Posted on 19 December, 2018
In the search for a deeper connection with their audiences, brands are turning to hyperlocal content. And they are using UGC to strike a relationship.
Familiarisation equates to comfortability and signifies a feeling of connection. Even when people are encouraged to try new things and seek adventure, they often revert to what they know.
Someone is likely to feel warmth towards a subject they can instantly relate to. Whether it’s seeing the city where you live feature in a big-budget movie or a social media snap taken a few miles from your home - the connection is instantaneous.
That connection is one of the reasons why brands are turning to hyperlocal marketing as a way of striking a chord with their audience. The internet and social media have made localised campaigns possible from afar - and companies are reaping the rewards.
A trip to the past
Localised marketing began before the word marketing was even a thing - let alone the numerous subcategories it carries today. In finding new ways to connect with audiences, we have gone full circle.
Rewind to the pre-media age, and it was almost impossible to connect in any way but at a local level. Businesses relied on nearby clients to keep their company running. Any form of marketing was created entirely for consumers who lived within a short distance.
It can even be argued that hyper localised marketing was the first form of marketing. Over the last 100 years, new methods came to the fore and the way the traditional marketing is viewed changed.
In 2018, hyperlocal marketing is back with new bells and whistles - and it’s mostly thanks to Google.
A shift in trends
People started to feel comfortable using the internet outside of their home, mainly thanks to fast 4G speeds. The result saw a dramatic change in the way consumers searched for businesses. Search queries ending ‘near me’ rose. People were out and about and wanted instant solutions to their online searches.
Google reacted and started to display fewer search results. But the results they did offer were personalised to users exact locations. Suddenly brands needed to find a way to optimise their content for local search queries.
The AI effect
Reports have suggested that the three crucial ways for brands to interact with their audiences in the future will be artificial intelligence, hyperlocal marketing and voice search. The irony isn’t lost on the fact that all three communicate seamlessly with each other.
30 percent of all mobile searches have location intent. 20 percent of those searches are done by voice search, which is powered by AI. Artificial intelligence's ability to augment data will also help marketers make more informed decisions.
All of these factors combine to offer a better local experience for audiences and give brands a greater reach to their target market.
Opt-in or opt-out
Brands that don’t pay attention to hyperlocal marketing are at risk of being left behind. 86 percent of people research online before making a purchase decision - including in-store buys. That means companies need to be in the conversation when consumers are looking for answers.
Local content holds the power to add more personalised communications in email and social media. The latter is particularly important as it offers a direct two-way, instant conversation between brand and customer.
Despite personalised make up of social media, international brands face a struggle when it comes to connecting on a local level. How does Coca-Cola use content to resonate with Paul from Dalston, East London?
They ask him to do it for them.
Using user-generated content
The best way to create authentic hyper localised marketing is by getting your audience involved. And one of the most popular methods is user-generated content (UGC). 82 percent of shoppers say UGC is ‘extremely important’ when making a purchase decision.
At its core, UGC is influencer marketing. If consumers see local visual content from worldwide brands, those subconscious thoughts kicks in, and there is more excitement around a product or service.
While some brands directly partner with local talent, there are dedicated platforms that harness the skills of local content creators. Lobster, an AI-powered visual content platform, is an online marketplace where the everyday people sell their photos and videos.
Brands have cottoned on to the power of UGC and hyperlocal marketing. There is so much competition from companies for attention, that utilising methods like UGC is a way to strike a stronger connection with audiences through authenticity.
Landing pages are also proving a useful way to maximise reach on a local level. Searchers typing in queries from cities, regions and towns can find results catered to their specific area. Brands now optimise their content on a more personal level, yet it still fits within the confines of their global website.
Identifying keywords based on a local level is one of the most effective ways to succeed. Google Trends has also proven to be proficient in local search results. While the research so people can find you is essential, companies need to make sure the landing pages reflect the locality of an area.
The power of personalisation
Technology has found a way to marginalise the world, making it a much smaller place. Sometimes the reduction in size can seem like a negative, but for brands it acts as an enabler to drive more personalised content.
Companies initially wanted global domination, but as they grew larger, so did the disconnect with their audience. Now consumers are demanding a more intimate interaction, and hyperlocal marketing and UGC are working in tandem to drive the change.
A growing reliance on mobile search, smart AI algorithms able to process data at a faster rate, and local content have brands refining their marketing strategies.
Tech is powering the hyperlocal revolution - even if, at its core, it’s one of the oldest forms of marketing.
Written by Olga Egorsheva, Lobster.
Feature image source can be found here, via Lobster.