Local content producers are struggling.
Newspapers have been laying off for years. Many are closing the doors.
Radio stations have been laying off for years. The ones that aren’t closing the doors are using nationwide content versus the traditional locally-focused content.
It’s not that people don’t want local information. It’s just that the traditional models aren’t working anymore.
But that’s an opportunity for local businesses. Any local business from restaurants to dentists to plumbers to mechanics and more can create engaging local content to build awareness for their products and services.
But how do you create engaging local content?
Here are a few tips…
If you’re struggling to brainstorm ideas about what to create for your community, start by documenting what you do everyday.
As a local business, you’re an integral part of what’s going on around you. You’re doing business with local people. You’re participating in local events and happenings.
Take your smartphone with you or have someone with you. Document through video what you’re doing and have someone assist with the editing. Weekly episodes would be great. Just like your own reality show.
And if you’re not up for doing that, just go with a journal-style. Create a blog on your website where you document what you’re doing. Both with your business and your personal life. All with a local flavor.
Some of the most interesting stories in local newspapers are features or interviews with local people. Business owners. Experts. Regular people attending events and talking about their experiences.
You can do the same. There might be a learning curve, but the more you do it the better you’ll get. And if you’re too busy with your business, hire someone, even part-time at first, to do it for you.
Another way to do local content is to identify someone that is creating the content and partner with them or hire them to continue doing what they’re doing, but for your brand.
It might be hiring the recently laid off writer from the local paper. Having them do the same job and publishing the content on your website as well as maintaining their social media profiles.
Or it might be sponsoring the local social media influencer that seems to have everybody in the area following their every move about town.
#4. What About Format?
There are basically three formats with content:
Each of us has a preference. We may like them all, but usually we’re good at creating one more than the others. If you’re going to be doing the creating, try to identify the one that you have the most interest in doing.
Video may be good if you don’t like writing. Or the opposite may be true.
#5. What About Negativity Creep?
I would suggest avoiding negativity creep. Negativity can lead to quick wins with attention, but ultimately it turns people away. Perhaps that’s why many traditional sources of information are struggling. They’re losing their audience because they chased short-term attention with negative stories.
There is a lot of good happening in your community. You can focus on those things.
Are you struggling to figure out how to differentiate yourself as a local business? Content marketing can be a great solution. And you’re in a great position to focus on local content because the traditional sources are struggling. Use the tips here to create the engaging local content people are looking for.