Content marketing is an art and a science. It’s where creativity meets data and analytics – following trends, anticipating customer needs, and cultivating a brand voice that is consistent and authentic. Mastering content marketing can be the key to long-term growth and success, particularly for local businesses.
Content marketing allows local businesses to advertise through educational and engaging content subtly. If this sounds intimidating, we’re here to help you tackle it. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about content marketing for a local business. By the end, you’ll be ready and equipped to create and implement a localized content marketing strategy that drives growth and gets results.
Nowadays, we interact with content marketing constantly. It could be a listicle blog piece posted to Facebook, a how-to Youtube video, or a “which skincare product do I need in my life” quiz. By definition, content marketing is a “strategic marketing approach to create and distribute valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”
As a local business, content marketing is a tool you’ll want to be sure to utilize. It’s crucial because it allows you to target and reach more people in your local area. A little bit of creativity goes a long way in your content marketing initiatives. While blogging can lead to great results, there’s more to a local content marketing strategy than putting out a weekly post. You want to try different content and topics to see what connects to your target audience. Having a thought-out strategy behind your content marketing ensures you are achieving your business goals.
Say you’re implementing a content marketing strategy for a handmade dog accessory business based in Portland, and you know that your typical customer is a millennial who loves to support local shops. One example of valuable and relevant content you could create is a Youtube series about having a dog in Portland. Videos could include the best dog parks, dog-friendly cafes, local doggy daycares. The benefits for your local business would be exponential. This kind of content increases engagement and keeps your brand at the top of your ideal customer’s mind.
Remember, the ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action. Content marketing is a cost-effective long-term strategy with numerous paths to profit, including brand awareness, building brand loyalty, customer education, and more.
An online presence is essential for any business. Your customers are online and looking for solutions to their problems. You need to be there, showing potential customers that you exist and how you meet their needs. One study that explored the role and economic impact an online presence has on small businesses found it led to a significant increase in awareness and inquiries, improved relationships with customers, and brought in new customers. If that’s not convincing, what is?
Your online presence should include a Google listing, social media accounts and pages, review sites, and websites. Search engines are brilliant, and if you have localized content, it will be indexed to help you appear higher in relevant searches. Word of mouth has gone digital with review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor. Potential customers like to check out your business before they visit, so you need to prioritize building an outstanding reputation online. This type of user-generated content is genuinely invaluable.
Aside from review sites, people also go to Instagram to check out local businesses before trying them out. They want to see what you can do rather than just read about it. This anticipation is crucial for a customer’s journey, so capitalize on it.
Say you’re creating a content marketing strategy for a local restaurant business. Get on social media platforms to show off your delicious food and entice locals to come through the door. Think about how you can apply this to your own local business. Whether you sell artwork, clothing, or anything else, your online presence gives prospective customers insight into your brand and what you have to offer.
Set SMART goals and objectives
A localized content marketing strategy is vital if you want more customers and leads for your small business. And what does every good plan start with? Goals and objectives!
You’ve probably heard about the importance of setting goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. As part of your content marketing strategy, SMART goals are essential because they encourage you to be realistic with your goal-setting while providing direction and purpose.
Here’s an example of a SMART goal for a local business’s content marketing strategy:
Goal: We will increase online reservations by 5% over the next three months by distributing engaging and educational content on our Instagram account five times per week.
Specific: I want to generate more online reservations for our local restaurant by uploading targeted Instagram posts five times per week. The posts will highlight the restaurant’s story, value, unique dishes, atmosphere and promote special dine-in offers. We will target people in the local area by using geotags and hashtags. We will also use Instagram’s shopping feature to take followers directly to our website’s booking system.
Measurable: We want to see a 5% increase in reservations in 3 months.
Attainable: We have the resources to upload this content to Instagram and achieve our goal.
Relevant: Our business’s long-term goal is to increase revenue. By engaging our target audience on Instagram, we can entice them to try our restaurant, book a reservation, and provide them with an excellent experience to encourage brand loyalty.
Time-bound: In 3 months, we will determine if we have met our goal and analyze our progress.
By laying out precisely what you will be doing, you can hold yourself accountable and track the progress of this goal.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when setting your SMART goals for your local content marketing strategy:
When it comes to creating content, you need a profound understanding of your target audience. This ensures you give them the content they want and will respond to. You’ll be able to focus your efforts, be productive, and reach your local content marketing goals faster.
In your target audience definition, be as specific as possible. As a local business, you’ll consider location. But you’ll also want to think of other demographics and characteristics. Age, language, income, needs, and personalities will all be important. For example, if your business is in a predominantly Spanish-speaking area, create content in both Spanish and English.
To help you understand your audience, segment them into buyer personas. Buyer personas help you create content that will appeal to the different segments of your audience.
Identifying your buyer personas is not a one-time task, and it’s something you should repeatedly revisit to keep up with any changes to your audience and brand.
As outlined in Forbes, here are two helpful methods to persona development and how you can use them for your local business:
It would help if you had a descriptive idea of your ideal customer, Whichever method you use. You can then sort this information into the following categories:
Let’s use the example of a local gardening business trying to define its buyer personas to help with its local content marketing strategy. One of their buyer personas could look like this:
Defining your buyer personas can be pointless if you’re not choosing a content format that will connect with them. As you have multiple buyer personas, sometimes it’s best to use various content formats in your content marketing strategy. Of course, you’ll want to be realistic about what works for you and your local business.
Here are some fantastic content formats to incorporate into your strategy:
There’s a reason why 48% of companies with a content marketing strategy utilize blogging. According to Jeff Bullas, having a blog on your local business’ website can lead to 434% more indexed pages and increase lead generation by 126%.
Chosen topics should be relevant to your business’s local area while relating to your target audience. For instance, if you are a local interior designer, share a guide like “Best Homeware Shops In Austin”. Remember that your content needs to be original and well-written with plenty of strong keywords to help you appear higher in search engine results.
Videos posted to social accounts like Youtube or TikTok are an intelligent way to share your insights and generate leads. Plus, you can use hashtags and geotags to help locals find you. Consumers are spending more and more time watching and engaging with video content, so you should capitalize on this.
Not only can you show off your business through captivating images on Instagram, but it’s also a resourceful way to share your blog content too. Visuals can make a huge difference in engagement, as customers increasingly change how they find local businesses.
Share infographics that help your target audience digest information and understand your business in a new way. Let’s say you run a local environmentally-friendly cleaning product company. You could share an infographic that highlights the benefits of choosing earth-conscious solutions.
In the US, 15% of people, approximately 42 million, listen to a podcast every week – at least. As a local business, utilizing the power of podcasts is smart. Your podcast could be short and sweet or long and detailed, and it could include interviews, explanations, or even have a question and answer format.
Save time by repurposing other content that you have created to work for audio. Let’s say that you own local nutrition business in St Louis and want to set yourself up as a thought leader and expert in your field. Your podcast could have people call in and ask quick questions about nutrition that you provide helpful and educational answers to.
Ever been prompted to download a free e-book after visiting a website? Those free e-books are lead magnets that can bring astounding results. To write your e-book, you can start with a long-form blog post and expand from there. E-books show off your skill and knowledge while also helping you gather information on leads. Just make sure you require an email to download, and voila – you’ve got a new database of leads in your content marketing funnel. An e-book can be about anything: a workout guide, how to make restaurant-quality food at home, how to make greener choices or even a personal meditation journey.
Whichever content format you choose, it needs to fit your intended audience and habits. Think of your audience’s most significant problems and create content full of actionable insights. Whichever format works, go with that.
Your content schedule will capture when you post each week, what types of content, and where. It helps you stay on track and accountable. You can use an online template or jot it down in an actual calendar. When plotting out your content schedule, think about how long it will take you to create the content, how often you want to post, and when.
Always refer to your target audience when planning out your content. Think about what they want to see and how that changes depending on where they are in the content marketing funnel. Also, define how you will promote the content. Will you post blogs to social media or use guest bloggers and backlinks? Include all of this in your content schedule.
Remember to be realistic. You may not have the same resources as a massive company, so create a schedule that will work for you.
Your workflow will include everything involved in setting up and executing your local business content marketing strategy. Typically, a content workflow will consist of the following tasks: outline, write, review, edit, approve, and publish. Identify who will be in charge of each task and the timeline for completing them. Having a comprehensive workflow will make your life so much easier, and who doesn’t want that?
Once you start distributing content, it’s time to see how your content is measuring up! Regularly measuring your efforts will let you know if you’re on the right track and where you need to improve.
The metrics you use to measure your efforts will depend on your goal and content format. The metrics usually fall under traffic, conversions, engagement, SEO performance, or authority. Using a tool like Google Analytics is a simple way to measure the performance of your local content marketing strategy.
Gain insight by testing out different types of content. What works for your audience may not be what you expect, so let them lead you. Once you become familiar with the trends and types of content, your audience engages with, improve your efforts by distributing more of that content.
Keyword research is one of the first things you should do before developing content. It is the process of finding words and phrases that people search for when looking for information. Keyword research helps you create content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. Many SEO tools online find the keywords your audience is using to help you create content that answers their questions. Copy.AI’s keyword generator is a straightforward tool that is free to use. There are nearly seven BILLION local searches every month. So if you want to get on that first search engine page (who doesn’t?), don’t skip your keyword research.
Local businesses should create local content.
Local content refers to the content created for and about your local area. Tie every piece of content you write back to your location because it will help you and your business’s content marketing strategy immensely. Let’s say you’re a makeup artist in London, and you’re writing a blog about trendy hairstyles of the season. You can connect this to your location by incorporating sentences like, “In London, we’re seeing a lot of braids this year.”.
Here are some other examples of local content:
Make your content marketing endeavors easier with these beneficial tools:
Want to create great content quickly and easily? These will help your local business:
As a local business, you already know the importance of providing excellent customer service and delivering a product or service that wows every single time. If you’re spending all of your time creating content, it can be hard to juggle other parts of your business too.
Repurposing your content allows you to focus on the aspects of your business that keep your customers coming back time and time again. Here are some ways to repurpose content:
To stay ahead of the game, think forward. Keeping on top of trends that will increase your local business’s brand awareness, authority, and more is a must. Here are some things you can do to ensure your content nails it every time:
Content marketing for a local business is a must. It helps build presence, increase visibility, and connect with valued customers. Plus, it’s cost and time effective! Use this guide as your local business content marketing bible, and the results will come. We can’t wait to see you scale!
Need to write various types of blog posts? Check out our articles on:
How to write a blog post
Blog post for affiliate marketing
How to write a food blog
How to use listicles
How to turn an interview into a blog post
Getting started with a travel blog
How to write a comparison blog post
How to write a B2B case study
Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.