Puzzled about the term hyper-local marketing and what it means for your small business? Here’s a clue — vendors peddling their wares on the streets or in local fairs. Hyper-local marketing – as old as recorded time – involves reaching out to people in your community or even immediate neighborhood to promote your goods and services.
Today, thanks to social media and our growing desire to be connected all the time, there is a renewed focus on hyper-local marketing to reach customers and potential buyers. The success of Small Business Saturday (See Small Business Saturday sales exceed expectations) suggests that hyper-local marketing can be very effective for small businesses.
Here are six ways to hyper-localize your marketing efforts to build a stronger bond with local customers and prospects:
Localize content: Whether writing your blog or social media posts, make sure the content is relevant to your community. You might want to incorporate news about an event or charity you are involved in or talk about what’s happening in the local business community. Become a source of local news and information and start conversations that build a greater sense of community.
Daily deals: Consumers want deals. With daily deals, such as LivingSocial, you can reach a large number of potential buyers and only pay for the ones who show up to take advantage of your offer. The downside of daily deals is that many buyers use the coupon and never return. Effective use of daily deals requires analyzing your audience and targeting or personalizing the deals to their preferences. Also when you use a daily deal, have a plan in place to keep customers coming back, such as a coupon for a second purchase.
Collaboration: Consider co-marketing with another non-competing local business. By pooling resources with another organization, you can implement an attention-getting program that otherwise might be costly for you to undertake on your own or involve more manpower than you have. You also can partner with a not-for-profit organization whereby you help raise funds for its cause by donating a portion of your profits while you gain visibility and more sales for your small business at the same time.
Mobile: Mobile devices and downloaded apps and maps are making it easier to pinpoint exactly where customers are. When they are in the proximity of your small business, you can send them a text or ad with a coupon or special offer inviting them to drop in. Plus with many of the location-based marketing services, such as Foursquare, when users get to your business, they ‘check in’ on their smartphone to alert their friends and followers.
Events: Host an event where you provide information related to your expertise. For example, if you are a tax accountant hold a seminar and invite the local public to learn about changes in tax codes. A spa could offer free neck massages at a local sporting or charitable event. A retailer or restaurant could run a contest. Make sure you reach out to the media and leverage social media to make the community aware of your efforts.
Loyalty Program: Set up a loyalty program to incentivize customers to keep coming. A program can include frequent buyer cards that provide a discount or free product after so many purchases.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side. However with a targeted hyper-local marketing plan, there may be plenty of green right in your own small business backyard.