Solving The SMB Content Marketing Riddle: Think Local Not Global!
Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist’s bulentozber
A great content marketing strategy is something of a Holy Grail for SMBs. Everyone has heard of it, but despite valiant efforts, no one has found it. You must first answer three impossible questions before you can be deemed worthy of this priceless treasure. Ready for it?
- What should you write about?
- How do you get higher rankings in SERPs?
- Is social media necessary for your brand?
Not an easy path my frustrated fellow marketers, but no need to call Indiana Jones yet. This problem doesn’t call for sneaking into ancient temples, battling Nazis or daring rescues.
In any of these cases, Dr. Jones is your man, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) our dilemma is different. The solution lies in the localization of content.
The Siren Call Of The Serps
Every brand that consults with us wants that coveted numero uno spot in the Search Engine Results Page or SERPs. This is a misguided view often perpetrated by people who don’t understand SMB business goals. SMBs are looking to maximize leads and conversions .The highest ranking doesn’t do any good if people only visit your page, see nothing interesting and leave. The bounce rate alone will drive your hard-earned ranking to murky depths. Another pitfall is that higher rankings will give you exposure to a lot of international visitors, which is not the target market for most small businesses. Don’t be lured into this trap, SMBs (and their marketing consultants) have to dig a little deeper.
Local Content To The Rescue!
Local content is content that has been customized according to the local customers’ needs. Most small and medium-sized business owners often don’t realize how much their local knowledge can help with digital marketing. Whatever content you produce is driven by search intent. Local brands have a better understanding of what local customers are looking for when they type in a search term. Create content around the right search intent and you are well on your way to high revenue.
SMBs have a predominantly local target niche and successful content marketing strategy needs to reflect this fact. Since the local environment is known, a digital marketing strategy and the subsequent content creation will be easier than you think.
How Localized Content Can Help Your Business
Local-specific content along with optimized local SEO can help you reach people who are genuinely interested in your products. You can drive traffics, capture leads, and maximize conversions if you think local!
Local-specific content strikes the right chord with the users because of high relevance.
The Magic Formula for Great Local Content
Highly Engaging Content= Relevance + Accuracy + Information
SMBs understand the needs of the customers better. They can use their insight to create content and capture the local market. Everyone knows that SMBs often have to deal with tough competitors in the local market. Localized content plus good SEO can also help you create more brand loyalty and keep the door closed to other competing brands.
How To Create Great Local Content – 3 Guiding Principles
Content creation is a pain for most SMBs, especially for ones who don’t have the budget to bring in the experts. Here are the two main questions you need to answer before you start creating content:
- What specific topics does my target niche find most interesting?
- How can I write quality content based on those topics?
The answer to these two questions will give you the foundation of your content creation strategy. In order to find the answers, you need to keep these three basic principles in mind.
1. Quality Trumps Quantity
Throwing everything against the wall is a waste of precious time and resources. Focusing on quantity will alienate your business; shift your attention to quality. Good quality content isn’t just interesting images and good grammar, local content needs to step up the game and provide a compelling content experience. Quality also implies making content unique, something that your competitors won’t be able to replicate (see point #3). Figure out what makes your business and the local area different from the rest. Play up these angles and you will craft shareable and memorable content.
2. Local Authority Counts
Smaller brands often think they don’t have expertise to create good content and hire people from outside. This is unfortunate because they are selling their authority short. If you have been in business for some time, it’s likely that you have unique insight and information about the local industry and how it operates. Incorporate this knowledge into your online content. Small businesses owners need to realize that a majority of customer interactions happens at location level, which gives them an edge over bigger brands when it comes to local content.
3. Build Personal Connections
Show the human side of businesses through content that is personal in nature. This type of content works great on social media, so your promotional activities will also benefit. Focus on building connections with customers through interaction. Ask customers for testimonials and encourage them to leave online reviews. You can even reach out to them, conduct a quick interview, and share it via Snapchat or Instagram.
SEO Tactics For Maximizing Smbs Local Reach
Once you have your content creation strategy in place, don’t forget to also plan out your SEO tactics. Here are some actions that will help your SMB achieve better search visibility:
- Google My Business: Claim your Google My Business listing and updated with accurate content
- Consistent NAP: Online citations of your business need to have consistent NAP(Name, Address, Phone) information
- Target Narrow Queries: Have the best answer to a specific search term
- Longtail Keywords: Try to rank for narrow search terms which have low competition
- Links to Local Content: Quality backlinks elevate your local authority
- Online Reviews: Unknown brands should especially focus on excellent customer service to get positive reviews
- Local Media Coverage: Maintain a good PR strategy to get press coverage and mentions in local/regional magazines.
So, weary traveler, you have made it this far in your quest for wisdom. You have all the answers, however, a final word of advice, don’t get over-confident, the stakes are higher in localized search. Any little mistakes are magnified so it’s a delicate balancing act.
Hurry up and implement localized search, the industry giants will roll over you and crush you.
Don’t forget your trusty hat!