7 Tools to Create a Successful Local Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is the foundation of any digital visibility strategy, including local business marketing strategy. When done correctly, it increases brand awareness, builds loyalty, and leads to gradually and consistently increasing sales.
Many local companies are unfortunately not doing it the right way.
Many businesses think that content strategy is simply about creating a set number of pieces of new content weekly. This is not true. Merely publishing content for its own sake can never be an effective marketing strategy.
It takes a lot of planning, analyzing and experimenting.
The good news is, local content is very underutilized, so it is not that hard to stand out. Local content could consist of infographics, informative blog posts, guides, videos, or any content that focuses on specific locations.
Local content works well for:
- National physical stores
- A startup that launches in a specific city
- Local businesses
Here are a few tools and ideas to help you integrate local content marketing into your digital growth strategy:
Tools to Identify Your Local Audience
Understanding your audience is crucial when it comes to creating content that resonates with your potential customers.
One of the best ways to relate to your target audience and thus better serve them is creating marketing personas.
Develop personas to better target your content efforts. There are many helpful tools you can use to help determine how many potential customers match your personas in a specific market.
Here are a few tools to help you create data-driven marketing personas to help direct your content marketing efforts:
1. Claritas Zip Code Lookup
This tool from Claritas is called Zip Code Lookup. It is a simple yet quite useful tool for local audience research. It will enable you to identify pre-determined personas in a specific market.
The demographic info you’ll be able to pick up using the tool includes average household income, average age, and average family size for your specified area:
Finteza is an advanced analytics suite that also includes demographics reports for your audience. You need to be running it for a few weeks before it has enough data to analyze, but it is very easy to install.
The audience section includes:
- Geography (including the cities which is extremely useful)
- Languages spoken
If you overlay this data with overall demographics of device owners, you’ll have a pretty good picture of who is using your site.
3. Facebook Insights
Once you have created your personas, you can take the information and run it through Facebook Insights. This will provide you with a vast amount of information to help you understand your local personas.
On top of all, this tactic will help you qualify your personas:
Use “Detailed targeting” that includes options like these:
- Activities people engage in on Facebook, including their food and travel preferences, hobbies, etc.
- Demographics like age, gender and location
- The mobile device they use and the speed of their network connection, etc.
This is also a great way to build leads while verifying your content assets. Simply set up a lead generation campaign and connect it to your email marketing provider you use to manage your newsletter.
Tools to Brainstorm Local Content Ideas
Once you know your local audience pretty well, you can actually work with your team on brainstorming ideas and creating content!
Where do you start? Your local area and what is going on there is probably a good starting point for your brainstorming. Are there events or festivals happening soon in your area? Is there local news that may relate to your business?
From there, here are a few more tools to turn to:
4. Buzzsumo Trends
Buzzsumo is another excellent tool for generating content ideas. Inside its “Trending” section, you can monitor events and news within any US state you are in while looking for local content ideas. This will show you the content that has performed well, as well as topics that have recently resonated with your local audience:
5. Text Optimizer
Text Optimizer is my go-to content ideation and creation tool that I use for all my content marketing needs, including my local clients. This is the semantic analysis tool that shows you related concepts to your target query.
With one of its recent updates, Text Optimizer offers “geo-targeting” option allowing you to limit your research to any particular location:
6. Google Forms / Surveys
There’s nothing better than simply asking your target audience what they think about your future content ideas. I use this little guide on creating a free survey with Google forms and also sourcing some free submissions for it.
If you do this right, you can also use the data in your actual article. Content featuring original content usually attracts links and leads!
Here are more tools and plugins to create and promote online surveys if you decide to adopt this tactic on a more professional level.
7. Backlink Checking Tool
Competitive research helps in almost any digital marketing strategy, including local marketing. The difference is, you don’t have to research your direct competitors. You can:
- Analyze digital marketing tactics of similar businesses but in other locations
- Analyze digital marketing tactics of other local businesses nearby (those that are not competitors of yours).
This type of research will also help you come up with possible ways to collaborate, without the risk of helping a competing business.
For competitive and link building research, use this tool. It’s free and effortless to use.
Simply input your fellow local business’s domain and investigate what content-based links that site is attracting and whether it is something you can do too!
You can also click through to “Top” (i.e., highest in traffic, most linked-to) pages. Now, locate content-based pages there and investigate what accounted for that success:
Finally, when I already have my ideas and started working on content, I always check Twitter local search to find some quotes to feature (this also helps in relationship building).
Simply use Twitter Advanced Search to specify your target location when searching:
Hopefully, these tools will get you started on creating an effective local content marketing routine. But don’t stop there.
Once you have a process in place that will help you find, create, and promote local content, you should always be testing to see what impact it has on your business. If you manage to create local content that spreads, you will attract more qualified leads to your website. If you put the visitors’ emails in a database, you can use re-targeting with Facebook Ads, and your traffic and conversions will increase dramatically.
There will always be things that you’ve missed, things that can be tweaked, and techniques you could use to improve on your local content marketing and strategy.
The concept of a marketing cycle is that you will never be done. You simply need to keep on working on and perfecting the process and one day you will finally reach the point that few companies using local content ever achieve. This is when your local content not only reaches but also grows your target audience each time you hit that publish button.
If you have more local content marketing ideas, please share!
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