“Hyperlocal” has become a term used to describe advertising which is targeted through a web publication towards a specific consumer audience, in a very small geographic area. By using hyperlocal ads, your business can promote products and services to a local audience that is more likely to be interested.
Since 2008, the search results have been showing maps and map listings (aka Local Business Listings). Searching no longer requires someone to add a city and state as part of their search term. The search engines know the locale of the person searching and based on that locale, they will display local results first before national results. This not only applies towards the map listings, but it includes websites. Websites identifying themselves for a specific geography will be included in the local results.
Something I have discussed in recent years is the concept of “All Business Is Local”. Keep in mind this phrase is not only about physical brick and mortar stores, but applies to local results for websites as well. Consumers use the web to research and make a purchase. Depending upon what is being purchased, the purchase may occur on the web or the consumer will go to the local store if the product requires additional physical review.
Although companies find themselves competing in a global market, businesses may find it advantageous to target their advertising locally. Hyperlocal advertising can focus so tightly on neighborhoods and sections in those neighborhoods in order to reach customers who live nearby. The hyperlocal advertising trend is worth looking at more closely.
Hyperlocal Targeting Advertising Tool
Google AdWords Express offers businesses a way to reach customers searching for products or services, specifically in their local area.
AdWords Express ads show up next to the search results on web or mobile. The ads will also show up based on the location and the search term in the local community your ads are targeting.
Google Adwords Express is effectively a highly targeted hyper-local advertising campaign. The targeting is not only based on a community for your advertising campaign, but also allows you to reach communities your physical location may not accomplish with your local business listings alone.
Example of Hyperlocal Websites
Patch.com is the internet-based town hall, reporting everything in your area from local government to weekend events. In addition, Patch offers listings to restaurants, services, shops, and businesses. Patch prides itself on covering topics that matter to residents, making the digital content more about community than sophisticated enough to be scaled to larger news outlets. Patch is a great way to find out about what is going on in your community and how you can get involved. Patch was built to give regular local individuals a place to find plenty of opportunities to post pictures, events and share their opinion with their local community.
Patch is currently owned jointly by AOL and Hale Global. Hale Global the majority owner plans on turning the business around after AOL built it to over 900 locations nationwide since 2007.
As Hale Global revised Patch, they plan on making it a place for contributors and businesses to create “locally-themed news and content.” Patch sites also will be redesigned for mobile and social media users, and advertisers will have “self-service” tools for creating their hyperlocal ads.
When it started in 2008, Examiner.com aimed to replace the newspapers in the local online markets. It is now a major news and lifestyle network powered by local contributors. Content is based on location and when users arrive at the site, they are routed to the nearest city’s content. While national and global audiences flock to large networks like CNN, Google, or Yahoo, Examiner focuses on hyperlocal. Content is created by locals and consumed by locals. Using the expertise of these local writers allows Examiner to feature local material about numerous cities.
- Tribeca Citizen
In 2009, Erik Torkells started a website at TribecaCitizen.com for the Tribeca area of Manhattan in New York City. Tribeca Citizen is a good example of a hyperlocal website providing news and information for residents of the Tribeca neighborhood. The online publication answers questions about new shops, restaurants, real estate, and more. Running a hyperlocal online publication certainly has its own challenges.
“It’s hard for me to distill my thoughts on hyperlocal down to a quote, but I will say that the challenge, for me anyway, has not been reaching or engaging readers, who have proven to be hungry for hyperlocal information,” comments Erik Torkells.
Erik continues to say “What takes up far more time and energy these days is explaining online advertising to local business owners, who do not have much experience with the internet or bandwidth to deal with one more person asking for their time/money.”
While Erik has his challenges with small local businesses, he states,”Larger companies don’t value the hyperlocal audience the way a local business does.”
This later statement unfortunately, however, may be a timing issue when larger companies finally adopt this type of advertising to their local strategies.
Benefits of Hyperlocal Advertising
- Lower Cost with Higher Quality
Hyperlocal advertising tends to cost less because it targets a smaller audience. An effective Google Adwords campaign is best done with $100/day, however, a Google Adwords Express campaign can be achieved between $10 – $20/day and the quality of the website visitors will be much better compared to a larger audience.
- Enhanced and Focused Local Audience Targeting
Hyperlocal advertising has greater control over the target marketing viewing your advertising. This allows you to create ad messages appealing to this targeted audience compared to ads appealing to a larger audience.
- New Customer Acquisition and Relationships
By using an additional marketing channel reaching local consumers in a targeted area, the ads have a better chance of reaching new customers to visit your business. These new acquisitions build relationships to help create repeat business. Hyperlocal advertising helps to convey a sense of similarity showing you and your customers share commonality.
Finding Hyperlocal Advertising Help
Advertising locally has its own discipline, science, and sophistication. Whether you use Google Adwords Express or need to find hyperlocal publications like Tribeca Citizen, web marketing agencies can help you find the right websites, balance your budget accordingly, and make the appropriate recommendations. I do recommend additional reading in the article “5 Reasons to Use PPC Ads for Local Marketing“.