A Guide to Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Close to Home: A Guide to Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

A significant portion of Google searches relate to a specific location. People search for things like “pizza New York City” or “spa Daytona Beach” millions of times per day. That’s because location is just as important for your website as it is for real estate. Tagging your content with relevant local information can draw in a sea of new visitors and keep your page relevant longer.

The Unique Situation of Being Local

Building an online presence for a local company can be a bit challenging. The strategies are different for content creation. Since being local ties your company to a specific market, you’ll often see a smaller selection of topics and options.

A website’s bounce rate is a measure of how many people viewed only one page without clicking another link. Some companies will naturally have higher bounce rates, like news stations. Others struggle to keep them as low as possible. The more your website demonstrates local personalization combined with beautiful design, the more likely you’ll get your ratings where they need to be.

The Steps to Crafting Unique, Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Tailoring your subject matter doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, if you do some research ahead of time, you might find the entire process easier than you anticipated.

1. Identify the local audience. If you stay local, then you’re already narrowing the scope of your content and making it easier to find your audience. However, you should fine-tune it for consistency and relatability. Think about crafting buyer personas. These simple profiles offer imaginary people for whom to write. The result feels like very personalized content for anyone who meets the target audience requirements.

TOOLS: Try Facebook Audience Insights or Neilson Prizm to see specific information about your local demographics.

2. Examine the competition and your existing content. Another great way to find useful content types is to look at successful businesses. You can peruse their articles to see if any particular topics are popular. Likewise, you’ll get a good idea about what should be avoided to keep your audience happy.

Take the time to compare the content you already have. Look for things such as shares, comments and likes, which are easy indicators of the post’s exposure. If you seem to be doing better, great! If not, give your content another look. You also can take advantage of analytics to see which of your topics are performing the best.

TOOLS: For analytics, Buzzsumo and Google Analytics transform page views and interactions into usable information and statistics.

3. Redefine broad tactics to make them local. Just because you’re targeting a smaller audience doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of broad content strategies. In fact, adding a local twist to these proven methods is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create engaging local subject matter.

One simple way to accomplish this is by crafting unique headlines. Some formats are simply more successful than others and have proven themselves over and over. Use numbers or a “how-to” approach followed by a geographical keyword. For example, “7 Fun Things to Do During a Daytona Beach Vacation” or “5 Dates You Should Avoid Las Vegas.”

TOOLS: This style of heading is wildly popular among big-name entertainment sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Looking to them for inspiration can be incredibly helpful.

4. Look to the past for inspiration. If you’re really running low on ideas, check out past infographics from the town in question. In many cases, you can find data that’s already been fully researched. All you need to do is make sure it’s up-to-date and expand into the story to craft something interesting.

TOOLS: A Google image search, of course, yields high-volume infographic results.

Once you figure out what works in your local area, it will be easier than ever to add your personal touch and creative spin to the information. Do your research when choosing topics and titles — and you’re bound to see interest from your local patrons.

Local Shop Photo via Shutterstock

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Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

4 Reactions
  1. It is important that you are doing more than targeting keywords. You should also be providing something extra that makes your content stand out.

  2. There is so much content in the world today. It makes standing out REALLY difficult. I see so many people putting out content that even their own mother wouldn’t read.

    But ultimately I love that.

    Being a small business owner today is more like being an artist than being a business person.

    It’s so difficult to reach a new audience. The only thing you can do is be great.

    Every article, video, podcast has to answer the question: “How does this move the topic forward?”

    You must evolve the discussion.

    That means you first must understand what has already been said in the discussion. Then you must determine what is missing from the discussion. Then you have to figure out how you are going to add to the discussion.

    Being great is a pain in the ass. But there are very few other pathways to succeeding any more.

  3. It’s all about content planning, doing the research work and finally developing the content for the local audience. There are certain types of businesses for which this process is very easy but there are couple of industries where creating contents targeting local audience and prospective customers is really difficult. Analyzing competitor websites from other different domestic or international locations may give lots of content ideas which can be implemented with some tweaks. But today if you want to sell things to your local or global customers, content marketing is going to be a big factor and no one should not ignore this.

  4. Identifying your local adudience is a critical piece of your strategy. Most business owners try to be verything to everyone. Identifying a unique problem that you can solve can connect you to a local audience that has an unmet need. Once identified creating a persona and messaging to that persona will enable you to create content that speaks to your potential customers.
    I apprecited your point on creating these personas and I think you can have a little fun with this element marketing and let your creative magic flow.
    Thanks for the post.