The Future of Influencer Marketing: Hyperlocal
The opportunity for brands to connect with consumers on a local level has never been easier. But the truth is, hyperlocal marketing has been around since the beginning of commerce.
The First Hyperlocal Tool: Word of Mouth
Early on, the most successful businesses were the ones that promoted the best. Owners used their literal voices and personally networked with the community to evangelize their business. This type of commerce was built based on depth and trust. How much more hyperlocal can you get than one household recommending your product/service to another?
It wasn’t until direct mail, radio, and television were localized that hyperlocal came to new channels. As those channels evolved and were adopted by a majority of the population, businesses of all sizes started to reach their local audience with a tailored message.
In the 1960’s, Procter & Gamble launched with the first local TV Ad.
Use of the term ‘hyperlocal’ originated in the late 80’s, in reference to local television news content. Today, television still tops the list of where people get their local news and information (although, I still feel like the whole local television advertising space could use some disruption). Now, with the changing face of journalism and the development of online media, hyperlocal is filtering into more mainstream use.
What truly drove the adoption of hyperlocal marketing is search marketing. People stopped using whitepages and starting using this tool called Google, which gave local businesses the ability to easily be discovered by their community.
As consumers spend more time online, we see a growth in ad networks that allow advertisers to target by location. In 2015 Local advertising was a $115 billion market, with about 40 percent of all advertising within the digital space (Street Fight).
There is an interesting correlation between the rise of hyperlocal marketing and the influencer marketing industry, where early adopting brands with big budgets activated large level influencers to reach a national or global audience. Recently, with the democratization of attention and influence, there has been a shift toward using the hyperlocal Micro Influencer.
Engaging in micro communities allows brands of all sizes to target and activate their local customers to use word of mouth marketing within their personal network (just like the good ol’ days). These communities also produce higher engagement rates, making them more efficient.
Example: Sweet Leaf Tea
A local Austin tea brand (who does sales nationally) is focusing on it’s hometown community. Sweet Leaf Tea is activating local customers to share the story of Granny’s iconic Sweet Leaf Tea recipe and recommend the product to their personal network. Tools like Gnack allow them to target hyperlocally, and activate users on social media who have an Austin audience that aligns with the brand’s target demographic.
This allows the Sweet Leaf Tea to not only reconnect with its local audience, but create a buzz around the brand that is resonating with the community.
Example: Marakesh Cafe and Grill
Marakesh wanted to invite local food lovers into their location for a free meal. In return, those customers became ambassadors and posted about the brand on social media, inviting their personal network to visit the location.
By targeting customers on a hyperlocal basis and activating them to become influencers, Marakesh was able to increase sales by 20% in less than 4 months. This speaks to the inherent trust and efficiency of friends and family networks
The Future of Hyperlocal
In the future, we can expect to see new technology that allows brands to target social media users of all sizes to get more granular with the audience they’re targeting.
Social Times reports that nearly 60% of marketers plan to increase influencer marketing budgets. Growth in available data that advertisers have available increases the efficiency in campaign targeting. Advertisers can expect to target audiences on a more hyperlocal level, and activate them using Micro Influencers, getting more efficiency out of their spends.