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Boosting income in your up-and-coming business can be tedious and full of challenges. Throughout the past several years, numerous organizations and small businesses have found that hyperlocal marketing is a useful way to gather neighborhood support and harness repeat customers. Once you make a name for yourself, locals are more likely to choose your brand over a generic competitor. The key is to brand your business as a neighborhood staple: the place to go when people nearby need your specific products and services.
Part of the surge in hyperlocal marketing efforts can be attributed to the rise in mobile device usage.
According to Search Engine Land, “Between 2014 and 2015, Google saw a 2x increase in ‘near me’ and ‘nearby’ searches, with 80 percent of those searches occurring on mobile devices.”
While hyperlocal marketing is not a novel practice, the way in which small businesses are going about it has changed. A typical misguided belief is that local marketing strategies only work for certain kinds of businesses, like restaurants. In reality, anyone from a global brand to a tiny “mom and pop” shop to a solopreneur artist can benefit from smart local marketing efforts.
Buy a local URL
It’s important to take the time to build a reputation in your specific niche through your website. For instance, a business owner from San Francisco will need to share her experience and mastery to acquire neighborhood support, but her existing online customers may be from different areas outside of San Francisco. Buying a URL with her town name and theme will strengthen her chances of being found by locals who are searching the internet. She can continue catering to her long-distance customers, while beginning to build hype in her area. This goes for anyone who is operating a successful online business and wants to expand locally.
Blog for your neighborhood
According to Search Engine Land, “Back in 2016, Barry Schwartz reported a noticeable reduction in the number of pages offered for Google Maps search results, suggesting an effort to narrow the results down to a smaller geographic area.”
If your business operates in a large city, such as New York City, it’s often more effective to narrow down your target to a subsection of the city. Try focusing on hyperlocal topics, for example, a new restaurant or event that occurred in your immediate neighborhood. This will help distinguish your business online to make sure it is not drowned out by competitors on the other side of town. Customers living closer to you will absolutely choose you over a longer drive to your competitor, as long as you make your brand known and trustworthy online.
Know your neighbors
Spend an evening perusing through other small business websites in complementary industries and connect with them. Consider partnerships or simply mentioning local businesses that your audience might care about.
For instance, if your business sells organic coffee, talking about (and connecting with) an eatery down the road can stir up some conversation among your blog’s audience and your online followers. Don’t automatically discount how another small business may be of assistance to you. Simply make sure that the businesses you partner with have similar values and attract a similar audience. This way, you won’t create confusion about your brand or alienate customers.
Make special offers
One surefire approach to attracting a neighborhood crowd is to give them exceptional treatment. This may mean offering certain products at a reduced cost or giving the local community limited-time offers and exclusive giveaways. Google Adwords Express is one simple way to get a particular offer in front of a local audience. In addition, start watching out for potential brands with whom you can swap offers, as this can double your exposure without loads of time or money. Make sure your website expresses your openness to local partnerships.
Optimize for customers on the go
Before launching any hyperlocal marketing projects, walk yourself through a day in the life of a potential customer. Especially if you are a brick and mortar business, you want your website and digital ads to be optimized for quick contact. A local customer may want to make a quick call or a trip over to your physical store without any fuss. Be sure that your hours of operation and phone number are displayed prominently. Ideally, they should appear as soon as a customer does a Google search for your company.
On the surface, it might appear that hyperlocal marketing is constraining and that open-ended digital marketing will reach more people. However, you are more likely to gain repeat customers if you can foster relationships in your community, which makes hyperlocal marketing lucrative in the long haul.