Five Key Elements for Digital Hyper-Local Marketing

Hype –it’s a prefix implying “beyond, over, above; usually indicating excess or exaggeration,” and undoubtedly, you know the groove: hyperactive, hypertension, hyperinflation . . .

Five Key Elements for Digital Hyper Local Marketing image beaconhill 300x42

The Beacon Hill Patch gets hyper-local in the upscale Boston neighborhood, helping marketers deliver segmented and relevant information to this target market.

Now, there’s one more to add to the list: hyper-local marketing, which is going above-and-beyond to maximize business results through street-level local campaigns that bring your message directly to the consumer (instead of flying high from a thousand-foot view).

Sites like Patch.com, owned by AOL, specialize in community news, while hyper-local content providers include established players like Foursquare, Google Maps and Yelp.

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According to the Pew Research Center, the internet is now the go-to reference source when consumers want local news and information. More specifically, the Pew study found:

  • Most adults (55 percent) said they get news and information about local restaurants, bars and clubs, and when they do, they rely on the internet most (51 percent), followed by newspapers (31 percent), word of mouth (23 percent) and local TV (either broadcasts or websites) (8 percent).
  • About half (47 percent) of the adults polled who get news and information about local businesses other than restaurants and bars said they also depend mostly on the internet –and that’s ahead of print newspapers (29 percent), word of mouth (22 percent), local TV (8 percent), local radio (5 percent), printed newsletters (4 percent) and mobile phones (1 percent).
  • People who seek out information and news about local businesses and restaurants are a diverse and somewhat upscale group. They are more likely to live in relatively well-off households – those earning $75,000 or more – and have college educations. Plus, 55 percent of adults who get information about restaurants, bars, and clubs are more likely to be women, young adults, urban and technology adopters.

Findings like these suggest that digital marketing can be extremely beneficial, helping local businesses find new customers and reach a receptive audience. But, are you using digital hyper-local marketing to its full advantage?

If you want effective neighborhood reach, keep in mind these five characteristics of successful hyper-local campaigns:

A unified force

Although hyper-local media is unique in its ability to target closely both in geography and time (reaching people in seconds), it cannot stand alone. Sure, you might be able to tackle the one-off goal of reaching a niche audience in a certain zip code, but without integration, hyper-local marketing leads to ineffective use of resources. When you go local with your marketing, make sure it fits with other campaign efforts and even larger organizational goals. Brands need to consider why hyper-local makes sense. Do you want to reach a new demographic? Overcome a particular obstacle that’s preventing audience engagement? Offer new promotions or discounts? Try out a new mobile platform?

Quality, not quantity

The digital roadmap to hyper-local is different than reaching out to a national audience. Local marketing isn’t about the number of hits, but rather the quality of the leads that come in. Keep audience size and demographic in mind, and remember it’s not just about return, it’s about value. Test, measure and learn. Use analytics to gain insights into how can you adjust your efforts and tweak your messages to improve your hyper-local marketing impact.

SOS to SMS

Segmentation based on customer location is literally hitting home in more than one way. What offers can you make to customers that are location-specific? Provided that they have “opted in,” those with smart phone-in-pocket welcome relevant, real-time interaction. Hyper-local SMS campaigns provide a way to directly engage targets with personalized messages they understand (and want). For example, mobile coupons not only extend the brand, but they can be timely incentives to visit local outlets.

BZZZ, hear the feedback?

Local is relevant. Where is the closest and cheapest gas? How’s the traffic? What are movie show times? No matter what service or product, the beauty of hyper-local is that users truly want the meaningful, useful information can provide. Make the effort to think through how your business/brand is experienced on a local level, and proactively collect consumer data, whether it’s through email or social media feedback. Analyze the behavior of your target audience and explore the growing variety of mobile app/advertising opportunities to reach them when they are out and about and searching for information.

Standing on multiple platforms

Hyper-local communication on a variety of platforms is the new must-have accessory for marketers. Location-based information works well on Twitter and Facebook, of course. But, be sure to design your efforts around your customers and prospects. What are their favorite digital channels? Should you be using a blog, an app, or other social network to reach them locally?

Clearly, this space is heating up fast as consumers become increasingly comfortable with using digital channels for local, real-time information. Here’s the hyper-bottom line: Mobile devices are redefining the consumer experience, and it’s time to start planning for hyper-local digital initiatives as a critical component of your marketing mix.

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