After leaving Patch, Liena Zagare created a hyperlocal site in her family's Brooklyn home neighborhood of Ditmas Park a year ago and, through her Corner News Media company, has now expanded to three neighboring communities.
Damian Radcliffe's insight:
"...to be sustainable I think local has to scale to what, in the old community newspaper model, would be considered a regional publisher. You have the deep local roots your readers require — but can also offer a uniquely appealing opportunity to regional and local advertisers. So I can totally see Brooklyn covered with about 30 or so hyperlocal news sites. Most small businesses — great advertisers like Ox Cart Tavern, Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop, Lark or Pawsitive Veterinary serve customers in more than one neighborhood, but not necessarily across the entire borough, while regional advertisers we are proud to have worked with, like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, target a larger area.
I’ve been watching one-off blogs I adore disappear — BushwickBK, or Kensington Brooklyn — because the owners move or never found a way to make them financially sustainable. My goal is for the Corner Media sites to continue to exist with or without me, which requires a great editorial team and great, long-term relationships with merchants."
One of the highest performance-driving factors will be effective location targeting. That's not just geotargeting, but a holistic location strategy, including things like ad copy and tangible calls to action like phone calls and directions.
The local search ranking algorithm can seem like a mystery at times. There are so many factors that are involved leaving many local marketers to wonder which elements are the most important to focus on.