What Is Hyperlocal Marketing and How Does It Help Hospitality Businesses?
If you're running a business in the hospitality industry, you’re probably already investing time and effort in local SEO to capture business in your town, city or state.
But is that local enough? How local can you go?
Many businesses are now realising the power of Hyperlocal marketing, which allows an almost sci-fi like targeting of potential customers thanks to a much tighter grasp of their location.
This enables hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars to find new customers within specific blocks or even streets, by triangulating their smartphone’s signal.
It all sounds rather far-fetched, but Hyperlocal marketing really is a thing, and it’s perfect for the hospitality industry.
What is Hyperlocal marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing is the process of targeting potential customers in a very specific area and placing your business at the heart of the results for a “near me” Google search.
In fact, you’ve almost definitely conducted a Hyperlocal search yourself. For instance, if the restaurant you wanted to visit is full and you’ve already paid to park somewhere, you’ll have wanted an alternative to which you could walk. A Hyperlocal search should deliver you just that.
Imagine being the restaurateur on the end of that search. It’s business which you proactively gain by taking advantage of Hyperlocal marketing.
Hyperlocal marketing relies on three key elements to work effectively:
- Great Google My Business listings. When was the last time you updated yours?
- Proximity. Although tricky to control and define, Google does take note of the proximity between the user and the business when ranking Hyperlocal searches.
- Customer reviews. Power lies with online reviews these days, and word-of-mouth marketing like this is vital to success with Hyperlocal searches. Remember: 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses before buying.
How can hospitality businesses tap into Hyperlocal marketing?
Hyperlocal marketing isn’t just about the technical aspects of SEO - it extends to the way you pitch your business locally.
Even if someone finds you via a Hyperlocal search on Google, what will make them pick you over your competition? A short-notice bed for the night or last-minute decision to have dinner out still needs to be tempting; being Hyperlocal isn’t enough on its own.
Thankfully, there are some simple strategies you can undertake to make your hospitality business ultra-attractive to those searching nearby.
- Know your audience. Not all Hyperlocal searches are conducted by your target market. It’s therefore vital that you understand who your audience is; their demographics, likes, dislikes and the triggers which are likely to inspire them.
- Embrace local cuisine and experiences. Does your location benefit from a vibrant culinary scene or particular visiting experience? Tune your restaurant or hotel’s offering so that it echoes the local area; that’ll make it an obvious choice for many Hyperlocal searchers.
- Tweak your offering per location. If you’re running a chain, make sure your offering sits comfortably within the area. This could be different for each city; for instance, low-cost one-night stays might trump minimum two-night breaks in certain locations.
10 Hyperlocal marketing strategies that’ll help you achieve growth this year
If you get Hyperlocal marketing right, you'll be able to drastically reduce the amount you spend on other forms of advertising.
Think about the impact that could have on your ability to grow.
As a hospitality business, it’s easy to forget about the value of business that’s on your doorstep. So, with that in mind, here’s 10 Hyperlocal marketing strategies you can implement relatively easily.
1. Embrace deal sites
Sites like Groupon are popular for a reason. They sell billions of deals for hospitality businesses because they know how to attract the best customers.
They also elicit trust, and trust sells. The more deal sites you’re on, the more likely you are to appear within local search results.
2. Implement structured data markup
Sorry to get all technical on you, but structured data markup is needed if you want to appear within relevant local searches on Google.
It’ll give your site the ability to appear as rich ‘snippets’ in Google searches, and the search giant has a useful helper site to get you going.
3. Create a landing page for each location
Running a network of restaurants or small chain of hotels? For Hyperlocal marketing to work, you need to ensure each location has its own landing page complete with localised content.
4. Ensure your Google My Business (GMB) listing is up to date
This bears repeating, because it’s so important for Hyperlocal marketing.
Make sure you spend plenty of time utilising every ounce of your GMB listing. If there’s a field available - complete it.
5. Extend your Hyperlocal beyond digital
Hyperlocal marketing benefits from a connected digital and offline approach.
This is why some spend on old-fashioned advertising and billboards is still worth it, because it all goes towards placing your brand in the minds of people immediately within your vicinity.
6. Strike up partnerships with non-competing businesses
By partnering up with local businesses who aren’t a threat to yours, you’ll strengthen your position within the local market.
Joint blogging and social campaigns with these partners will all tie into your ability to target hyperlocally.
7. Ensure your website is fully mobile-ready
You can invest an awful lot of time and expense in Hyperlocal marketing but it’ll be wasted if your website isn’t ready for mobile devices.
Google now works on a mobile-first index, and that means they’ll as good as ignore you during local searches if yours doesn't work flawlessly on small screens.
8. Invest in paid search for local postal/zip codes
Most paid search platforms will enable you to target customers within specific postal and zip codes.
If you’re currently limiting your search to a relatively wide radius in your town, county or state, get closer. Try just one or two areas within your immediate vicinity and ignore the low suggested conversion figure.
9. Create localised content
Start blogging about local events, news or anything else which is specific to your area.
Google still loves content, and it’ll only rank you within Hyperlocal searches if your content speaks the same language as your area. A blog a week of at least 500 words is a great starting point.
10. Speak to your employees
Hyperlocal marketing is something your entire team will need to get involved in.
The good news? They’re probably locals themselves, and they may have some brilliant ideas about the type of content and targeting you should try in order to gain more local business. Ask them!
How to set up a Hyperlocal marketing campaign in Google ads
Hyperlocal marketing is best trialled on Google Ads before you attempt similar strategies on other platforms.
The key thing you’ll need to work on is your geolocation settings. It’s relatively easy to do this - if you follow these steps.
Navigate to the Campaigns tab and click settings. Then, click the downward arrow in the Locations tab and choose Advanced Search.
Choose Radius Targeting and decide on what the central point of your radius should be. Most hospitality businesses use their physical location as the central point.
Enter the address of your radius’ centre into the search field of the radius targeting box.
Set the radius distance. It’ll probably be set to 20 miles by default, but experiment by going much tighter than that; you can always widen it if results are poor. Try starting with a maximum of five miles.
Make a list of the search phrases people might type into Google when looking for your services nearby. “Hotel room for tonight”, “best Thai restaurant near me”, are some classic examples.
Make a list of negative keywords - i.e. those that wouldn't make sense for Hyperlocal marketing. “Romantic hotel getaway”, for instance, probably won’t be intended for a local stay.
Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner to research these keywords and add the good stuff to your new hyperlocalised campaign.
We’ve scratched the surface of Hyperlocal marketing in this guide, but that’s the best starting point if you’re entirely new to this form of customer acquisition.
Invest plenty of time in it. As you get more comfortable with Hyperlocal, your reliance on expensive, far reaching pay-per-click campaigns will reduce and your profits will rise.