When was the last time you were walking around town and had a sudden craving for a box of Timbits, a specialty pastry, or just remembered you needed to buy a hostess gift for a party tonight? Chances are you probably got on your phone and searched for a “cafe near me” or “liquor store near me.”
You just did a hyperlocal search! It’s what more and more retailers and businesses are focusing on to target you in your exact moment of need. As we know, when we are front and center for our target customers when they are looking for us, they are more likely to buy.
What is Hyperlocal Marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing is marketing that focuses down to a very specific, geographically targeted area. This allows you to target a very specific niche customer for your business and tailor your marketing specifically to them for maximum impact. This type of marketing works best to drive foot traffic to a physical storefront.
What the data says
Data from the all-mightly Google shows that these local searches for something “near me” have jumped significantly, around 130% between 2014 and 2015 alone! They’re being used to find local storefronts, dining venues, events, and anything else someone needs on the go.
Sometimes, Googlers are adding zip or postal codes as well as city names in their searches too. These types of searches have jumped by 150%.
There is also a trend known as “research online, purchase offline” (knowns as ROPO). Hyperlocal searches can be used to attract these types of buyers too.
How to improve your hyperlocal search ranking on Google
Here are a few tips to help your business get found when people are searching for businesses or services like yours using hyperlocal marketing:
Have a Google My Business listing:
Google LOVES its products, so having a current, up-to-date Google My Business (formerly Google Places) listing is a great way to show up in hyperlocal searches. Make sure your listing has your address and business hours as well as links to any online booking or appointment apps if you use them. This will make it even easier for someone to book or buy from you.
Get customer reviews:
A 2017 study by MOZ shows that having positive reviews contributes about 13% towards your local search ranking. 82% of consumers will read customer reviews before buying. Ensure that you’ve got a couple of great reviews on your Google listing, but if not, make sure you professionally and publically address the negative ones!
Examples of Hyperlocal Marketing campaigns
Now that you know what hyperlocal marketing is, and how it can help you drive foot traffic to your storefront or office, let’s look at examples of implementing hyperlocal marketing in your business:
When creating paid ads for Google, make sure you can select a very specific geographic area. You might want to choose a 1-2 KM radius from your storefront for the best results (although this will depend on your location and what other businesses are located near you). Also, choose keywords that favor these local searches like “near me” or include street, neighborhood, or city names.
Implement a Reach and Awareness ad on Facebook. These are ads specifically designed for hyperlocal marketing and allow you to connect your online storefronts in addition to brick-and-mortar locations. Be sure to customize your call-to-action to something like “book an appointment now” or “get directions” to provide the easiest way for people to find you. Finally, make sure your selected target demographics are as specific as possible so your ad is being shown to exactly the right people at the right time.
Realtors are excellent at this. They send mailers to their target communities looking for clients. You can use direct mail as part of your hyperlocal marketing strategy, by sending out mailers for local sales and events, or to just let your new neighbors know you’re in the ‘hood! Incorporate it with a nurture campaign for even more brand recognition over the long term.
Online Business Listings:
We talked about Google My Business but look for other local business directories in your niche or neighborhood. These have the potential to show up in local searches too so be sure you’ve got a keyword-optimized listing on these sites too.
Don’t overlook a flyer or brochure on local community boards. If your target customer grabs a Starbucks first thing in the morning, ask your local shop if you can place a flyer on their community board. Condo buildings, community centers, and other public/private places are great places to put your promo material to be seen by potential walk-in customers.
Customers using hyperlocal marketing will be looking to see that you are good in your niche or area of expertise. Make sure that your social media accounts and website are populated with high quality, relevant information that shows your niche and neighborhood knowledge. For example, if your social media accounts haven’t had any recent posts in a year, a searcher may think that you’re not in business anymore and look past you. Lastly, double-check that your online presence and content looks like you are still alive and kicking!
What does all Hyperlocal Marketing mean for your business?
It means consumers are looking to buy now and buy local. Local searches are on the rise and you need to have your business at the forefront.
Hyperlocal marketing gets you in front of your ideal client at the moment they are ready to buy. The return-on-investment has the potential to be very lucrative if you are crystal clear on who your target customer is, and where they are looking for you.
To help get specific on your target customer and use that knowledge in your online marketing and Hyperlocal Marketing, check out our Digital Marketing Essentials course.