An old sawhorse of the punditocracy is that one of the reasons hyperlocal is taking off so slowly in terms of advertising revenues is due to the digital noobieness of local merchants.
This is a completely a myth. I would say that digitally many of them are trying to innovate and use social marketing. For example “like us on facebook” is pervasive, but alas the challenges are greater than that. There utsa be this big yellow book you could just put your ad in, or offer a free meal to the local food journalist and that’s all you needed. Now there is a myriad of different streams you have to broadcast to and manage, Sprout Social, Klout, Foursquare, facebook, Groupon, Twitter, and now Pintrist! That’s overwhelming for a Mom & Pop who is juggling chain saws all day. I am sure there are startups just to solve the problem of startups now.
As a Mom & Pop you are small right? Well there are a ton of people who like you just for being that, so why are you trying to get involved in national media streams? You think a national advertising agency, facebook or Groupon care if your business succeeds? You are just inventory to them, but your local area blogger loves their community and really wants you to succeed. That’s why they are the perfect partner!
What’s *our* recommendation to the mom and pops for marketing? Go back to basics, get involved as a sponsor in the most widely read local/community blog and make a strong presence there. Sponsor partnered events that engage their readership, start or go to community meetup with them, partner on specials or deals that grow your brand as “indie” and “local”. Make your presence known in the community and choose only one or two other online marketing streams that provide the biggest reach in your area.