Using Local Content Marketing To Build Your Authority
Are You Local?
Does your target audience know you are?
Local SEO is an advantage. It gives small business owners the opportunity to beat bigger competitors using unique SEO signals available by being local.
By connecting local.
Which comes not only from optimising your website but getting down and dirty with your content marketing.
While Google’s Pigeon algorithm update laid the groundwork for small businesses to take a bite of local SEO authority, content marketing helps you eat half the local search pie in getting local business websites in front of their target users.
Small businesses aren’t taking it seriously enough though.
And only twenty-three percent have a sense of how listings drive traffic to their business.
This is surprising given the leg-up small businesses can get from just basic optimisation, let alone content marketing.
The kind of leg-up that can outrank bigger competitors chasing the same niche as local traffic.
So what’s needed for your local content marketing? Here’s what I think is needed:
Finding out the topics on the lips of your target audience does require some peeling back of the layers. You source out where your audience is hanging out and talking, then read through what questions keep coming up. Make a note of the topics (anywhere up to a dozen to start).
Or even dive in and interact in certain discussions, and ask your own questions on those topics.
Once you have your list, you bring it closer to the local level.
For example, say recent founders of a co-working space south of the Yarra River in Melbourne want to draw ambitious startups into renting their workspaces, host workshops or build a collective of people working on upcoming business ventures.
The area is exploding right now and the competition is fierce for this market.
The founders can start by ticking the initial local SEO boxes in NAP citation, directory listings, Schema.org markup, being mobile responsive and having a Google My Business page (follow the links to those resources) but getting their website to shine from their location will be due to the content they produce.
Using Buzzsumo, a search tool which brings up the numbers on social shares and high traffic content on topics linked to the keywords searched, their research gets some headlines and topics surrounding startups.
Phrases like investor pitching tips, growing a business startup and business networking shared through social media, is where target startups are grabbing their content from.
They then bring their topics down to a local level such as ‘The best growth hacking tips from successful Melbourne startups’ or ‘How to network the right way in Melbourne’s startup scene’.
Instantly they have a unique take on such broad topics, which the owners can leverage with Google and Bing.
Long Tail Keyword Research:
Long Tail Keyword Research does take some effort to produce gold but it’s so worth your time. It’s good for blogging and website pages but especially case studies and startup profiles.
The unique terms and categories in this content with the local pointers like location, associated businesses or the buzzing questions can hook startups who are more refined in their search queries.
They can initially touch base with your first piece of content, then read other posts to see if the business is worth talking to. Building trust and, in the end, contacts.
For example, a case study for the co-working space can shine a light on a past startup success that started in the workspace before heading out into the business world.
Their story could contain unique keyword phrases about their development as a SaaS (Software as a Service), what pitfalls they had in getting seed funding and what pain they are solving for their target market.
The phrases should still be optimised (preferably near the beginning, unless it feels totally forced) making it easier for Google or Bing to capture in their crawling.
But in the end, the story themselves should be relatable and compelling to upcoming startups.
It’s great social proof to address new startups’ fears. That ‘someone else has gone through it at this place, why can’t they?’ feeling that the co-working space content can talk honestly about.
And content shouldn’t be limited to words.
Videos, podcasts, infographics, emails, products and services, any form your content can take that’s able to engage, is part of the total package.
This depends on time and budget but if you can be consistent then you’re on the dance floor.
Social media has given you the ability to grow a top audience where you can promote your content further and wider than ever before. It’s awesome.
Again, using selected social media channels, the ones your market have, and deploying the content through them is the primary way it can get read, shared, discussed, and stay at the top of users’ minds.
It’s just needs to be regular and ongoing (and this is where a content marketing calendar can help you out).
Getting local influencers to pass your content onto their followers is another key way of promotion.
If it’s good, and you’ve done enough to create a relationship on social media or email, then you reach out to them with your content. Politely and positively.
And this shouldn’t relate strictly to social media influencers. Asking for other local authorities to do the same is worth the effort as well.
Even if it doesn’t get you far this time, you keep bringing them great local, relevant content; they will no doubt think about passing it onto their audience.
The co-working space owners now contact social media influencers with both warm and cold approaches. It’s still a numbers game but the most success comes from existing relationships with influencers, who agree to share their content.
They could also speak to government spaces like Startup Victoria or reputable startup resource websites like The Fetch or Anthill to highlight and promote the content as well. There’ll be a lot of ‘noes’ and ‘not for us’ to begin with but that won’t always be the case if your stuff is good.
Local content marketing helps in threading the touch points across the online spaces the startups will cross paths without diluting their traction. And will send deeper local SEO signals to Google and Bing.
If you looking for a local audience for your business, local SEO places a master key in your hands.
With the search engine favouring local authority, the tools at your disposal to rise up the organic rankings are ready to use.
The easiest but most work intensive tool in your hand is content marketing.
You add that ingredient in the right form and in the right places; not only will Google respond well but the people you want to help out in their business life will take notice as well.
In the end, those are the people that matter.
What’s been your experience with content marketing and local SEO? Do you think local content marketing has help your business get in front of your target audience?
If you’re too short on time and resources a.k.a. another person to build the relationships you want through your content marketing