Hyperlocalization is the marketing strategy of the moment, especially in the hotel industry.
The rise of mobile, demand for relatable content, and more targeted search results all fuel the hyperlocal trend. The 2014 Pigeon algorithm update by Google adds to the importance of a narrow focus. A survey from SEO company BrightEdge showed that the hospitality industry experienced a 28 percent growth in Google Places results after the update.
But why get all hyperlocal when customers travel to your New York City hotel from all over the world? Because location matters. A family of four may want to stay near the Empire State Building, while a hipster couple may want to stumble over from their favorite Greenpoint bar. The more you can incorporate your neighborhood into your marketing, the more easily you will attract customers to your suites and services.
Here are a few starting points to you hone in on location.
A hotel’s location relative to search term, optimization of local profiles, online reviews, and consistency of name, address, phone number, and domain information all impact search results placement. Incorporate city, state, even neighborhood and landmarks, into your keywords. (We’ve found that long-tailed keywords work well.) Make sure all channels include the same business name and contact info.
Optimize and localize mobile.
Is your website mobile optimized? With more consumers searching and purchasing on mobile than ever, it pays to have an optimized, localized website.
According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, 64 percent of Americans now own a smartphone. More than half of them use their phone to learn about community events and to receive other location-based information (such as whether to stay in Midtown near the Broadway theaters or close to Central Park in the Upper East Side).
Hotels should have a presence in key channels that consumers access through mobile, especially hyperlocal channels such as Yelp, Foursquare, and social media. A hotel should also consider location-based advertising and promotions. An offer for a discounted third night or a complimentary airport shuttle may turn a frequent NYC traveler into your next best customer.
Hotel companies can harness Big Data to learn about current customer demographics as well as prospective customers in a particular region. Analyze this data to create hypertargeted messages to groups and individuals. For example, a hotel may create a campaign to target Chinese tourists or urban-minded millennials that appreciate fine dining. Data allows for “virtually” limitless opportunities.
Collaborate with noncompeting businesses
As you build your social media strategy, establish your brand as one that knows and cares about its community. Align with Chambers of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and tourism departments. Share a local restaurant review. Tell followers about this weekend’s neighborhood festival or music event. Your guests will see you as a local expert, which may prompt them to hit the Book Now button.
Don’t forget the real world
Although many hotels must subscribe to franchise rules and regulations, even simple touches can add local flavor—a draw for travelers. Consider a microsite for your hotel’s NYC location that incorporates local images. Also remember your target market. A sophisticated traveler will want to walk into an elegantly designed lobby with an NYC flair.
Hyperlocalization gives hotels the opportunity to zoom in on prospective customers with messages that match their travel experience. Concentrate on mobile and search, but extend your reach to the hotel itself.