Understanding the Value of Local Content MarketingContent is the fuel to the engine that is marketing in 2017 and beyond. But the internet is a massive expanse of billions of individual pages and small businesses can’t afford to compete for generic keywords and search terms. In order to rank well and generate a return on a moderate budget, local content marketing has to be the focus.
What is Local Content Marketing?As the name suggests, local content marketing is a strategy that’s designed to target a very specific geographical market. As opposed to using generic search terms and attempting to compete for broad searches from global internet users, local content has the goal of cutting through the noise and engaging people in the near vicinity of the business.
Local content marketing has become more popular over the last decade. As the internet has been flooded with generic content, Google and other search engines have pivoted in a new direction that prioritizes user experience. This results in more targeted search results that take locational factors into account.
While many large brands with established internet presences still practice more generic approaches and thrive on past momentum, smaller businesses must respect the utility of local content – otherwise, the content will fall on deaf ears.
Why Local Content Marketing is the AnswerNow that you understand what local content marketing is, let’s take a look at some of the reasons regarding why content marketing is a must in 2017.
1. SEO BenefitsInternet users are getting much more specific in how they search. Instead of searching for the term “pizza restaurants” – which could bring up results from all over the world – savvy users are typing in terms like “pizza restaurants in Atlanta” or “takeout pizza in Chicago.” For companies that invest in local content, it’s much more likely that they’ll organically rise to the top for these targeted searches.
2. Better Qualified TrafficThe number one goal of any content marketing strategy – local or not – is to drive traffic to websites and landing pages. But even more than driving traffic, the goal is to drive qualified traffic that’s likely to convert.
If you were to put two websites next to each other with similar traffic numbers, the results may surprise you. The first website, which relies on a generic content marketing strategy, would almost certainly have a much higher bounce rate (and lower conversion rate) than the second website, which takes a local content marketing approach.
The reason is that local content marketing is much more descriptive and targeted. When a visitor clicks on a link or search result, they know what to expect ahead of time. This results in more relevant traffic and better site metrics.
3. More ReviewsAs you know, positive reviews of your company and the products you sell have a major impact on how people view your business – particularly in local markets. The good news is that local content marketing strategies tend to do a better job of attracting reviews than other methods that larger brands depend on.
“This user-generated content is going to have a major impact on whether people decide to visit your business’s website from searches,” content marketer Aaron Agius points out. “Considering that 74 percent of people primarily use portals like Google to find local businesses, this is an area you can’t ignore.”
4. Expanded Social ReachOrganic social media efforts are failing right now. It’s difficult to compete for visibility when you’ve got so many other businesses paying for posts. And while paid social media is actually quite cost-effective at the moment, you can overcome weaknesses in this department by fully relying on your local content to expand your reach on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
Local content tends to get shared more on social media than other formats. The reason is that people naturally group up based on location and proximity; thus, the majority of a user’s friends also live in the same city or state. The result is more shares and engagement on individual posts that speak to your target market’s location.
5. Enhanced Brand AwarenessStudies show that 61 percent of people are more likely to purchase products from a company that develops custom content. The driving factor behind this data point is clear. Custom content – local content in this case – enhances brand awareness in a way that other forms of marketing can’t.
This is the ultimate benefit of local content marketing. When you make a long-term commitment to producing content that’s relevant to your target market, customers are exposed to your brand on a consistent basis (and in an organic fashion). This expands brand recognition, builds trust, and eventually fuels conversions.
How to Execute a Local Content Marketing Strategy“The bottom line is local content marketing works if you can produce content that will cut through all of the noise online,” SEO expert John Leo Weber says. “Write useful content, get it in front of the right audience, and you will see improvement in your SEO and website traffic.”
If you’re unsure of where to start, attempt to simplify. Begin with your own website and develop robust local content that adds value to the community you’re targeting. Don’t get this confused with keyword-stuffed content. Simply plugging the name of the local city into articles won’t work. You need to create city guides, write in-depth articles about topics that matter to the local community, and begin influencing social media conversations around particular issues.
Executing a successful content marketing strategy requires patience, connections, and a willingness to adapt new trends. It’s not easy, but the rewards associated with gaining a foothold in a local search market are immense.