“Hyperlocal” has been a buzzword in marketing for the last few years, and with good reason: reaching customers in a defined, local geographic area can help businesses stand out amongst crowds of regional or national businesses.
In fact, for many small businesses, there is no differentiation between “marketing” and “hyperlocal marketing.” Businesses that are naturally hyperlocal (that is, those who can only succeed with significant local support) may be running this type of marketing campaign without even realizing it!
Are you interested in beefing up your presence in a slimmed down locale? Here are our top recommendations for making hyperlocal work for your small business.
Keeping your business information up-to-date in local online directories might not be the sexiest of hyperlocal marketing tactics, but it is one of the most important.
It’s important to include local directories – that is, directories that include business information only for your geographic area – in your marketing strategy for two reasons:
Having consistent, complete and correct business data – such as address, phone number and website URL – is crucial for SEO. By having consistent information across many directories, search engines are able to verify the legitimacy of your business – a necessary step for any successful SEO campaign.
Unlike national directories, which have a large number of visitors, local directory traffic is comprised only of individuals who are interested in businesses in your region. Though the readership will be far smaller, the proportion of those readers who could be interested in your business are far increased, giving you increased odds of earning leads based on directory listings.
Content with a Local Focus
Small business owners are sometimes overwhelmed by the prospect of developing content. After all, isn’t the content space dominated by big businesses with staff members dedicated to nothing but writing?
Creating content – including blogs, social posts and infographics – doesn’t have to be an enormous undertaking. For businesses that are naturally hyperlocal, creating content with a local focus will often come naturally.
What does local-focused content look like?
A bar owner may write a blog post highlighting the top five local beers they serve
A boutique clothing retailer may share street-style photos of outfits worn by real people in their neighborhood on Facebook
An auto repair shop may share an infographic of potholes around the neighborhood on Twitter
In a way, having a local focus for your content can make content development easier than it is for the big companies who need to write with a national focus. If your neighborhood is core to your business, you likely won’t have trouble finding a way to tie your ‘hood back to your business.
While getting a feature article on a national news website might sound amazing, it is neither realistic nor necessarily useful for many small businesses. However, being featured on a hyperlocal or local news website is a whole other story: these publishers want to feature articles about local businesses, and the readership is comprised entirely of your target market.
Publishers such as Patch (which operates on a local level in neighborhoods across the U.S.), DNAinfo (which operates on a hyperlocal level in Chicago and New York), and TribLocal (which operates on a local level in the suburbs of Chicago) are all examples of publishers that want to publish stories from local businesses and, in fact, are often looking for new story ideas.
How exactly, then, do you get one of these publishers to write about your business? You’ll need to pitch them something that’s newsworthy – this could be anything from an innovative project you’re working on to an event you are hosting to a story about how you are helping out elsewhere in the community.