Tailor Your Content Marketing Campaign Towards Local Customers
Why businesses should adopt local content marketing to stay competitive
Eight tips to help you create a customized local content marketing strategy
Local businesses, same as those with a national reach, have the desire to connect with customers.
But there is one problem many local companies face: Too much competition. Despite your best efforts, it will take a lot to overcome the competition and become the top company in your local area.
Finally, however, many local businesses are turning to the potential of local content marketing. Many are already using this strategy to generate interest, sales, and profit. Others are lagging behind, but have intentions to implement this tactic in the months to come.
These statistics show why local companies are putting more resources into local content marketing:
59 percent of consumers turn to Google on a monthly basis to find a local business (source)
60 percent of marketing professionals use content marketing weekly (source)
These statistics prove two things to be true:
Your target audience is probably using search engines and social media to look for you and other similar businesses.
There is a good chance that some or all of your competition is already using local content marketing.
With the right local content marketing strategy, you can provide fresh, valuable content to your customers in an attempt to increase engagement, drive traffic, and ultimately boost your bottom line.
The key to success is creating a customized local content marketing strategy that suits your business. Here are eight tips for getting started:
1. Analyze and choose your keywords
Before you do anything, you should take a strong look at your analytics account to get a clear understanding of which keywords are most important to your business.
If you are still at a loss, you can use tools, such as Google’s KeywordPlanner, for a better idea of where to start.
Take for example a local plumbing company. You want to dig beyond your branded keywords, such as your company name, and seek out those that have geographical meaning. For a company in Boston, this could include:
Boston plumbing company
South Boston plumbing
Remember one thing: Your primary goal is to connect with local customers.
2. Use local subject experts
Make local experts a part of your content strategy. You can use their knowledge in how-to blog posts, social media posts, or let your customers engage with them in ‘ask an expert’ section.
Target effectively collaborated with local experts to provide compelling content. For instance, it teamed up with Beverly-Hills-based hairstylist Umberto Savone to show female customers how to give their hair a shot of glam and a bit of wavy bounce.
3. Encourage customers to leave reviews
Let’s face it: More people today than ever before are forming opinions and making decisions based on what others are saying.
You should encourage customers to leave online reviews, using services such a Google Plus Local and Yelp.
If you are confident in your ability to provide customers with top of the line service, you don’t have anything to worry about. The majority (hopefully all) of your reviews will be positive. When others read your positive reviews they will be more likely to give you a try.
Best yet, you don’t have to create any of the content. Instead, you are letting your customers do the heavy lifting.
4. Vary your blog content
Many local companies make the mistake of always talking about what they have to offer. Always talking about what they can do for customers. While there is nothing wrong with selling your services via your blog, don’t get stuck on one type of content. Here are a few types of posts that would work for local readers:
How to. Example: How to Find a Yoga Studio in San Diego
Best of. Example: The Best 5 Restaurants in Manhattan
List. Example: The 5 Top Gyms in Pittsburgh
You don’t want to spend too much time and attention on your competitors, but it is okay to discuss others from time to time. Your audience knows they have choices.
Note: If you don’t want to mention competitors, you can still create the post types above. Simply focus on other sectors.
Can you find a news story to comment on? Can you take a unique stance on a topic being discussed by people in your area?
For example, hot yoga is all the rage. This post by Racked discusses the best hot yoga studios in New York City.
Could you touch on a similar subject in your particular city? Could you add something to this post, such as a unique take on what to look for in a hot yoga studio?
Your goal here is to piggyback off of other outlets. Keep one eye on the news and opportunities will continue to present themselves.
6. Share your blog content on social media
It is one thing to publish a blog post, but another thing entirely to get the content out there for everybody to read.
Any engagement is better than none at all, but you should search for ways to narrow down your audience.
For instance, you could tweet an interesting story to a few top industry influencers in your local area. You never know when this could lead to local media coverage or a follow up story of some type.
7. Harness the power of local events
Hosting a local event is a great way to generate buzz about your business and create some exciting content around the event. Here are some ideas to consider:
Sponsor a local 5k run (these have become very popular)
Attend a trade show
Donate your time to a good cause
After the event, you can engage in content marketing by sharing pictures, creating blog posts, and conversing with your social media followers.
Zappos did something similar. It hosted a unique chase event for Austin, TX consumers and challenged them to spot a life-size gingerbread man and upload his picture on social media. The event generated quite a buzz among Austin residents.
How about this for an added bonus: This puts you in position to obtain high quality inbound links. An event you are sponsoring, for example, may link back to your website.
8. Communicate with your audience
The more content you publish the more chances you will have to connect with current, past, and potential customers.
Are you responding to blog comments? How about emails? Are you answering questions on your social media accounts?
For a better understanding of how important this is, you don’t have to look past the large national brands that have social media accounts dedicated to customer service.