While the internet has created a network for global connectivity, it has allowed people to connect on intensely local levels as well. Hyper-local media – media that delivers content of unique interest to consumers of a certain geographic demographic – is increasingly prevalent both in personal communications and in business communications.
In many ways, personal communications have always been hyper-local. Facebook, Twitter, phone calls, texts – for most people, these focus on sharing information, news, and relevant details about one’s own personal life with those who share in a community. A neighborhood or a community will often have their own ways of communicating, through word of mouth or, previous to the digital age, through community newspapers or newsletters. Recently, however, these smaller outlets have adapted to the digital age.
Hyper-local news is rarely of any interest to those outside of the target audience; national headlines are unlikely to include information about small-town art gallery openings or the results of the local middle school basketball game, but these are threads in the fabric of small-town lives, and the residents of these towns care deeply about their local community.
Media which caters to these consumers, therefore, is incredibly popular on an incredibly small scale. And increasingly, consumers have taken to the web to build an audience of their own, connect to other local voices, or find and share relevant content. Local bloggers can create that same community in a small setting, making them into trusted media sources in their own right. Blogs, blog networks, and news aggregators are among the basic roles of hyper-local media.
Hyper-local media exists on a small scale, and caters to a small audience, but most hyper-local media is regarded well and trusted by the target audiences. It is an often-overlooked influencer by marketers – as such, it is important to ensure that hyper-local media is valued according to its influence with its audiences, not just by its circulation.