I was reading an article about a local comedian who generated some significant business for a local Mexican restaurant by putting a video of the restaurant on his Facebook page. His video got more than 27,000 views. A line in the article got my attention:
Though, technically, these posts are nowhere near the million views it takes to be considered “viral,” the impact they have had on this small business is measurable: The comments on these threads illustrate what a positive social media presence can do for a local business.
This is the crux of the benefit for hyperlocal businesses (and the publishers that cover local communities). There is so much hype and over-exposure to videos and content that goes “viral”. To materially impact a small and local business, the bar is so much lower!
I don’t know the local comedian referenced in the article, so I’m not sure how “local” his audience is. But it’s highly likely that you can say some percentage of his views came from people who actually live in the town where the restaurant is located. In other words, his video still had a large viral effect for that business. Even if 10% of his viewers were local, that’s 2,700 views from local folks. So, why are we so worried about viral videos and advertising on networks that get millions of unique page views?
The goal should be getting hundreds or thousands of highly targeted local consumers viewing, consuming and engaging with the content that a local business creates. And the local digital publisher is the ideal place to do this. There is no other place you will find such a high percentage of potential customers that meet the #1 criteria a small business has – they live within a short distance of their business.
- Local businesses – think about what local digital properties give you the most local exposure and take advantage of them today.
- Local publishers – think about how to make your digital property the most valuable in your community and communicate that benefit to your local businesses!
What does viral mean in a hyperlocal context? “Viral”, as we know it today, should not be the goal. True viral content happens only once in a great while. It reaches an audience that is much larger than the audience you are trying to reach regularly. And it’s not sustainable. Consistent and regular engagement with your core audience is the necessity, and when you can enhance that with efforts like the comedian and local Mexican restaurant, then you’re golden.