A tutorial in hyperlocal marketing for retailers
In recent years, thanks to new technology and the power of Google and other search providers, hyperlocal marketing has come along to supplement already successful localised marketing strategies.
Put simply, hyperlocal marketing involves targeting a very narrow geographical area. Typically, this takes place online, making use of tools like Google shopping and maps, as well as the power of search engines to help consumers to find local businesses.
In this article, we’ll cover some simple ways for you to get started with hyperlocal marketing, and taking a look at a successful case study.
Making The Most of Google
Google is the first port of call for hyperlocal marketing. Setting up a Business Page for each of your local stores is crucial for becoming visible locally online. It won’t take long to do, and this can help your business to appear on local maps, as well as sharing information like opening times and reviews to would-be customers.
A Google Business Page will also help you to rank for ‘near-me’ searches. When customers search for things like “cinema near me” or “shoe shops in [location]”, businesses which are registered with Google will both rank higher and appear as a pin on a local map.
Businesses can also use location to target advertising through Google. AdWords ads can be aimed at audiences in narrow geographic locations, making them ideal for new business launches and local events or sales.
Optimising Your Landing Pages
The importance of SEO for businesses is well understood, but optimising landing pages for location-based marketing can also be a powerful tool.
Some businesses opt to frequently update web pages to reflect their location - products which change with the season or specific offers around local events, for example. Some retail businesses have individual local websites for each store linked to their Google Business pages or adverts.
Optimising a landing page using Google’s ‘schema markup’ is also a great way to ensure the correct information about your business appears in Google searches. Businesses can embed data about their offering, opening hours, contact details, and more, into their website to help Google pick up and display the correct information to customers.
Consider Your Audience
Beyond perfecting your targeting, it’s important to consider what your customers want from your business. This forms part of our earlier point about choosing items to sell based on location, but can also include what offers to run and which digital adverts you serve up to different segments of your audience.
With so much emphasis on digital marketing, it’s also easy to forget the face-to-face aspect of local marketing. A good experience in-store will build customer loyalty faster than any online campaign and will do more for spreading news of your business through word of mouth.
A good local experience is at the core of hyperlocal marketing - not only do people need to be able to find your store online, but the store should meet their needs too.
Case Study - Argos and eBay
In 2007 high-street favourite Argos took their first steps in a transformation from a brick-and-mortar retailer to being one of the UK’s best multichannel retailers.
Joining forces with eBay, Argos aimed to rival Amazon with a ‘click and collect’ service, making its full local retail inventory available online. Argos also made use of Google’s Local Inventory Ads - a service which ensures that adverts are only displayed for products currently in stock.
This form of hyperlocal marketing helps Argos’s customers to see where they can immediately purchase and collect an item nearby, bringing increased sales and footfall.