Two new web-based “hyperlocal” marketing services are heating up hyper local — if, in fact, it can get any hotter than it already is. One is Local Yokel Media, which serves up local business ads and content to consumers in highly specific geographic areas. The other is Chalkboard, a mobile ad service that lets local businesses connect with consumers in a defined area and offer them real-time offers and updates.
“Hyperlocal” marketing has strong and growing appeal to local business owners because it offers new, highly-efficient and exciting ways to deliver local offers and local content to customers in a local community of, say, a 1 or 2 mile radius. Although still in its infancy, hyperlocal offers a revolutionary approach to connecting with local customers one-to-one in personalized and highly targeted new ways.
Think of “hyperlocal” as just-in-time marketing that reaches customers via their smart phones and other mobile devices. For example, prospects will get your message only when they enter your area. It’s “hyper” local because it brings new precision to the term “local” and also because it is an active, dynamic form of marketing that can engage customers continuously.
Local Yokel Media, or LYM, lays claim to being the web’s first hyperlocal ad platform helping local businesses (and national marketers who target locally) to reach prospects in tightly defined service areas with customized ads. It offers something closer to a full service approach for local businesses, including ad creation and campaign reporting that can drive foot traffic as well as product or service inquiries.
LYM uses special mapping technology reach online audiences within a short drive of your location, which avoids waste and improves performance. When Dan Hageney, owner of Connecticut Green Organic Lawn Care tried it out, he says results were several times more effective than other methods.
Chalkboard, which has launched in the U.S. after a successful start overseas, is basically a mobile and online ad network that helps drive walk-in traffic to local restaurants, retail stores and other brick-and-mortar locations. After setting up an account you can start submitting unlimited promotions up to 160 characters in length.
These real time deals or updates are delivered to customers who have the Chalkboard ad network app and come within a mile of your location (there’s also a 2-mile option). When shoppers enter your area, your ads appear automatically on their cell phone screens. They can then click on the ad to view your promotion, touch a button that automatically dials your business phone, access maps and directions, link to your website or share the information with friends. The service also lets you submit your ad feeds to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
In effect, you can connect instantly with potential customers only in your area. It’s intended to be a simple marketing solution that small businesses can use daily. So far, local businesses using Chalkboard are updating messages an average of 2-3 times weekly.
Chalkboard offers a 30-day free trial. The basic service allows local businesses to send unlimied numbers of promotinos to unlimited numbers of users for a flat fee starting at $360 per year.
About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.