Many social media marketers today are on a quest to go bigger, increase reach and expand into larger or global markets. However, more and more, the best path forward for growth is first to think smaller, set precise audience targets, and build from a hyperlocal marketing approach.
The continued consumer shift toward mobile and social media for content consumption has opened the door to this ultra-targeted strategy for brands. It all starts with relevant, localized social content. Content that is driven increasingly by brand communities.
Mobile Drives Social Marketing
The concept of hyperlocal marketing—targeting consumers within a very small, specific community or geographic area—is not new to social marketers, but it has been increasing of late due to multiple factors.
First, the well-documented advances in and increased adoption of mobile devices, payments, and video, along with wireless broadband, have supported increased mobile content consumption and ecommerce. According to eMarketer, more than 78 percent of global digital video viewers now watch via a mobile device, up from just over 70 percent in 2016. In addition, the improvements in mobile location data, search and tracking technologies over the last few years have helped catapult local marketing opportunities to distinct audience segments.
Marketers have responded: A recent survey by Winterberry Group and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) showed that the top priority of marketing professionals surveyed was improving audience segmentation to support more precise, targeted communications and ads.
With this growth in mobile capabilities, consumers have changed their social content consumption behaviors and expectations, shifting more fully to mobile devices. A 2018 Nielsen study found that adults who are over age 18 spend an average of 45 minutes daily on social media now and only five minutes of that time is coming from a computer; the majority of time spent is via smartphones and tablets.
This intersection of mobile and social media is critical for marketers. One-quarter of Millennials make all of their online purchases via smartphones now. Moreover, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report this year noted that among consumers who have discovered a product via social media (including the 59 percent of people that have found them just on Instagram), 55 percent have gone on to purchase the product at some point.
Social Marketing Becomes Hyperlocal Marketing
As a result of these trends, brands such as Porsche and Walmart have started moving in lockstep with consumers to provide local, tailored content offerings on social media that reach the right people at the right time and place. It’s none too soon. A Mindstream Media study found that when both brand and location-specific assets exist on social media, 85 percent of consumer engagement happens on the local pages.
Social media audiences are expecting and demanding personalized content wherever they are. Nearly 70 percent of respondents to a recent Adobe survey said it’s important for brands to adjust content according to their current context. Hyperlocal content has become a brand differentiator in a sea of content offerings, helped humanize global brands looking for deeper audience connections within specific markets, and enabled smaller brands to grow and expand across national and international borders.
Social media companies are onboard the local train as well. In addition to enhanced local ad targeting, they have stepped up their local content support. Facebook has provided location check-ins; local brand pages, event pages and recommendations; and a forum for local community groups. Instagram and Snapchat have launched features including content location tags and filters. Beyond these moves by the major social platforms, the market has seen the rise of hyperlocal social apps including NextDoor and Neighbourly, which help local community members connect on the go.
It’s a sound strategy to build attachments with social audiences that may share not only demographic similarities but geographic and psychographic bonds, too. This is true not only for local businesses but for larger, global brands as well. All marketers can benefit from a hyperlocal marketing approach that targets specific communities and meets consumers where they are with authentic content.
How can marketers accomplish this? Think local and collaborate with your social communities.
Hyperlocal Marketing Attracts Community
Marketers have realized that they can reach their target audiences with custom and relevant content built and shared from their local brand communities on social media. In this way, they have a much greater chance of successfully engaging these consumers and growing from there. Local brand communities can include the people most motivated to tell a brand’s stories, such as store employees at particular locations, in-market sports team fans and staff, local ambassadors, niche enthusiast groups, nano-influencers and more.
These highly influential people within a community can enhance hyperlocal strategies, act as strong brand advocates for products and services to their friends and neighbors on social media, and help drive traffic to brick and mortar locations. They can:
- Create photo and video content that offers word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews
- Promote new products launches, loyalty programs and location-specific promotions around initiatives such as Small Business Saturday
- Share behind the scenes footage from in-store holiday and themed promotional events
- Capture exclusive moments at local market sports games, to be shared nationally and beyond
Community-driven social content can enhance both local and national campaigns. Let’s take a look at one example.
Local Community Content Becomes National Content
Minor League Baseball knew that it needed more authentic and compelling content to drive fan engagement on league social media channels. The league wanted to capture the excitement of local games and share those stories at the national level. It turned to Greenfly’s community collaboration platform, which helps brands create and share authentic social content via an easy-to-use mobile app.
Minor League Baseball was able to connect seamlessly with staff on the ground across 160 stadiums to gather compelling moments from players and fans. The league then integrated this grassroots content into national campaigns showcasing local highlights and shared it with the fan community across the league’s social media channels. As a result of this partnership, Minor League Baseball connected teams and fans across the country, drove triple-digit increases in social channel engagement, and even increased revenue from sponsorship dollars.
If you’re a brand thinking about your social content strategy, remember that successful social content and brand loyalty today ultimately starts from an up-close and personalized perspective. Consider a hyperlocal marketing approach, build outward from there, think mobile-first, and watch your fortunes grow.
Are you ready to think about hyperlocal, community-driven content on social media? Contact us at Greenfly.