16 Mar Your Quick Guide to Hyperlocal Marketing
Gone are the days of searching the yellow pages in the phonebook for places to shop. Enter mobile devices and search engine queries to find products and services “near me.” If you’re a business with a brick and mortar location, hyperlocal marketing campaigns are a great way to increase foot traffic to your store. Today we’ll jump into what hyperlocal marketing is, why you should be adding it to your marketing strategy, and how to prepare for and execute hyperlocal campaigns.
What is hyperlocal marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing is the process of targeting customers who are in your geographic area with the goal of driving foot traffic to your physical location. It’s more than targeting your region, or even your city, but often is as granular as targeting your neighborhood or a very small radius from your location. You’re looking for potential customers who are searching for businesses “near me” to meet their needs.
Why include hyperlocal marketing campaigns in your strategy?
More foot traffic to your store means more brand awareness for your business, and will likely lead to increases in your sales revenues. Customers are increasingly looking to support local businesses, and turning to Google searches to find options for purchase. Recent statistics bear this out:
“Google searches for “local” + “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year over year [and]… searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over,” according to the Google Ads and Commerce Blog (April 2021).
Google itself is instrumental in shaping local searches, refining its algorithms to provide “near me” suggestions in its search results even when customers don’t add “near me” to their searches. Being presented as one of the top 2 or 3 options in “near me” searches will vastly increase the likelihood that customers will choose you for their shopping needs.
How to maximize your visibility in local searches.
So how do you ensure that you show up in “near me” searches?
- Make and optimize a Google Business Profile: The first thing you want to do is make and optimize a Google Business Profile. This listing is absolutely free, and includes all the essential information for customers to find your business. In addition to an address, contact information (phone or email), and your hours of business, a Google Business Profile allows you to include links to your website, photographs of your location or products, and links to any third party applications (for instance, if you are a restaurant owner you can include a link to make reservations on OpenTable). Be sure to keep your profile up to date – if you move locations, change your hours, or make any other changes, be sure to modify your profile to reflect that!
- Bump up your word-of-mouth marketing: Increasingly, customers are looking to read reviews before they try and buy your products. Good customer reviews and testimonials are a great way to persuade potential customers to check out your offerings. But there’s more to it than that. According to the Moz 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors, 15% of your business ranking is determined by customer reviews. This means that the more reviews you have (assuming they are positive), the more often you will show up in “near me” searches. Want to encourage your customers to leave reviews? Be sure to include information on how to leave a review in your marketing. Add a link in your email communications or include it on your register receipt or as an additional postcard or flyer with purchase.
- Brush up on your SEO: Have you looked at your own website recently? Is it optimized for search results? There are lots of things you can do to improve your website SEO so that it will show up more frequently in searches. To get started, check our white paper on Improving Your SEO in 5 Simple Steps. When you get to the section about keywords, be sure to add your hyperlocal keywords: your neighborhood, and any tourist attractions or must-see spots that are near you.
- Display contact information prominently on your website: This one is simple – make yourself more accessible to your customers by making it easy for them to find and contact you. Include much of the same information you would on your Google Business Profile: address, phone number, and hours of operation. If they need to make a reservation or appointment to see you, make sure that information is prominently displayed as well.
How to execute a campaign.
Now that you’ve set yourself up for hyperlocal success, it’s time to get the word out! You can do this in a variety of ways.
- Launch a Google Ads campaign: Google is the dominant search engine today, accounting for somewhere between 85 and 95% of all searches (Bing and Yahoo have far smaller shares of the search). So it stands to reason that advertising through Google will allow your business to show up in more searches. Google Ads can be a little tricky, but you can use a combination of radius targeting (setting a geographic radius from your physical location) and a comprehensive list of keywords (including the hyperlocal ones!) to show up more often in search results.
- Launch a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign: If your customers are active on social platforms, then Facebook and Instagram ads offer advertising options through location targeting, as well as customer segmentation by location. One caveat about these advertising options is that with the iOS14 update, users can opt not to share their information with Facebook and Instagram, making geotargeting slightly more difficult.
- Create local content marketing: You might like this option because it is free to use, as long as you’re willing to invest your own time and effort. Do you have a blog? Creating informative, engaging content for your website is a great way to add keyword-based pages that show up in search results and drive customers to your business. As you add content to your website, think about ways to increase your local reach. Are you in a fun and funky shopping district? Make a list of things that your customer must see and do when they visit your shop. Are you involved in your local community? Write a piece about your efforts and why participating in the community is important to you. Do you sell locally-made products? Create a post about how you love providing customers with products they can’t get outside of your neighborhood!
- Supplement with some traditional marketing: While most of this article has focused on the ways you can conduct digital campaigns, sometimes there’s no substitute for traditional marketing efforts. Do you advertise in your local newspapers, or on local radio or tv networks? Work with other local businesses to create flyers or postcards advertising your neighborhood shopping and dining. Or add your business cards to local bulletin boards. Sponsor and participate in local community events so your customers will recognize you as part of the community!
We hope we’ve given you an introduction to hyperlocal marketing and how you might add it into your marketing strategy. If you’re interested in learning more or working with us to bring our magic to your crafty business, contact us today!