Hyperlocal Being Targeted by M&A and VC Crowd
Search marketers are always interested in local marketing and search. It’s where the rubber meets the road for many businesses including the enterprise (i.e. big box stores) whose real representation of their brand is the local store that someone goes into to buy products. If the local experience is bad then the brand is bad in many consumers’ eyes. So getting down to the local level is critical for marketers especially in the age of continuing social media adoption and influence.
Now there is local and there is hyperlocal. Hyperlocal is just as it implies it is getting down to the street level for reporting of local news and events. Noted hyperlocal blogger Matt McGee of hyperlocalblogger.com says this
Hyperlocal blogging is writing about the streets where you live. It’s blogging about local news, local events, local businesses — anything that’s happening in your hometown, city, street, or neighborhood. Hyperlocal blogs often talk about things that traditional media ignores, the stuff that’s too small or not important enough to a wide range of people.
Well, it appears that what traditional media ignores the VC and M & A crowd are finding interesting. According to theDeal.com
While newspapers have been decimated by the economics transforming today’s media industry, Web sites that report news and deliver other content at the neighborhood, or “hyperlocal,” level, are bursting with life, with many of them becoming sought-after targets by big media and big tech companies.
It is getting harder to ignore the concentration on the local level that is becoming one of the most important elements for B2C and some B2B online business success. The sound and fury around the mobile market with Google and Apple squaring off is just as much about local search as it is a device. The mobile device and its growth is perfectly suited for the hyperlocal crowd for both creating content and consuming it as well.
Chris Brogan talks today about how interesting it would be to be able to geotarget outbound tweets to make sure the local interest of a tweet is not shared across a larger group that don’t have any access or real concern for the data.
If you want to judge how big this is by the money it attracts thedeal.com tells us
…hyperlocal startups continued to get funded. In December, Outside.in Inc., which pulls together neighborhood blogs and other local content, announced it had closed a $7 million Series B round of funding, led by existing investor Union Square Ventures, with participation from new investor Turner Broadcasting System Inc. As part of Turner’s investment, CNN.com will use Outside.in’s aggregation and curation tools to power hyperlocal news across all of its sites. The new round brings Outside.in’s total raised to $12 million.
And let’s not forget FourSquare’s growing success
Over the summer, one of the most competitive early-stage fundings the VC industry saw all last year was that of FourSquare Labs Inc., which encourages people to share their whereabouts from local restaurants and businesses via their mobile phones. Union Square and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventureswon the honor of funding FourSquare’s $1.35 million Series A, announced in September, with Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter Inc. and the mobile payments startup Square, serving as an angel investor in Foursquare.
How are you and your business addressing the hyperlocal craze? If you aren’t is your competition getting involved? It could be that in the very near future the first to find a hyperlocal hook into a market will be the winner.