Hyperlocal marketing in New York: Be creative

NEW YORK—What do you think people would Google: How to survive a breakup or divorce lawyer? You could do both or just the former if you think it’ll be better SEO for your business. “The key is to be creative with your link-baits (to set you apart and own that search), said Kevin Lee, founder and CEO of Didit.com.

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If your business resides in one city or state, you will need to know how hyperlocal marketing works. The topic was covered at the joint HelloDotNYC, We Work and CoInvent talk last July 9 at WeWork in Soho.  The early evening talk also covered hyperlocalizing SEO and why you need .nyc domains.

Lee added how a high-end jewelry could probably sell well if you choose a certain SEO location with the purchasing power for it, say, the Upper West side.

Do you think high ratings will work? Yes, it will but learn this: “When people love you, they don’t say it. When people hate you, they’re going to let you know it.  So you have to remind the users who love you why they love you.”

That’s Joe Apfelbaum, co-founder and CEO of Ajax Union and public speaker who also  appeared at the talk with David Hirschman, co-founder & COO of Street Fight, a previous editor; Sean Barkulis, director, strategic partnerships of ShopKeep with experience in financial technology and Claudio Schapsis, founder of Georillas, former marketing director at Ripley’s Believe It or Not at one point in time, believe it or not.   

So what does it take to succeed in your slice of the world? It’s not about the budget you need to determine first, but what you want to achieve, said Schapsis. “What is your objective? My role as a marketing person is to make people easy to buy.”

Others chimed in, saying how it’s crucial to understand, discover and know what customers are looking for. “If you understand customer journey, you've done half of the work already,” he said.

Lee advised knowing your competition. “Do some competitive analysis”.

The panel kicked off its talk in response to this report from Street Fight Insights: a fairly large number of companies, 37 percent, seem to be using social networks without having any expectations.  The speakers made sure to share their own insights on how users can do better.

Some of the interesting sound bites included the following, especially in using SEO for your startup:

·         Geography predicts wealth

·         Income can be important than keywords

·         Social media is not free, it’s expensive if you don’t know how to use it

·         Factor in opportunity costs and different branch of SEO—reputation management

Apfelbaum tweaked the movie quote to say, “If you built it, they don’t come” as his way of probing on misconceptions about how some businesses think there are simple solutions. “You can’t get people to work for free.”

He added how it has helped his business the way he has coaches for a host of things—marketing, branding. I used to think I was the smartest (in the room), but it turned out I was dumb to think like that.”

“Many local businesses play the SEO lotto ticket. They are trying to get the free approach. But they should think that there is a science to business, to a right product, and to right process,” he said. Even SEO experts are constantly tinkering with it. Think of cost per acquisition and reverse engineering.  

Another important insight from one of the speakers includes this admission: “It's expensive to grow a business.” Top businesses reportedly earn millions but 70 percent of other businesses lose money

For one of the event organizers, Hellodotnyc.com, buying .nyc domain names, is a “second chance” because most of the good names in .com are taken.