Content marketing for local businesses has long been a powerful, often overlooked, tool. We reached out to marketing experts and industry leaders to find out how content marketing can help your local business grow.
#1 Increase Sales
People buy products and services if it helps them solve a problem. If you're a local business trying to sell a product or a service, you can use content to solve a problem. For example, if you're a company that provides pest control services, create content on how people can get rid of bugs or roaches.
Within the content, you can mention your company as the expert that can help in getting rid of pests. Once you have this kind of content (it could be an article, a video, an infographic, etc), you can try to reach your audience with it. You can try SEO or paid ads to get this useful content in front of people.
Contributor: Sumit Bansal from Craft Of Blogging
#2 Brand Recognition
Content marketing improves brand recall. People remember your company after reading engaging content about your company. Content marketing is more cost effective than ads. It helps businesses market their products and services without having to pay a big price for it. Content marketing also enables you to give more value to your products. You can write about your products, services and mission statement in greater detail.
Contributor: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics
#3 Brand Loyalty
Local businesses can use content marketing to draw attention to their store or wares by positioning themselves as a local authority on a topic. They can even go a step further and create digital and brick-and-mortar spaces to host conversations about that topic. For example, a local bee keeper could found a Facebook group about the value of locally raised food. The bee keeper would have simultaneously created a forum around a topic vital to their business, while also creating a direct line of communication to the people most likely to purchase their product, locally raised honey. Such an activity not only allows the local business owner to raise awareness of their brand, but the accessible content and contact to the brand often inspires trust among customers, which in turn, often leads to brand loyalty.
Contributor: Kristine Neil from Markon Brands
#4 Maximize Reach
Video content can help maximize reach and leads from social. Video on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram gets the most reach for the little to no money at all. Using video along with Social Ads to generate leads has been extremely successful for many of our local business customers. Content marketing also helps generate leads. Creating helpful content for your customers to capture their information is a great way to generate leads for your business.
Contributor: Steve Page from Giant Partners
#5 Business Visibility- Where and How To Find You
One of the most important things that any local business can do is set up Google My Business. Google My Business allows you to create a listing for Google Search and Google Maps results and gives you the best chance to appear when people are searching for you or businesses like yours. With Google My Business listings, you are able to add all of the important information that someone searching locally would need, including your Address, Phone Number (click to call button), Opening Hours (& any special hours), Website, Services. This means that when people are searching locally, perhaps on Google Maps on their phone and come across your business, they have all the details that they need.
Contributor: Sean Nichols from Site Visibility
#6 Buyer Trust and Confidence
Content marketing is a powerful way to market for all businesses including local businesses. 60 percent of the buyer's journey is self-education. Your role in that is providing the content that helps them self-educate. The better you do that, the better your odds that you'll be the local business they pick when it's time to make the purchase. Your content builds trust and confidence in you as a retailer. Would you go to a stranger, or to the company that showed expertise through education? An example of content marketing for the hearing aid industry is a hearing aid buyer's guide. It rates different hearing aids to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of different brands and models.
Contributor: Craig Andrews from Allies4me
#7 Establish Credibility as a Local Expert
Content marketing has huge opportunity for local businesses and remains an integral piece of Local SEO. For example, an auto repair shop owner that talks about the impacts of local driving patterns on specific roads in his community doesn't just establish his credibility as a local expert, but can also increase his odds of appearing in local searches. The key is these businesses create content that marries hyper local content with the authority of being experts in their specific fields. Low-budget video content shared on social media (i.e. smartphone footage) can be huge for local businesses as well.
Contributor: Wes Marsh from SoloDev
#8 Local Information Authority
Every search engine's goal is to provide the user with the best possible answer, so you need to ensure you have content that answers the user's inquiry, that is really the heart of
SEO. Other strategies to improve our page rankings are proper HTML coding so search engines understand the hierarchy of our page and multimedia content (videos, animations, images, etc.) these help keep users engaged and on our site.
Contributor: Joe Sloan from Jurassic Sand
#9 Connect With Customers
The way we come up with ideas and create content that people will like is we join local Facebook groups, and post a question in the group asking people what are their questions about how to best maintain their yards, and gardens. We then use the discussion that ensues as a jump-off point for creating a locally-based post. We even get a few local business owners in the post to boost local relevance signals.
Another option is to host a webinar for the community. Webinar Care is one platform that a local business can use where attendees can participate in activities, exploring knowledge, while the business can generate leads.
Contributor: Zach Hendrix from Your Green Pal
#10 Build Customer Relationships
Effective content can help you build customer relationships while avoiding less effective “hard sell” tactics. It showcases your subject-matter expertise, and gains trust by highlighting important topics that affect your prospects. Well-crafted content can draw traffic to your website and social media accounts, boost your performance on search results pages, and give audiences the opportunity to share your content with their friends.
Contributor: Laura Egocheaga from Divibe Tech
#11 Social Proof
Google reviews can help to increase the number of visits to your site as well as your store and so encouraging people to leave reviews is therefore really important for local businesses. For example, if you run a bar or restaurant and someone is searching for one locally as they fancy a bite to eat or a drink, they are likely to have a look at local results on Google Maps and make a quick decision about where to go. Having a decent amount of good reviews can therefore help them to choose you. Reviews can also be really useful for SEO and how people find your store. Often when leaving reviews, customers will use different language to that used by businesses when talking about products, which can have the added benefit of helping you to target more long-tail keywords and cover more keywords in general.
Contributor: Sean Nichols from Site Visibility
#12 New Ideas
One important way that content marketing helps local businesses market themselves is that it helps keep their Web presence fresh and vibrant looking. If you have a local business and visitors see that your blog or resource pages haven’t been updated since, say, 2015, potential customers may wonder if the business is active or worthy of patronizing. Of course, search engines also consider the ‘freshness’ of a Web site’s content when determining rank and relevancy, so that’s another benefit.
Contributor: Jason Zasky from Failuremag
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