Going HyperLocal

May 7, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

The term “hyperlocal” originated back in 1991 and referred specifically to local television news content. There were initially three components that determined content “hyperlocal”. First, it refers to entities and events located within a well-defined, community scale area. Secondly, it is intended primarily for consumption by residents of that area. Thirdly, it is created by a resident of the location. There were some exceptions to the rule, of course. For example, a photo/image might have been taken of an entity at a local event, but the photographer might not be a local resident. The news content itself would still be considered hyperlocal.

Now the term does not only apply to news content. The newest usage of the term applies to a specialized set of marketing dynamics that targets residents within a well defined community scale area. The conveyors of the marketing/promotional message are product/service providers that are located within the same community scale area; and the intent is to solicit patronage for the “consumption” of their product/service offerings by the targeted residents. This approach is heavily dependent upon the inception of a super-concentrated sense of patriotism for your specific community, similar to what exists in high school sports.

There are many ways to implement a hyperlocal strategy into one’s marketing mix. One might also aspire to create an entire business model centered around a hyperlocal platform. A great example of this is the creation of a local online directory. A client of mine (Go Local Advertising) started out exclusively selling ad space on “eatlocal” sites that they established for different communities in the Houston, TX Metropolitan area. They began with their flagship site in Cypress, TX and now have live sites in Spring, (serving also Klein), Katy, Pearland, The Woodlands, The Heights and even found someone to purchase a license to run a site in Huntsville, AL. From there they have taken off to provide complimentary services (also centered around a hyperlocal platform). The offer they clients local search optimization which is differentiated from the traditional global search results in that the queries are all centered around a specific locale. For example, common searches on Google and other search engines look something like “Cypress Restaurants”, or “Sprint, TX Plumbers”. More and more, people are searching for products and services close to where they are standing at that very moment.

In fact, it seems that everything in technology is going hyperlocal. Smart phones use GPS and search engine technology to tell a person what is near them that might be of interest. A business can utilize this information and the new “Google Places” platform to drive local traffic toward themselves in a manner that was never available before. If one were to couple this with the other search engine place pages (i.e. Yahoo and Bing) as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, it is conceivable that there would be no reason to ever need to advertise on traditional platforms ever again.

The one challenge that a business might face is the accuracy of your listing on different platforms. I have a client (Prop Rock Concepts and Productions) who just expanded into a larger warehouse. When people type her address in their GPS or mobile phone (or even Google Maps) it routinely comes up as “SEARS”. This is because Sears was being listed at this location before they moved their local distribution office to another location. There are over 120 major listing aggregators that need to be updated so that she can be listed at the new address. Luckily she has someone like me who has the know-how and resources to fix that for her; but most people just live with it. This is not a problem that is affecting small businesses. How many times have you put a restaurant or service (like McDonald’s) into your GPS and drive all the way to the destination to find that it isn’t there? There is nothing more frustrating to me than to hear “You have arrived at your destination” and the place I am looking for is nowhere in sight.

This article is in no way intended to be the definitive resource on the hyperlocal concept. It is merely meant to introduce the concept to those who may not be familiar with it. I encourage you to do more research on the subject as we will refer to this concept and the dynamics of it in future articles regarding collaboration vs. competition in the marketplace and the empowerment of SMB/MWBE entities on the global marketplace.

Jay Davis is a seasoned Strategic Planner and Project Manager with an industry focus on Economic Development and Commerce. He is an active author who is attempting to break the world record for “Most Published Author” by attempting to publish 1404 works in the next 13 years.

Jay is also an active champion for social and economic reform. He is the founder and developer of the Power In Numbers Economic Development Initiative (Power In Commerce™) and Co-developer of the Power In Numbers™ Network. He is the CEO/President of the facilitators of these platforms. These companies are suitably named Power In Numbers™ and The Power In Numbers Flagship Company.

Mr. Davis’ latest venture (Power In Numbers Flagship Company) can be followed at: http://www.powerofhouston.org

Go Local Advertising’s “Eat Local” concept can be seen at: http://www.eatcypress.com

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Jay J Davis - EzineArticles Expert Author

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