Hyperlocal advertising was conceived as the next logical step for local businesses to connect with the residents and other small business owners in neighborhood communities.
The explosion of social media has intersected with the steady upward growth of local online marketing, and the ensuing convergence has positioned hyperlocal marketing as the next “megatrend” online.
Television news websites like KFOR.com channel 4 (top five NBC affiliate) in Oklahoma City present you the option to select your local community front and center. If you do not select a community in your first few visits it automatically selects one for you through IP address targeting.
Once a community is selected, hyperlocal news stories are presented, driving traffic directly to the community website subdomain.
Community websites are also found in the search engines, creating another stream of highly targeted traffic to community businesses.
The community websites offer local businesses the extraordinary opportunity to engage with their target audience, and commence with a strategy to connect with, share relevant information with, and maintain an ongoing relationship with local residents through Facebook, Twitter and other emerging social media apps.
This provides the local business owner with a seamless touch point that the major brands are beginning to master.
For example, depending on the business, the proprietor may offer the customer a 50% OFF coupon on the next visit if the customer “likes” the businesses Facebook page.
As part of the hyperlocal marketing service on KFOR, small businesses can get a Facebook page set up for free with a feed directly from the business’ profile page on KFOR.com.
Business profile pages also appear in the search engines and often outrank the company’s own website and Facebook page:
Major print and television news websites have struggled in past years with monetizing sections of their content categories. Back in 2005 I was told by an SVP at Tribune Companies that some divisions could barely keep the lights on.
One very unique and attractive asset local news entities have that competing publishers, directories, and search engines don’t is T-R-U-S-T.
People trust their local news websites more than they trust company websites and blogs (especially small business websites), classifieds like Craigslist and BackPage, directories like SuperPages and Citysearch, as well as search engines.
Incidentally, small businesses are getting skewered in the wild-west world of local business reviews on directories and search engines, where rogue competitors and employees account for a major percentage of contrived reviews.
Partnering with a local TV news website gives the small business owner instant credibility and prestige. Hyperlocal media websites make it easy for small businesses to leverage trust and credibility in multiple ways to out-market direct and in-direct competitors.
The truth is, hyperlocal advertising is a recommended strategy for small businesses that want to form a credible impression and long-term relationship with members of their neighborhood communities.
It is going to be very exciting to see what the future holds for ancillary web apps that mash social media with local online marketing campaigns.