If you have recently started a law blog for your firm, or you’re thinking about starting a legal blog, you may have come across the term “hyperlocal” when it comes to marketing. You may even have done a bit of internet searching into the term hyperlocal in order to identify a specific definition that can help you to frame the content you’re posting on your law blog. When it comes to hyperlocal marketing, it’s important to understand that this term doesn’t always mean the same exact thing in every situation. Instead, marketing firms and professionals involved in search engine optimization (SEO) are thinking about the ways in which certain keywords, phrases, language, or outbound links might be used to target readers in a particular geographic area.
Defining the ‘Hyperlocal’
There’s no single definition for the term “hyperlocal,” but there are some concrete ideas of what the term involves. As an article in the Small Business Chronicle explains, the term hyperlocal is often used as “a buzzword” to refer to geographically nice marketing. What that marketing involves can vary depending upon the needs of the blogger. Hyperlocal marketing may be “a marketing campaign targeted to a certain region . . . or to a more specific target audience, such as shoppers in a certain city or within a certain distance from a business.”
Similarly, an article from WordStream defines hyperlocal marketing as a “process of targeting prospective customers in a highly specific, geographically restricted area, sometimes just a few blocks or streets, often with the intention of targeting people conducting ‘near me’ searches on their mobile device.”
Marketing to Your Hyperlocal Clients
Before you begin any hyperlocal marketing campaign, you’ll need to decide what hyperlocal means for you: does it mean your state or province? Or are you using the term more narrowly to target readers in a specific city? And even beyond a particular city, are you imagining that you will have readers in a particular city who are interested in discovering information about a specific legal or business issue? You should always have your potential reader in mind, and using the framework of the “hyperlocal” can help you to identify the particular geographic regions and areas in which your reader may be conducting internet searches.
You firm’s definition of the hyperlocal may depend in large part on your particular type of legal practice, and whether you work with clients in a very specific geographic region, or whether you represent clients within much broader geographic boundaries. Once you define what the hyperlocal means for you, it’s important to begin thinking of the hyperlocal keywords and phrases your potential reader might enter into an internet search. You can then aim to include those hyperlocal keywords and phrases in your blog posts to gain a specific audience.
Regionally Specific Issues for Your Potential Clients
Depending upon your particular type of legal practice and your definition of the hyperlocal, it may be very important to focus on state-specific or regionally specific legal issues. For example, if you focus on personal injury law, you will need to provide your reader with information about personal injury law cases and methods in your state or province. Although an interesting personal injury case might arise in New York City, for instance, the outcome of that case might not have any bearing at all on a legal matter in Seattle. At the same time, based on the current makeup of federal circuit courts of appeal or higher courts in the U.S. and Canada, a regional approach also may be warranted.
For example, while a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case out of California might not seem immediately relevant to residents of a distant U.S. state, both Alaska and Hawaii are actually included in the Ninth Circuit districts. As such, any decision our of the Ninth Circuit, even if it’s a case that arose out of a California court, will be binding in Alaska and Hawaii.
Local Interests for Your Readers
Some law blogs may understand hyperlocal marketing to include references to local businesses, experiences, events, and other regionally particular words or phrases that would be knowable to a potential client or new member of the law firm. For example, if you have a law firm that does work in business formation and helping startups to determine the business structures that are best for their business plans, you might consider referencing local startups or businesses that would be familiar to your readers. For instance, if you are crafting a blog that targets new bars and restaurants in Toronto, ON, you could refer to existing and popular bars and restaurants in the area with which your readers may have familiarity.
For example, TimeOut Toronto remarks that “an influx of Middle Eastern and Latin American folks turn the best restaurants in Toronto into foodie destinations,” and then proceeds to list popular establishments like Byblos, Kiin, Patois, Carmen, Chiado, and a wide variety of other best-loved restaurants in the city. If your firm is targeting new restaurants and bars that want help deciding how to structure their businesses and how to develop employment agreements, it can be incredibly beneficial to demonstrate your familiarity with similar businesses in the geographic area where your potential new clients need legal assistance.
Who is Your Target Audience?
Depending upon your targeted audience, or the “buyer personas” you’re seeking to target with your blog posts, hyperlocal marketing could be extremely important to consider in some of your blog posts. The term “buyer personas” can be helpful to use in thinking about who you’re writing your blog posts for—is it a potential client, an existing client, a potential new associate or partner, or other law firms that you’re hoping will identify you as an expert in the field? As you consider your buyer personas, you’ll need to think about what keywords those readers will use in internet searches, and what types of titles will attract reader attention.
For most law firms, especially those that are seeking to attract new clients while also demonstrating their contributions to the legal field, hyperlocal marketing will be valuable in some but not all blog posts. For example, a criminal defense firm in Los Angeles, California might use approximately 50 percent of its blog posts to target potential clients, and thus may consider ways of making those posts “hyperlocal.” Such hyperlocal posts may consider news stories about police brutality in Southern California, or recent cases concerning criminal defense strategies or issues in the state.
At the same time, however, that firm might be working to expand its business, and thus may be hoping to attract new and diverse attorneys from other firms in California and, perhaps, other firms nationwide. Accordingly, some of the firm’s blog posts should focus on major criminal law issues in the field that can demonstrate the firm’s engagement in up-to-date, contemporary legal questions. For example, if the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure, the firm might want to consider a post that analyzes the recent case law and engages in dialogue with other legal scholars and practitioners. The use of hyperlocal content and marketing strategies really will depend upon who your firm identifies as its target readers, or its buyer personas, and how it wants to attract readers.