Are you running a local business struggling to get visibility and sales in your area? If the answer is yes, then one of the best things you can do for your business right now is to focus on hyperlocal marketing.
Searching for services like hospitals, hotels, and restaurants on Google will give you local establishments at the top of the results. This is entirely by design. Google uses your location to provide you with a list of businesses in your area.
But what exactly is hyperlocal marketing, and what does it involve? And how does it differ from the traditional marketing strategies you’ve been deploying?
This brief guide will go through the basics and benefits of hyperlocal marketing. I’ll then show you six practical examples of how to run a hyperlocal campaign for your audience. By the end, you’ll understand what “hyperlocal” really means, and how to run this sort of marketing campaign for your business.
What is hyperlocal marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing involves targeting prospects in a specific geographic location. The idea behind this strategy is to optimize a business for “near me” searches to generate more foot traffic or inquiries.
Let’s say you’ve moved to a new city and are looking for a gym. You don’t want to drive for miles to get to your old gym, so you’re probably going to search for something like “gyms near me.” The search results that appear at the top are not there by chance. These businesses have optimized their online presence with hyperlocal marketing strategies to show up at the top.
The same strategy can be employed by virtually any business operating a physical store. Coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, bookstores, salons, and many other businesses all run hyperlocal marketing.
Consumers’ attitudes on “near me” queries have shifted dramatically in the last few years. Previously, most people used to include the tag “near me” in their queries. That’s not the case anymore. Data from Google shows that people simply search for a restaurant or store and expect the search engine to serve the nearest results automatically:
Google has adjusted its algorithm in recent years to enhance local search. Not only does it serve the specific results the user is asking for, but it also provides related businesses under the “More Things To Do” and “Discovery” sections. This means that businesses using hyperlocal marketing can get more foot traffic and overall brand visibility from exact local queries and other related searches.
Now let’s look at how this marketing technique is beneficial and why you should employ it in your company.
What are the benefits of hyperlocal marketing?
One of the most significant benefits of hyperlocal marketing is its cost-effectiveness. The strategy is localized, so you’re only spending a portion of your marketing budget to target a well-defined population. It keeps you from straining your limited budget with ads reaching people who probably won’t visit your store anyway.
Hyperlocal marketing also yields a high return on investment. First of all, people searching ‘near me’ queries typically have a high purchase intent. That means you won’t need to spend as many resources getting them to convert. Secondly, optimizing your business for specific local queries is more affordable. In essence, the cost of acquiring leads is considerably lower, and a higher proportion of those leads will turn into customers.
Finally, running hyperlocal marketing is easier to manage. You don’t need a big marketing team to keep track of performance metrics. The campaign is a localized market segment within a restricted geographical location, so it’s much less overwhelming compared to larger campaigns.
Next, let’s look at some real examples of hyperlocal marketing in action.
Real examples of hyperlocal marketing campaigns
There are various hyperlocal marketing strategies out there, some more effective than others. The costs involved also vary.
The choice of which strategies to run will ultimately depend on your marketing budget. Key data on your customer base, for example, their presence on social media, will also influence which ones to pick.
Having said that, businesses generally get better results when they run multiple hyperlocal marketing strategies and tests. So, let’s look at some of the best techniques you should consider for your next campaign.
1. Hyperlocal marketing on Google Ads
Running hyperlocal marketing campaigns is easy using Google Ads. They provide tools that let you customize your target location as much as you want. The beauty of this is it allows you to focus on the specific location you want without wasting resources on unnecessary areas.
Setting up a hyperlocalized campaign is pretty straightforward. First, you need to choose the location for your campaign. To do this, log into your Google Ads account and pick the campaign you want. Next, click on “Settings” then “Advanced search,” and you will see two options, “Location” and “Radius,” choose ‘radius’.
From here, you’ll need to pick the center of your campaign, preferably your store’s physical location, and then set up your ideal radius.
To get the best results from your campaigns, conduct simple research to identify where your customers are based. You can then use the data to choose the perfect radius that covers all the necessary neighborhoods you want.
In the example below, we used ‘2110 El Cajon Blvd in San Diego’ as our central point, and set the radius to 10 miles:
With the geolocation done, it’s now time to identify your keywords. You’ll need to do local keyword research to identify relevant opportunities.
Referencing the gym example mentioned earlier, a gym could bid for keywords such as “gyms near me,” “gyms san diego,” and “gyms in san diego.” Establishments like drug stores can target keywords such as “24-hour drug store near me” and “24-hour drug store san diego.”
2. Hyperlocal marketing with social ads
Social media platforms also provide incredible hyperlocal marketing capabilities, and as you may have guessed, no-one does it better than Facebook.
Hyperlocal marketing on Facebook was introduced back in 2014 under “Local awareness ads.” The format allows businesses to customize their ads extensively for highly targeted campaigns.
Setting up the campaign is very intuitive. Just click on the green “Create” button from your ad manager dashboard:
Choose “Brand awareness” from the next menu. You’ll then be asked to provide additional details on your campaign, including campaign name, budget, etc.
What you need to pay more attention to target when running hyperlocal marketing is the location setting. Choose your central point and desired radius:
If you’ve set it up already, the tool will pull your business address automatically. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to set it up manually before proceeding.
The tool will then show your central point and coverage. You can increase or reduce the radius as you wish.
Next, it’s time to customize the campaign. Facebook allows you to customize your campaigns in different ways. For example, you can choose the age, gender, language, and even interests of the people you want to target.
Here is how our example for a gym business could look like with specific targeting:
Moreover, you can determine who sees the ads in a given location. You could, for instance, choose to display your ads to everyone living within your coverage area. That includes individuals who have the area set up as their residence on their profiles and people who Facebook determines live in the area.
There is also the option of “people recently in this location.” The option targets both the residents and visitors of your coverage area:
Facebook coverage areas do not extend to other countries. So, if your business is located in a border town, don’t expect your ads to show up for customers located in nearby countries within your target radius. You’ll have to create a separate campaign for them.
Besides the customization options, Facebook’s local awareness ads are also a favorite among many marketers due to how easy they are to monitor. The company provides various analytics to help you keep track of who sees your ads. They don’t provide specific figures, but they offer a percentage that is still useful.
Of course, I’d be remiss without mentioning that hyperlocal marketing through social media goes beyond just getting your display ad in front of your target audience. You need to also engage with them. According to recent research, 64% of consumers feel more connected to brands that engage with them on social media. An intuitive way to ensure you’re not missing out on conversations with your audience is to monitor Facebook ad comments for responses, mentions, and helpful feedback.
3. Local content marketing
Hyperlocal marketing works even better when you localize your content strategy to address the needs of your target location. To do that, start creating content with that location in mind. That means adjusting the tone and references used in your content to match the area you’re targeting.
Say you are a kayaking business located in San Diego, and you have a blog. Instead of creating generalized kayaking blog posts, you can center your content around San Diego. Not only does this boost your local SEO, but it also makes the content more relatable to your target audience. Combine this with a Google My Business listing, and you’re likely looking at a high position on the SERP.
But that alone isn’t enough. Businesses that cover local events perform even better. Do your research and identify festivals, corporate events, community activities, pop-ups, and other similar events you can participate in. Then create relevant content covering these events and share it with your audience.
Remember, you don’t have to publish hyperlocal content on your website all the time. Sometimes even simple Instagram posts are enough to show that you’re integrated with the local community.
Here’s an example from the restaurant Pies ‘n’ Thighs:
The New York-based restaurant partnered with other local businesses to support essential workers during the pandemic. Aside from helping essential workers, Pies ‘n’ Thighs also managed to collaborate with like-minded businesses, which could lead to business later on.
Your business doesn’t have to bear the burden of local community engagement on its own. Find another business or two with shared interests and organize some activities for your community.
4. Advertisements to raise local awareness
There’s no doubt that digital marketing has transformed the way brands advertise their products. However, there’s still room for offline advertising, especially in hyperlocal marketing. And the best part is that it’s super affordable since you’re focusing your efforts on a small location and not an entire city or country.
What offline marketing techniques are available to you? Local newspapers, magazines, flyers, pamphlets, and business cards are some of the options at your disposal. You can work with your staff to distribute these items around your coverage location. You can also partner with a reputable business in the area and have your flyers displayed in their establishment.
Community engagement is another great offline marketing technique. Participate in community service and be an active player in events taking place in the area. Doing so will help raise your profile and bring your brand and community closer together.
5. Local SEO
Customer reviews are vital for your SEO and buyer journey. Great reviews act as social proof and can drive more traffic to your business. Increased traffic signals to search engines that your content has authority, and this increases your rankings. In fact, it’s become widely known that reviews and ratings are one of the most important local SEO factors to consider.
Citations boost your business’s trustworthiness, so they’re a crucial ranking factor. Moreover, citations give you tons of referral traffic, especially if your business is listed on reputable online directories.
Additionally, multiple studies show Google My Business is another important ranking factor:
Listing your business on GMB alone isn’t enough to move the needle. What you need to do next is ensure your listing is optimized.
Analyze the competition and optimize your GMB profile for the best results. You may do it by adding your address, contact details, business hours, and business description. To further optimize, you can schedule GMB posts like events, special offers, hourly updates, any local mandates (like we’ve seen with the pandemic), and other news.
Be sure to continuously monitor your metrics and adjust your strategy accordingly to stay ahead of your competitor—there are plenty of local SEO tools to make this process simple! These tools provide valuable analytics to help you make informed decisions. Some tools will even place your data side by side with the competition, showing you where you can do better.
6. Business phone marketing
Finally, when your store shows up in the near-me search results, prospective customers may want to contact your business with questions regarding something they didn’t catch in your GMB posts or updates. One of the most common ways you’ll be contacted is through your business phone number:
Some of the best hyperlocal marketing your business can do is answering customer inquiries and resolving complaints via phone. I know, it’s technically an offline activity, but the data above supports that this is the type of service customers expect from their local businesses.
Larger businesses may have a virtual phone number listed on their website or Google My Business page which routes calls to a hosted contact center. The difference here is that instead of a store employee answering the phone, it’s an off-site team of support agents.
Regardless of who’s picking up the phone on behalf of your business, make sure the service is customer-centric around their question or issue. The service should be prompt and the customer shouldn’t be bounced around between multiple teams. Finally, be empathetic to your customers over the phone. A lack of empathy could reflect poorly on your brand and detract someone from visiting your business.
Your customer experience over the phone could be the difference between a customer leaving a positive or a negative review that then shows up on your GMB page.
The bottom line
In this post, we learned that hyperlocal marketing can benefit your business in various ways. By running ads that target a small geographical location you can boost foot traffic to a store or location, as well as improve the visibility of the brand.
One of the best things about focusing on hyperlocal marketing is that it achieves its goals without taking too much of your time or budget. Hyperlocal is affordable, has a high ROI, and is fairly easy to manage for the local business owner.
I hope these actionable examples help to bring hyperlocal marketing to life, and that you’ll use these as inspiration to emulate within your own businesses, or those of your clients. I wish you the best of luck finding new customers in your neighborhood!