7 Hyperlocal Marketing Tools and Tactics for 2013

Image Credit: MarketingTango

1.  Use Google Zeitgeist to do trendspotting.

Start by downloading the complete list for the US and focus the top relevant searches on your geography using Google Trends. Top searches using Google Map include Target, Walmart and Starbucks. Find unique ways to incorporate these top search destinations near you into your marketing plans.

2.  Reference Yelp Top Searches to explore what local consumers are trying to discover in your area.

Plug in your geography and find out what businesses are garnering top rankings. This is particularly interesting for non-restaurant queries (e.g. cleaners, hair salons, coffee, yoga, sewing classes, Redbox locations)

3.  Regularly update your blog and website with relevant local content.

Determine what content is relevant to your local areas using insights from the tools above. Social media should be used to amplify the content that you are already producing. Remember that presence in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google + is not a substitute for a website and/or blog that you control.

4.  Create a consortium of local businesses that is the equivalent of your own chamber of commerce.

Meetup and Twitter are good platforms to do recruitment of potential members. Use your website or blog to feature local businesses and customers so that you become a hub for local activity. Nellie Akalp of Corp has a good post on Mashable that goes into more detail regarding local business partnership strategies.

5.  Leverage co-op marketing programs if you source products from national brands looking for local presence.

The Local Search Association (LSA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau suggest that co-op budgets were being under-spent by $450 million dollars due to lack of participation. The LSA lists manufacturers/vendors that have funds set aside for co-op marketing. Subscription access to this database ranges from $189 to $245 per year.

6.  Do a free local event each quarter.

Offering services pro bono will raise your visibility and enable local news outlets to list your event without charging you for advertising.  Career counseling and fitness demonstrations are great things to offer during Q1 given the increase in motivation to start new businesses or new fitness programs.

7.  Start a loyalty program and listen to your customers

One of the big advantages that big box stores and national retailers have is access to customer analytics.  This has created a new wave of loyalty programs powered by “big data.”  To outflank your larger, well-financed competitors, you can pair discount programs with local knowledge.  Motor Works, my independent car repair shop, does a great job of this.  In addition to the “Gregbucks” program to drive referrals and repeat customer visits through discounts, they executed a brilliant promotion offering free grocery bags to existing clients.  Montgomery County, MD recently began charging a plastic bag tax for grocery purchases.  To help its customers manage the change, Motor Works offered a free grocery bag with its logo emblazoned on the bag.  This was truly a win-win proposition.  Motor Works clients didn’t need to purchase reusable grocery bags and Motor Works was able to drive additional marketing opportunities as clients took collateral (grocery bag) to the grocery store to drive word of mouth.

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