We all experienced a difficult year. COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives. And this includes our lifestyle, our consumption habits as well as our travelling habits. Although the pandemic has started in the last months of 2019, we can still feel its impacts in 2021. We as individuals need to reshape our behaviours and our habits. So does the business. Since the beginning of 2020, more and more consumers are shopping locally. And this local shopping introduces us to a new trend in the marketing industry: hyperlocal marketing.
So what do you mean by hyperlocal? And how can we introduce this new concept in our marketing efforts?
Well, to answer these questions, we need to take a look at the changing consumer behaviours with COVID-19. Only then, we can find new ways to align our business with current consumption habits.
What Did COVID-19 Teach Us?
Everyone around the world is somehow negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all forced to give up on our regular social life activities. What is more, we are confined indoors with different lockdown practices of different countries. As the precautions are getting softer, there is a chance to go back to our old lives. But things will continue to be different for some time.
There are travel bans in the EU region that might get softer in the 2021 summer. This means people can go back to travelling ad visiting different cities. One of the best advantages of tourism is bringing new customers to businesses around the world. This way businesses have a chance to expand their reach to different customer segments. But the lockdowns showed us one crucial thing: businesses need to focus on local customers more than ever.
Since most of us cannot even change our district in our city, we tend to show more locally. Actually, shopping locally is the case when we cannot shop online. In most countries, people still prefer local business rather than shopping online, especially when it comes to groceries and other everyday needs. At this point, businesses need to think over their digital marketing strategies to reach out to local customers.
What Can Hyperlocal Marketing Bring To A Business?
Hyperlocal marketing can help businesses to reach to local consumers. So, how does this happen exactly?
When a business needs to focus on the customers around its physical location, that business must be visible online. Although traditional marketing approaches can help with spreading the word about that business, it might be a good option to support these efforts with digital strategies.
For example, a business might target customers in a certain city or tourists who are visiting a certain city. In most cases, these individuals will look for something to eat, something to drink, somewhere to stay and somewhere to visit. And they will add the “near me” phrase to their searchers. This is the key to targeting more locally. And this is the core of hyperlocal marketing.
What Is Hyperlocal Marketing?
What we mean by hyperlocal marketing is targeting the foot traffic. Also known as customer traffic, foot traffic is about customers visiting the physical store locations. Actually, it is the traditional sense of shopping. When businesses focus on hyperlocal, they focus on attracting more customers to their stores.
The main objective of this marketing type is to increase in-store sales. Businesses need to create digital strategies to attract more customers to their physicals stores. Actually, the online reflection of this type of marketing is the near me searches.
At some point of our life, we all typed in “something near me” to the search bar. This could be like “burger restaurants near me” or even “attraction centres near me”. The purpose of these queries to to find certain physical places near your area. If you are tourist and if you have limited time in that city, you may want to see the important touristic attraction near you. Or if you are hungry and if you want to eat pizza, you might want to discover the pizza shops near you. All of these needs are the basis for hyperlocal marketing for businesses.
How Can We Start With Hyperlocal Marketing Efforts?
There are a few steps you can take to focus on your local area and reaching to customers near you. Let’s see how you can start with your hyperlocal marketing efforts.
Address to The Needs of Your Local Consumers
When you are targeting locally, the dynamics are a bit different. People searching for a store or business around them will want these stores or businesses to be accessible. So, what do we mean by accessible?
First, you need to add your business contact information so that this information is visible on the search results. And the best way of doing this is to register your business to Google My Business. When you do that you can add the following:
- General overview of your business
- Photos of your store
- A phone number
- Your website
All of this information will help your potential customers to reach you. Also, customers can post a comment to rate your business. All the positive comments will benefit your business over the long run.
Your phone number and directions will help the customers to find you easier. This way the number of a potential customer in your store will increase. Here, you are targeting individuals who can visit your business or store immediately after searching it online.
Optimise Search Results for Foot Traffic
Different from generally accepted digital marketing practices, foot traffic is the key element of hyperlocal marketing. So, businesses need to encourage individuals to visit stores and buy from these stores rather than online shopping. Actually, this practice is a better approach for businesses in the food-beverage sector, repair and maintenance sector as well as local product sector. If you are an e-commerce business, this approach will probably not work very well. Small enterprises can adopt this strategy to increase their audience reach.
If we sum things up, hyperlocal marketing has great opportunities especially for small businesses mainly working in certain localities. Also, it is the best way to address the “near me” searches by customers. Targeting the customers in a certain area can significantly contribute to the overall revenue of the business. Moreover, this practice does not add any additional cost to the business owners.
You don’t need to work with a digital marketing agency or digital marketing experts. Business owners can easily set up their own Google My Business accounts and start targeting locally. The rest of the things will build on this initial effort.