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Hyperlocal Marketing Guide: Definition, Strategies & Tools

Category: B2B News
What is hyperlocal marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing is a type of highly-targeted approach to marketing products and services to a specific location or niche. Used by small firms and big corporations alike, it can be implemented by creating special products for local markets. Today, successful firms use both offline and online techniques for hyperlocal marketing like promotional events and optimizing local SEO.

Many professionals use a general approach to marketing. That is, they form assumptions and models using aggregated data from different regions and localities. Then, they use this to inform their business decisions on how they’ll forge forward. However, some firms believe marketers don’t put enough value on local trends, data, and preferences. Some of these marketers deal with these worries by embracing what is called hyperlocal marketing. 

Put simply, hyperlocal marketing targets highly-specific geographic restricted areas. Today, this approach includes both online and offline tactics and strategies. Hyperlocal marketers use techniques from in-person site scouting and surveys to local-search or hyperlocal marketing SEO. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what is hyperlocal marketing and how this approach can help you. We’ll also include some hyperlocal marketing examples and an introduction to hyperlocal marketing tools and strategies that you could use. This way, you can take your campaigns to the next level. 

guide to hyperlocal marketing

Hyperlocal marketing is a huge buzzword in today’s tech-forward business landscape. However, it may just be the oldest form of marketing. After all, the strategy focuses on a specific geographical area that may be a set of blocks or a couple of streets. Quite frankly, this was the only marketing approach available back in the olden days.

In today’s increasingly digital world, hyperlocal marketing still plays an important role. As such, it still includes word of mouth and grassroots marketing. However, it takes on different forms and can be performed using different tools.

For example, big-time digital tools now value hyperlocal preferences. Powerful search engine and social media algorithms are now trained to value geographically near solutions to queries and needs.  Consumers also get on different platforms to write and/or read local business reviews. In fact, 86% of shoppers use reviews to inform their buying decisions. So, this has become a very powerful hyperlocal marketing strategy.

Impact of Customer Reviews

That said, hyperlocal marketing will never lose relevance even in the digital age. Local shops are still going to be around selling national/international products. Moreover, corporations will still need to connect to local markets. Remember, local markets are made up of hyperlocal markets if you think about it.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand how you can utilize hyperlocal marketing for your company. By doing so, you’ll be able to tap your leads more effectively and create a more loyal customer base in the long run.

1. What is Hyperlocal Marketing?

One may ask for as singular hyperlocal marketing definition. However, there are many ways to explain what it is. The only common thing among these definitions is that hyperlocal marketing is seen as a highly-targeted approach to bring products and services to a limited geographical region (or regions) or niches.

Firstly, many who practice this approach assume that there are great differences between a certain region and another. They have different cultural characteristics, preferences, and habits that general marketing approaches can’t always accommodate.

Think, for instance, the recent advertising that was pulled out in Korea by Japanese brand Uniqlo. Because of a translating mishap that rekindled the Japanese-Korean tension from 80 years ago, Uniqlo received some backlash. There’s maybe more to this, but the whole execution of that marketing communications effort did not speak hyperlocal at all. There were people in the long chain of corporate command that overlooked a very important cultural and historical point.

We should learn a lesson here. Not all audiences speak the same “language” in terms of preferences, culture, and history. This, many times, depends on geographical location. Thus, location and, more importantly, localization are just a few things that marketers should take into account.

2. Why Implement Hyperlocal Marketing?

In this section, we’ll discuss the rationale and benefits when firms of different sizes take a hyperlocal marketing approach. First, we’ll discuss how it can help large enterprises like food franchises and fashion brands. Second, we’ll take a look at how smaller entrepreneurs and even freelance professionals can leverage a hyperlocal framework.

Hyperlocal Marketing for Big Businesses

Food franchises like McDonald’s have always taken local trends and preferences into consideration. If you haven’t known yet, there are different McDonald’s menus in different countries. The famous Golden Arches may be international, but they take into account hyperlocal considerations.

For example, in some Asian countries, there is the McRice Burger, where some patty of chicken, beef, or fish is placed in between fried rice “burger buns.” This takes into consideration the preference for rice by such populations. At one point, the fast-food chain even offered Thai-Style McNoodles in Austria when noodle dishes became trendy in the country. The point here is that Big Bad McDonald’s caters to local tastes and demands.

Even Starbucks has used the hyperlocal marketing route more than once. It used Twitter updates to start contests in which audiences take photos of advertisements hanging about in their localities and post them on Twitter. It took off and increased sales locally for a time. In addition, it increased social media engagement, as well. The company used a time-sensitive, low cost-per-target promotional approach to local marketing.

So, if you are part of a big company, you can’t go wrong with opting for hyperlocal marketing from time to time. Sure, you might say that these examples are not “hyper” local in the purest form. However, it is hyperlocal for large firms. So, it pays to be user-centric with geographic considerations.

Hyperlocal Marketing for Smaller Businesses

If you are a small business that only targets a particular locale, it’s a no brainer that hyperlocal marketing is your best option. However, as an SMB with a wider range of customers across different geographic locations (e.g., SaaS startup, arts and crafts manufacturer, etc.), you can still benefit from going hyperlocal.

Larger brands understand this. Many opt for collaborating with local influencers with techniques such as fashion collabs. Smaller businesses also apply this sort of strategy.

Locally-mindful companies do well by pairing up with local influencers to get a feel for local preferences and tastes. Small health & fitness companies tie-up with local athletes to associate themselves in a positive light in their target localities. This is what Lana’s Egg Whites does and they are very successful at it. They sponsor athletes and get a positive boost on reputation.

There are many other techniques for hyperlocal marketing for businesses of all scales. We’ll discuss them in the next section.

3. Hyperlocal Marketing Strategies

Above, we’ve given you some ideas on how to engage in hyperlocal markets. Now, in this section, we’ll outline different hyperlocal marketing strategies that you can use. These involve both offline and online tools such as:

  • Hyperlocal SEO
  • Social media challenges and contests
  • Event-based experiential marketing
  • Collaboration with influencers and like-minded organizations

Hyperlocal SEO

Local search is trending, and it involves many factors. Firstly, search engines like Google have made local search a primary function in their algorithms and UI. This digital household name noticed that many searches are coming from local queries, mainly people asking about the nearest store, cafe, and the like. Thus, they’ve organically embedded supporting features in their algorithms.

Thus, companies are going after these local search rankings. According to BIA advisory services, we’ll witness an estimated $26 billion spending on geo-targeted marketing campaigns.

Hyperlocal SEO is the best way for brick-and-mortar stores out there to approach search engine optimization. Firms need their physical locations to be visible to prospects and customers.

Factors that can help improve your local SEO are:

  1. Creating your Google My Business listing
  2. Adding contact information on Google and other local sites
  3. Getting your site listed on local business directories
  4. Generating and managing local business reviews
  5. Paid search advertising on search engines and social media

Moreover, don’t forget your local social media SEO. According to the Facebook trends we’ve compiled, location-based ad targeting is likely to increase in the next few years.

Social Media Challenges and Contests

Social media challenges and contests are a staple for today’s marketers. They seem to be evergreen for some reason. So, as long as their popularity does not drop, marketers should take advantage of such techniques.

Popular social media challenges take many forms. You can ride the current wave of this trend or come up with your own for charity. Either way, you can engage customers with fun activities, the chance of going viral, and the belief of making a difference for your chosen advocacy. Not to mention, social media contests boost your overall traffic.

Firstly, you can get user-generated content for cheap, if not less. You can ask audiences to submit a video or picture of your product (with or without the receipt) as their entry. This ensures that you don’t expend resources for the contest, and you earn sales revenue.

Secondly, create a unique and shareable experience for customers. You get media mileage and engagement without investing too much.

To wit, you may need a platforms for social media management to help you manage all of these tasks at once in one dashboard.

Event-Based Experiential Marketing

No other promotional tool screams “local” like event marketing. You get to arrange a spectacle and invite people who find value in it. Also, if done right, there will be some revenue in it for your business.

Organizing events is a go-to technique by marketers to get audiences acquainted with their products. Also, events are perfectly hyperlocal because businesses set them in a specific location at a certain time.

Well, this is mostly true. There can even be sub-events happening throughout a single major event located in different places. Think about the Olympics or a music festival with different stages. What’s good about this is that there are many hyperlocal marketing events going on.

Also, freelance professionals like consultants and stand-up comedians even go on tours. Think of them as “big events” but with many legs.

The point is, experiential marketing engages customers in-person. It’s more “real” this way. Moreover, you can augment these experiences using digital tools such as AR and VR. These create unique and shareable experiences that don’t just get your company ad mileage in a specific region but also across the digital space.

Collaboration With Local Influencers and Like-Minded Organizations

There are all sorts of influencers and celebrities for many reasons in different localities. These influencers connect with the locals, and locals support them for various reasons. They don’t even have to be A-listers. You just have to know why people follow them and how locals value their opinions, tastes, and preferences.

For example, if you are a fast-food business, you can give discounts to local first responders. Also, you can give free food to the local high school or middle school sports teams. Moreover, you can sponsor causes or charities in the area.

Associating your brand with locally valued activities like preserving historical sites can help attach your brand positively in your target audiences’ minds. Just make sure to support causes that you legitimately believe in as well.

Furthermore, you can also connect your brand with non-competing businesses to share audiences and risks when arranging events. In addition, partner up with local reputable businesses. You don’t want to be associated with those that will just tarnish your brand name.

How Businesses See The Future Role of Influencer Marketing

To be integrated in all marketing activities

%

To become a cross-functional discipline that will expand beyond marketing

%

To become a catalyst for digital transformation

%

To become a primary area of digital marketing investment

%

Source: smartinsights.com

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4. Examples of Hyperlocal Marketing Tools

In this section, we’ll discuss the digital tools that you can use for hyperlocal marketing. Also, we’ll briefly mention how they can be used in hypothetical and real hyperlocal marketing case studies.

Here are a bunch of them that you can add to your technology stack:

  • Marketing Automation Programs
  • Social Media Management Tools
  • Business Intelligence Solutions
  • Event Management Software
  • Project Management Platforms

Marketing Automation Programs

There are different types of programs for marketing automation. Some focus on email marketing and social media marketing. On the other hand, many programs focus on just CRM or analytics. However, there are solutions that are very comprehensive. They allow you to get everything under one roof.

Top platforms are flexible and comprehensive enough to support different types of marketing and approaches. Hyperlocal marketing is one of those. Marketing automation programs allow you to put your planning into practice by cutting down your objectives into manageable tasks and tracking your progress as you go. At the same time, these enable users to collaborate with different people in managing and controlling different types of marketing processes.

Key features of marketing automation programs include:

  1. Lead Management
  2. Analytics and Reporting
  3. Social Marketing
  4. Email Marketing
  5. A/B Testing
  6. Resource Management
  7. Online Marketing

One of the consistently best-ranked platforms in this category right now is an automation tool HubSpot Marketing. It has a comprehensive feature set that can take care of many business processes, like analytics and team management.

If you want to know more about the features, you can easily sign up for HubSpot Marketing free trial here.

hubspot dashboard example

Putting the right content in front of the right prospects is one of the important features of campaign management software like in this one, HubSpot Marketing.

Social Media Management Tools

Many businesses use such tools to make every social media channel more manageable under one roof. Thus, users don’t have to switch apps and windows every time they wish to engage their customers. They can just open up a single tool and have everything they need.

Key features of social media management programs include:

  1. Social Ads and Sharing
  2. Campaigns
  3. Engagement
  4. Analytics

Using these tools, you can engage your target audience with media and posts. You can even set up social contests and even redirect more traffic to your site. More importantly, it allows you to search for local influencers, personalities, and events that you can leverage for your campaign.

In addition to these, it also helps that most US adults are always on multiple social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. So, having a social media management tool will help you have one platform to rule them all if you will.

Which Social Media Sites Do U.S. Adults Use Most?

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Snapchat

Twitter

WhatsApp

Reddit

Source: Pew Research Center

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Business Intelligence Solutions

Solutions for business intelligence or BI allow users to gather and analyze data to create actionable insights. These systems seem daunting to many. However, if you’re just trying one out, you’ll find that the best ones have easy-to-use dashboards. They also have great knowledge bases where you can find resources on how to use these tools to their full potential.

Moreover, these tools are great for hyperlocal marketing, especially when you have a sizable company. There are many platforms out there that offer useful local information across different geographies. So, you can create strategies and tactics by looking at real-time data.

Also, you can use them to check on the performance of your hyperlocal marketing efforts. You just collate data from different sources and plug them into BI tools, and then they’ll create visualizations from graphs to different types of charts. Key features include:

  1. A/B Testing and Similar Testing Tools
  2. Predictive Modeling
  3. Data Mining
  4. Create Visualizations
  5. Statistical Analysis Tools

Event Management Software

Tools for event management help companies automate different event-related processes from a single platform. With this, you can plan, organize, market, and analyze your promotional events. There are many features that can help you gain leads and qualify them. Moreover, these tools allow you to manage registration, seating, ticketing, and even onsite operations.

Remember, events should provide value to your target audience. Also, they should provide unique and shareable experiences. When you take a look at experiential marketing statistics, you’ll find that unique, valuable, shareable brand experiences do engage customers more than other types of tactics. This is perfect for hyperlocal marketing.

Additionally, you can manage different types of events with the software, from conventions to trade exhibits and tours. Key features of event management software are as follows:

  1. On-Site Management
  2. Event Marketing
  3. Reporting and Analytics
  4. Ticketing
  5. Venue (and Seating) Management
  6. Registration and Attendance Management

We can’t cover everything event marketing here. So, you can read a more comprehensive event marketing guide here, if you want.

Project Management Platforms

Project management platforms allow users to design and facilitate project delivery. Many hyperlocal marketing communications efforts can be considered as projects. This is especially so when you are a major brand. One great example of this is when Google created a food truck serving donuts to promote its smart mini-speakers.

Imagine that you planned and deployed this. What do you need? Well, firstly, you need to break down tasks and objectives. Also, you assign tasks to your team members. You also need to collaborate and get status updates from time to time. Project management programs have such features to help you. To wit, here are key features of top project management tools:

  1. Document sharing
  2. Real-time collaboration
  3. Reporting and analytics
  4. Budgeting and managing costs
  5. Intuitive dashboards

5. Merging Offline and Online Techniques

As mentioned, hyperlocal marketing may be the oldest marketing approach there is. Therefore, there are offline techniques for it. Also, as we are in the still-developing digital age, online techniques are still being developed for hyperlocal marketing, meaning we’d find new and better ones in the future.

However, the best approach to hyperlocal marketing today is the mixing of offline and online tools. A good mix would be to use digital tools to manage and automate processes so you and your team can focus on the actual job rather than clerical work. Why send the emails one by one or in bulk by yourself? Why not outsource this and other processes to a digital tool?

This way, you can increase accuracy. In addition, you can save both time and effort. It’s better that you invest your valuable time into actually growing your business. Therefore, it is important to have a good technology stack to meet your marketing needs.

Ready to Start Your Hyperlocal Marketing Efforts?

As mentioned, business technology stacks are important in today’s environment to roll-out your hyperlocal marketing plan. However, these stacks are not the same for all businesses. Some successful businesses use just one or two tools. Others, like IT-based firms, may use from 10 to 30 across the organization. Thus, it is best to learn more about how SaaS can augment your business operations before you start building your arsenal of digital tools.

Also, remember that hyperlocal marketing is the oldest type of marketing there is. It’s likely here to stay. Whether you are a big company selling in various local areas or a local company vying for market leadership in some localities, this approach will never go out of style. Thus, you need to keep up with hyperlocal marketing goings-on regularly.

One way to do this is to keep up with local market reports. Also, you should keep up with local search data and news if you can. Of course, there is no better teacher than experience. Therefore, if you can create and maintain a simple hyperlocal marketing campaign this year, it’d be a good benchmark for you in the next few years.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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