precisely what a hyperlocal search or marketing is.
Benefits of Hyperlocal Marketing
These near-me searches have become extremely popular over time, with data from Google showing 130% y-o-y increase between 2014-2015. Post that, everything from post offices to new years celebrations was searched by Google users.
Where objectives are concerned, the key purpose of hyperlocal marketing is to drive footfall to physical locations and leverage near-me searches, which garner strong commercial intent. Apparently, the keywords that users use to search can be used to generate leads and drive pay per click for businesses.
Near-me searches are already popular, but modifications in search technology are giving them an even better shape. Search results which are broader in nature tend to take precedence over local searches and are growing at a rate of 150% faster than near-me searches.
This has also led to a discovery that most users expect Google to take their respective locations automatically into account when serving results.
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How can Brands do Hyperlocal Marketing?
Remember how marketing was done ages ago? Even before the advent of television, radio and even the internet; flyers and brochures used to be placed on doorsteps and slid inside car windshields.
This form of marketing worked like magic and word about a certain product/service spread like wildfire because it was the raw form of ‘niche marketing’.
If done the right way, it can still produce great results but companies and businesses these days are allotting bigger budgets for marketing activities, like running paid campaigns, leveraging the power of digital marketing and hyperlocal marketing.
Brands utilise hyperlocal marketing in the following ways:
1) Optimising ‘Google My Business’ Page
‘Google My Business’ is a free and easy-to-use tool to help businesses manage their online presence and appear both on Google Search and Google Maps.
It is fairly easy to set it up. Simply visit Google My Business, click ‘Manage Now,’ and start filling in your business information.
3 parameters to abide by while setting up Google My Business:
- Relevance: You need to be specific – choose an accurate category, add keywords and include detailed information on your business.
- Distance: Google ensures that the businesses which rank locally are actually local businesses. Therefore, companies create landing pages and websites and link them and their other web profiles to Google My Business.
- Prominence: Optimisation done for prominence should take in all attention to the details – images, reviews, citations, and links should all be of high-quality.
2) Using Location-Based Keywords
Both offline and e-commerce shops must use location-based keywords because they help users relate to their locations. Your keyword should not really have the city name, but your area/district name as well.
Also, you can use keywords in your product descriptions, company profiles, service delivery areas etc. and they would reflect directly in the headlines and text of your pages. If it is complete and sounds unnatural, then you may be using the wrong keyword to be searched on.
This exercise is important as it will help Google find you and to rank higher in search results.
3) Contact Information on your Website
It is an absolute sin to have a website with no contact information on, even if it is a small business or a local store. Displaying contact info is important as it makes one easily discoverable, just like location-based keywords do.
A good idea is to put all relevant info and contact info in the footer, so it shows up on every page.
4) Consistent Online & Offline Customer Experience
Brands must remain consistent as consistency induces comfort. Be it Pepsi, KFC burgers or even Maggi for that matter, the taste is consistent which makes it addictive for its customers.
Even the logos and the packaging remain consistent lest people start questioning the brand. Maintaining consistency is difficult, but can go a long way, if it is across both online and offline mediums.
To stay consistent, you can
- Streamline the design process: Create high-quality marketing materials which can be stored in a single place.
- Gather feedback: If you are a distributed brand, there would be differences in terms of marketing language, product offerings or even menus and services. You can receive feedback from your customers to know the kind of assets they want in different locations and create them accordingly in line with the remaining brand material.
- Toss outdated material: Whatever material you have, try to keep it in a limited quantity and dispose of them once they become outdated. Recycle old printed material once an asset is changed and let your local partners know of the same. Clinging to old material for a longer period of time hampers brand consistency, and therefore, one should keep their digital assets easily accessible and up to date.
5) Create Local Content of High Quality
If you are a local brand, you can just waltz in, create your own authentic content and fit in right there. However, regional brands don’t have this liberty, yet they can hire local talent to create content just the way they like it.
Social media is huge as we know and content is king, so, having an engaging local voice in the form of blog posts, social media posts, videos, ad and email copy will help increase trust and build relationships.
6) Boost your Online Presence
Both your website and social media handles must appear in local searches for the area you are targeting. If they are not, you must make an effort and employ local optimisation strategies.
You must be mindful of a few guidelines when it comes to boosting your online presence:
- Be consistent with your contact information: Your name, address and phone number should remain the same on your website so as to ensure that search engines are picking up the right information.
- Improve local SEO: Once sorting out the website, look at other websites similar to yours and use the same tactics to improve your SEO.
- Have a clickable phone number: This can serve as a huge lead-generation machine as you can yourself receive calls from interested leads.
- Improve on-page SEO: Once you have content, make sure to market it through SEO strategies so they come up in local searches and help drive potential customers to your site and location. Besides location-based keywords, you should also have SEO-friendly page and post titles, headings, URLs, post and page content and image alt text.
7) Get Reviews
Customer reviews and testimonials help a great deal in improving your local search rankings. But, as a businessperson, you must not solely rely on Google reviews but leverage other platforms as well, so they can have a positive impact on your local search rankings
To improve the number of reviews, you can offer incentives to your customers in the form of discounts and free products which can be availed by all who leave a review. Also, make leaving reviews super-easy by providing a how-to guide and make the process simpler.
The aforementioned tips will surely help any brand trying to ace hyperlocal marketing. After onboarding with the help of these tips, you can always assess the results of your labour and take it further from there.
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Top Brands Acing the Hyperlocal Marketing game
Spotify’s 2017 New Year campaign was widely praised and rightly so. This popular music-streaming composed a data-driven to create their forward-looking “2018 Goals” campaign. The ads featured on billboards and as paid social media ads in 9 markets. Some of them were as follows:
‘2018 Goals – Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran on their ‘I Love Gingers’ Playlist,’
‘2018 Goals: Eat vegan brisket with the person who made a playlist called ‘Leftist Elitist Snowflake BBQ.’
‘2018 Goals: Be as savage as the person who made a 1-hour, 55 minutes playlist called “Lasting Longer than the Mooch.’’
The takeaway here is that this campaign with its interesting tidbits is right in line with social media loves, is inclusive and fact-based.
Professional networking service LinkedIn in 2018 came up with a social media campaign asking users “What are you in it for?’ With the help of answers received by them, they created a video ad campaign which was launched during the Golden Globes and showcased working professionals from diverse areas.
They came up with a controversial ‘DTF’ campaign which featured a female carrying her lover in her arms with the message,’ All Head Over Heels.’ The risk paid off as it reportedly helped boost OKCupid’s social mentions by 50% and resonated with both women and the LGBTQ community.
Though it was not received everywhere, yet it managed to create an impact and proved as an example of disruptive marketing.
Brands like W Magazine and Applebee’s recently started incorporating ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response craze) in their ad campaigns. ASMR is tingly sensations which whisper and is relaxing in nature.
IKEA joined the bandwagon by releasing its first series of long-form 20 minutes SMR videos for their campaign titled,’Oddly IKEA,’ which highlighted their back-to-school dorm items. IKEA is known to be to really upfront and out there, yet their videos impart value, are relaxing in nature and are leveraging a popular trend as well.
5) Weight Watchers
Influencer marketing has been a rage for a while now, and Weight Watchers digital marketing campaign nailed the fact that fantastic results are born when the right influencer and the right brand fuse together.
In 2018. DJ Khaled, global social media and music sensation, became the Weight Watchers’ official social media ambassador. With the campaign, fans could follow him on all social platform as DJ Khaled participates in the WW Freestyle program.
Since DJ Khaled was already massively popular, he helped attract younger male audiences to this weight loss brand and the campaign did work as the company’s shares rose instantly by 6%. So, finding an influencer who resonates with the brand and can bring in new audiences is a sure-fire strategy for having a successful hyperlocal marketing campaign.
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A bonus tip for any hyperlocal strategy would be to first monitor user behaviour and analyse traffic quality across all social media platforms to understand how well they are doing. Focusing on a specific area can be challenging but can bear fruits if done the right way.
Hyperlocal marketing is undoubtedly a great tool to boost business and draw in potential clients. Implementing the strategies given above will surely render your business a staple in the market.
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