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Content marketing may seem like it’s only applicable to big businesses or businesses that have a far reach. However, that’s not the case. Content marketing is an effective strategy even for local businesses. If you have a local business, it may be even easier to create content targeting your niche in your location than it would for a large business that has to use broader strokes to reach potential customers. You know who your customers are. Let’s look at how content marketing can help your local business and how you can attack it.
Image via Flickr by FootMassagez
As with most tasks you take on in life, you’ve got to figure out your end game. What’s your goal? Once you figure out what you want to get out of utilizing content marketing, you’ll be able to focus on the correct areas. There are plenty of goals you can achieve through this strategy, so don’t feel like you have to whittle down your wants. And if you do only want one goal, that’s a great step to take and will narrow your focus even more.
Some of the goals you could consider achieving include increasing overall brand awareness, gaining social media shares, and getting links back to your site. There’s no time like the present to get into the SEO game. Businesses are becoming more and more aware that content marketing is crucial to their success. More content is being created now than ever before. It’s time to put a pony in that race.
The goals you decide on will influence the type of content you create. The more goals you have, the more diversified your content will be. It is important to note, however, that diversified content is important anyway.
You’re competing with the big businesses and with other local businesses, so you need to stand out. To do this, you have to know who your potential customers are and what they want. Lucky for you, you already have a good idea of the basics, because you probably know who your current customers are.
There are plenty of tools out there to take this a step further. A great tool for this is Facebook Insights. You can easily take the data you have for your current customers, throw it into Facebook Insights, and find people in your area (or in a larger area, such as the whole state or country) who have similar interests to your current customers.
In order to figure out what those people want, get into their head. Think of everyday problems they have. Think of how they can use your product for something that’s not immediately expected. Take surveys of your customers. Post surveys online, talk to people in person if you have a brick-and-mortar store, and ask them questions over the phone. Once you have this data, you can create personas. Personas are important because they help focus your content. It’s like starting with an outline before you have even created any ideas.
The name of this game is quality content, and you’re not likely going to hear any different from anyone else. Let’s refer back to the goals we talked about above.
If your goal is increase brand awareness, the content you should create for that should be specific to your location, with your branding remaining the focus. Content should be about your products and/or your company and it should have your branding. It needs to be clear it’s coming from you. People need to know who put out that content so they know where to go to learn more or make that purchase or subscribe to that newsletter.
If you want to generate links to your site, you obviously need people to want to link to it. That means it needs to have some authority and be generally useful. Your content should be considered a resource, much like the links you’ll find in this article. To do this, your content needs to be accurate, informative, unbiased, and well written. You should write about broad topics and create posts about more specific aspects of your business. Take a section out of a broad article about your industry, and write a whole article about that on section.
If you’re looking to get social shares, you’ll obviously need shareable content. It’s important to note that visual content is probably going to get you farther than text. As a matter of fact, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. That’s pretty staggering. When creating shareable content, it’s also important to keep in mind that people typically share content that hits hard emotionally, whether it’s through fear, elation, sadness, surprise, or disgust. Target your specific audience with something you think they’ll respond to the most.
You don’t have to limit yourself to infographics, although they are powerful. You can also use images and videos.
If you can partner with another local business with a strong online presence, you can help each other out. If you’re able to post content on their blog, you’ll gain viewership of their readers. Their readers trust them and because the brand trusts you, their readers will, too. You can do the same, offering your blog for their use.
Guest posting on other local sites is an effective tactic for your business because not only do you get your name out there and drum up some more viewers, those viewers are probably close to you. They’ll understand local language or jokes. It doesn’t have to be a brand, either. You can also find local bloggers.
Don’t use this as an opportunity to fill your content with spammy links. Use this as an opportunity to position yourself as an authority and show those new readers that you’re a trusted source of information.
These are only a few of the steps you can take to use content marketing for your local business. They’re perfect steps to take if you’re trying to get started with this strategy. As always, CopyPress is here for your content marketing needs if it feels too overwhelming to jump in yourself. The most important thing is that you get started.