What is hyperlocal marketing and how do you build a content marketing plan for it?
To get local customers, you need a content marketing plan that is locally focused. Sometimes called, hyperlocal marketing, it is a method of niche targeting that focused on a specific city or demographic that appeals to shoppers within that city.
The reality is that you, as a small business, understand your customer more than anyone. The trick to localizing is knowing how your customers find you and what will make them take action (ie purchase, visit or call you). If you’ve ever looked for a very specific type of business when you’re out and about, you’ve probably already done a hyperlocal search.
The goal of this article is to make your marketing plan less overwhelming using a few hyperlocal marketing techniques to attract people while they are looking for your business.
How your customers find you
Even though many businesses regularly update their Facebook page and Twitter account, most don’t know how to measure their return on investment nor how these mediums affect their search results. Measurement is essential for knowing what a “like” is worth, and the value of a “retweet” or a comment on their corporate blog?
Honestly, you can’t evaluate your content marketing without building a clear content marketing plan first. For many business owners or managers, these types of plans can seem overwhelming, and it doesn’t help that there are so many emails and social media posts out there telling you how to do it. So, let’s break it down into 5 easy steps to creating a hyperlocal content marketing plan:
Five Steps to a Hyperlocal Content Marketing Plan
- Identify Your Goals – Whatever they are.
What behavior or action do you want your customers or prospect to take when viewing your content? Education? Download something? Call you? Place an order? Get specific! Let’s think about this for a moment. Think about why people would really choose you. Location? Cost? Craving? Whatever it is, find your DNA. What makes you different or makes you the best choice.
- Know Your Target Audience
For a restaurant, people driving down their street or living near their storefront are the ones who can give them what they want, a customer walking in the door. For the auto mechanic, it’s people who are online looking for someone reputable to repair their car. (Just remember that the target audience has specific characteristics or needs, so you should avoid thinking of your customer as the “anyone breathing.”)
- Reach Your Target Audience with the right medium
In addition to ads, email or direct mail, people with a physical location, such as a restaurant, medical practice, or car mechanic, are often found three ways:
- A referral from a person they know
- Reviews on a website or
- Using local search
You can affect all three of these options. Content and reviews, distributed where people look for them, is where an integrated marketing plan is helpful. Encourage reviews from your current customers by asking them to leave you a review on Google or Facebook, then allow for your SEO team to promote those reviews through search so that people can find your reviews right next to your company name in search results.
Business owners also must also understand that mobile drives local. Just like you and I, more than 90% of U.S. consumers carry a mobile phone. Not having a mobile strategy for your marketing is like missing 90% of local shoppers. Use services that help customers find you on Waze, Google Maps, or MapQuest. Integrate your website into your mobile strategy, then boost your presence by not only placing nice posters or taking out ads in local newspapers, but by creating Facebook pages and enhancing them with a few low-cost “boosted” posts on Facebook.
Need help integrating or boosting these items, let us know your goals and objectives and we’ll help.
- What is your offer? Craft your content around your offer
Ask yourself; “What will motivate my target audience to take action when they see my Facebook page or find me through a local search query?” Think about this question a bit because the answer can cause you to rethink how you define your target audience.
For example, the restaurant thought his audience consisted of people living and working near his location. While fairly logical, it isn’t really a focused answer. In fact, unless a person who lives in his area is hungry, they aren’t likely to visit his restaurant. The restaurant owner then is better off refining his target audience to be those who live or work nearby AND who are looking for certain foods. He might also stretch that a bit to include those who live/work nearby and who also are looking for catering, a gift card, or something to pick up for a meeting.
This refinement widens his target market and provides additional opportunities to get creative with content marketing. Content could include how catering and make for the perfect, stress-free dinner party or why ordering food to go can make for a healthy option to fast food. Whatever your goals, understanding the needs of your target audience can help create content that addresses their concerns while boosting your profits.
- How to know if your strategy works?
Ah, the key question to answer. Sometimes it is as easy as knowing if more local people come into the florist shop or viewed your ad online. It may also be a measurable increase in revenue. But what you really want to know is if the goal was achieved due to content marketing or some other reason. That’s the challenge of the evaluation stage: connecting results to your content marketing activities.
For digital media, such as social media sites or Google searches, it’s not too difficult to make the connections. Using free or low-cost metrics, we can track the numbers and demographics of people who first visited your Facebook page (where you offered your content) and then came to your website (where your menu is hosted). In addition, you can identify which types of content were the most effective in driving website traffic or causing a person to engage in your content. This can then be used to refine your content marketing efforts going forward.
For tying offline to the online medium, promo codes can be used in direct mail or radio ads. Those same codes can be used in each piece of content to identify the customers that came as a result of a particular search query versus an ad. As noted above, sometimes low tech still works, and when combined with the higher-tech medium you can see which elements most cost-effective and which ones to discontinue.
Want the most effective way to find out if your content marketing worked? Simply ask.
To learn more about how content marketing can help build your sales, contact us today. We have a range of marketing plans for every demographic and price range.