Local businesses continue to do well.
Sure, some malls are looking like ghost towns. But the nature of business is always changing. Consumers will do what is in their best interest.
Things are better today than they were yesterday. And they’ll be even better tomorrow.
I was thinking about the smartphone the other day… Just 20 years ago, the richest person in the world didn’t have the type of smartphone we have today.
Progress is good and it’s good for small and local businesses right now. More than ever.
Content marketing is one area of great potential.
Here are a few local content marketing tips…
1. Regular Schedule
When I was going from junior high to high school, the varsity basketball coach gave our class the challenge of making 15,000 shots over the summer. Not a requirement, just a challenge.
Two out of about a dozen kids did it. I’m glad that I was one that did.
I can’t speak for the other player, but my strategy was to setup a daily shooting schedule. It must have been ~200 shots per day. I broke it down into that daily amount because 15,000 is a lot. But 200 isn’t so bad.
The same is true with content. It takes a lot to find real success. But a lot seems like something that’s out of reach and not worth doing.
But if you commit to one piece a day. Or two pieces a day. Eventually you get in a rhythm and you’re hitting your stride.
2. Co-creating + Featuring
One of the best things a local business can do is to connect with other local businesses. The initial introduction can be a little awkward. It’s even more awkward if you’re just out asking for referrals right away.
You can find a good way to connect with others through content marketing.
Writing about other businesses you like. Interviewing business owners and their teams. Event co-creating content like a promotional video or an educational video for your city or town.
Tell someone you’d like to interview them on video for your Facebook and Instagram page. Then create a blog post about it and post it on your website and LinkedIn.
Now they know you exist and they know that you’ve done them a favor. If you do good business they will probably refer you. Plus you’re creating good content for your area customers.
3. Hire Someone
There is a lot of effort that goes into content marketing.
You can start with the goal of posting one thing per day. You might hit that goal for a week or two yourself. But that’s usually the point where things begin to slip.
You miss one day. Then you miss two the next week. Pretty soon, nothing.
You need ideas. You need to analyze what’s working. You need to probably post more than you’re doing now.
The solution is to hire someone. You can start with part-time. But after awhile you’ll find that the buzz you create is so wonderful that you’ll want someone full-time.
4. Video, Audio + Text
There are basically three types of content: Video, Audio and Text.
You want to have a combination of all three. But that can be daunting. A good alternative is to focus on the one that fits you and your brand the best. Then go all in on that.
Maybe it’s blogging or posting text on social media.
Or maybe it’s video and audio.
Whatever the mix, you can usually take one form and create the others with a little repurposing.
5. Q&A + News + Curating
There are a lot of different content types you can create. For local businesses, I still like creating Q&A. Identifying the questions people in your area are asking and then answering them as best as possible.
Start with the basics. Even if it seems simple to you, it might be very helpful to your audience.
News is good to. Local news is struggling. You might be able to talk to other business owners and also customers and learn a few news bits that are going on in your area.
And you can also curate content. That is sharing interesting content from other sources on your social profiles. This helps you become a source of all information in your city or town.
6. Platform Options
The platforms can change. You have your website, social media, YouTube, Anchor, etc. Be adaptable when it comes to the platform. One day it might be Facebook. The next it’s Instagram. Then websites might come back into the spotlight.
Know your best type – video, audio and text – and know that there will always be a platform for it. You just have to be willing to change sometimes and go where the people go.
Local businesses can do really well with content marketing. People are looking for more locally-relevant content than ever. Newspapers are struggling. Radio is struggling. You can be a source of local content for your area. And it can payoff big time for your brand awareness.