For small local businesses, consumers who live in the neighborhood, or within a one or two mile radius, hold the keys to revenue growth. One way to reach these consumers is through hype-local marketing. As media formats shift from print to digital, media companies who are trying to get the hyper-local mix of ad dollars and content just right face a challenge.
Writing for Adweek, Janet Stilson recalls some of the high-profile failures in this market, including the New York Times. Some industry experts believe that with local small businesses only shelling out around $2,000 a year for advertising, it will be difficult for content site operators that specialize in local news to make a profit. Another high-profile operator in this market, AOL’s Patch, is regrouping. The company is reportedly operating at a profit in at least 100 markets. For hyper-local media providers, understanding the local businesses and stories that would interest their potential customers is key. The social-local strategy is a direction for some of these companies, including Fisher Communications. Others are providing more advertorial content in addition to the typical local crime and entertainment releases.
Many of the businesses mentioned in Stilson’s article reported an immediate and significant jump in sales from exactly the type of customers they were targeting after they spent money on hyper-local ad campaigns. While these marketers are able to connect with high-quality leads through these targeted promotions, the venture is not yet profitable for most media companies who must determine how many content providers and ad sales people they can afford. There’s also the question of whether this sector will grow with time, a strategy that AOL believes in.[Source: Stilson, Janet. Neighborhood Watch. Adweek.com. 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2013]