Today’s world is connected. Too connected, maybe, if I’m judging by the number of folks sitting outside my office building catching Pokemon.
We are all rabidly addicted to our smartphones and plugged into the digital world, and for good reason: it brings convenience like we’ve never known before.
Unfortunately, advertisers recognize this and digital advertising has ballooned into a $77 Billion industry in just a few decades.
If you’re a small business owner, digital marketing to people on these phones is all that anyone seems to be talking about. Websites, landing pages, email marketing, mobile, and social media are all begging you to sink more of your precious time and attention into them as you go about running your business. But do they really work?
Their effectiveness is at an all-time low. Consumers are tired and are starting to kick back. Google admitted that 56 percent of ads are never actually seen by people and only a meager 0.06 percent of all viewers ever click on them.
Ad-blocking technology use climbed 41 percent in 2015 according to PaigeFair and email open rates are languishing below three percent according to MailChimp. Top this all off with phenomena called “banner blindness” which research firm Adotas claims causes 86 percent of consumers to ignore any of your online marketing.
To sum it all up, nobody is paying any attention. Faced with such fierce competition and such a low chance of success, what’s a small business owner to do?
The answer is to do what any smart strategist does in an oversaturated market: head to the hills, and fall back on tactics that we actually know work. Hence, the power of...
It works because it’s genuine, direct outreach to people in your community to drive sales. It’s “hyper” local because it goes beyond local marketing with digital means. This is old-school flyers, handshakes, and shoe-leather marketing. Instead of trying to compete in the shouting match online, it allows you to position yourself as a local expert on your services which has increasing appeal to consumers who are more interconnected but less genuinely connected to those around them.
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Here’s how you can use it to your advantage.
4 Hyper-Local Marketing Ideas to Blow Your Sales and Marketing Goals Out of the Water
1. Market with flyers in areas where for-sale signs are popping up
Whether people are coming or going, they’re in activity mode and need a raft of services. Those leaving need repair, touch-ups, cleaning, trimming, and inspecting, and those arriving need help furnishing, painting, and finding their local staples like dentists, daycares, and gyms. Delivering flyers to these neighborhoods is targeting your marketing to those people who are primed and ready to buy.
New homeowners spend thousands in additional local services within their first year and within the first 30 to 90 days they cement their buying habits. If you can reach them when they first arrive, you’ll have their business for life.
2. Use direct mail marketing
Think that direct mail is done for? So does everybody else, which means that this channel is completely cleared for your use. Americans less direct mail than in years past and research by the Direct Marketing Association shows that when postcards are personalized and address respondents by their first name they are almost 600 percent more effective than all other digital channels.
And if you’re worried about the environment, you’ve got some catching up to do! The industry has moved away from large, wasteful offset-printing (think newspapers on an assembly line) to agile digital printing that uses less ink and allows you to personalize the message. All things considered, a postcard marketing campaign is your most effective means of bringing in new customers.
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3. Offer classes
Think of this as content marketing 1.0. Back before everyone was trying to educate their customers digitally with blogging and email marketing they were spreading their knowledge in-person. Classes on home-repair, horticulture, or baking can thus become buyer-education disguised as fun and they build a firm personal connection with your customers.
This creates loyal buyers who purchase more, and more often. An Indian spice store near our office recently offered cooking classes with a focus on understanding medicinal properties and has seen a nearly a 14 percent hike in monthly sales as a direct result. The question you should be asking then is, what can you teach people about?
Pro-tip: Charge for your classes. People are more likely to show up and more likely to value something with a dollar value attached.
4. Cross-promote with other local businesses
People are creatures of habit and they like knowing their shortlist of go-to local stores: grocery, hardware, pharmacy, etc. Have you partnered with the stores around you to make sure that you’re referring each other? Beyond talking to the managers there and exchanging stacks of business cards you can really supercharge referrals by offering their employees discounts at your store. By hooking them as loyal customers, you’ll be top of mind when their own customers ask, “do you know where I could find a painter/plumber/landscaper?"
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Putting It All Together
There you have it. Four hyper-local marketing strategies designed to help you crack your customer’s attention in the digital age. After all, despite all of this interconnection, people are hungry for genuine connection. They want to know the people behind the local businesses around them and you can help give them that.
Be that business leader in your community who’s bringing people back down to Earth by connecting with them everywhere they that they live, work, and play, and your sales will thank you for it.