For local businesses, it should come as no surprise that providing local content pops up as a cornerstone of your digital strategy. If you’re a bakery consistently providing the best muffins in West Texas, you want West Texans to be aware of your baked goods. Garnering the attention of East Coast folks raises your overall visibility, but it’s the customers who will spend dollars in your establishment and rave to their (local) friends and family that deliver the highest return for your content investment.
However, most business owners find it easier to talk about wider lens, sweeping topics that define their industry. Of course, it’s what most content they see from their peers focuses on. Which is why it’s even more important to drill down into local content to provide niche information and solutions that local customers will take notice of.
Strategies for developing local content
News of the day
Picking a reliable and definitive news source for your region is one way to stay on top of events and issues that affect your community. This may be the local newspaper or a local blogger that’s really on top of what’s happening. You can scan the headlines for topics that potentially tie into your business.
Let’s pretend you own that local West Texas bakery. Scanning the paper, you see that a candidate for your district’s local congressional race does an interview in which she professes a weakness for poppyseed muffins. This can turn into any number of posts with a defined local focus. You might link the article on social media and tag her campaign inviting them in for free poppyseed muffins. It may turn into a blog post on your own divine recipe for the best poppyseed muffins within five counties. Both instances allow you to highlight your regionality and link up with other businesses or organizations that also have local ties, putting you in the social feeds and search results of your neighbors.
Most towns and cities also have event listings. These are a great source to mine for local content. If the orchestra is performing a free concert in the park one Sunday morning, you might run a social media campaign advertising a breakfast picnic basket. The basket is filled with muffins of course, remember we’re still operating under the bakery scenario.
This allows you to also function as an important resource for your region. You’re providing the service your business focuses on, and you’re also using your platform to inform your neighbors of interesting or important events that are of value.
Highlight local suppliers
At least some of the suppliers you use or related businesses you work with are local. Use their local ties to highlight your own! Skipping over into a non-gluten scenario, let’s say that you design kitchens in Northeast Ohio. You could run a series of articles or social media posts introducing your suppliers. The Jack Sprat Company, who makes wonderful cabinets that you often install in client’s homes, is a fifth generation cabinet maker in your area. What a compelling story to highlight! It’s a personal interest story, thereby providing engaging content. It’s also a way to connect their longevity in the community to your own. And finally, by highlighting their company within your digital strategy, you’re inviting them to share that with their own following. In every way you look at it, you’re increasing your visibility with a local audience.
Provide guidance on local regulations
Sticking with the kitchen design metaphor, you could have a whole page dedicated for resources specific to your industry and in your region. This might be a page linking to permitting agencies or building guidelines. You could create a series of infographics that guide prospective customers through the permitting process. No one knows the ins and outs of your business in your region quite like you do, so share the informational wealth! This helps you to land higher in online searches with local customers. It also firmly establishes you as a trustworthy stalwart of the community. It’s a win/win!
Balance global and local
Your online presence indicates your own roots in the community. Most customers are looking for products and services from someone they feel connected to, much like a neighbor. Carving out your niche on the global internet is just a bit easier if you sometimes narrow your focus to provide content and solutions for customers within your region. After all, it’s often investing in the customer themselves rather than simply your social media reach that pays off in dividends.
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