Local businesses are in a unique position. A local gym may have an easy time engaging their audience by providing recipes, training videos and guidance to help their members reach their goals.
But a local plumber may not have such an easy time relating to their customers and local community online. The problem is that 85 percent of consumers use the Internet to find businesses.
If you’re able to keep your audience interested, potential clients and consumers may go to you and skip using the Internet to find another local business likely your competitor. People often only call a plumber if they have a drastic problem.
If a pipe breaks in their home, a person is far more likely to call a plumber that they know and trust than someone that they never heard of before. This is the same for a lot of local businesses, and keeping your audience interested can cause you to be the person locals call when they need help.
Related Article: Together at Last: How to Achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment
How do local businesses keep audiences interested?
It depends on the industry. We’re going to share a few ways that local businesses will be able to keep their audience members interested. Each method may not be applicable to every business, but a lot of methods will be universal.
1. Teach Your Audience Through Webinars or YouTube
A lot of people want to be taught. People want to be independent, and this is a good and bad thing for local businesses. Many businesses, we’ll use the plumber example again, have something to teach their audience.
Webinars, YouTube or even Facebook Live may be an option to teach your audience. Teaching your audience will allow you to grow your trust with them, and it can go a long way in the local community.
Our plumber friend may choose to run a webinar or record a video that teaches people how to:
- Properly prepare their pipes for winter
- How to fix basic clogs in the home
If you’re teaching people via video, this allows you to do a few things:
- Increase brand recognition
- Let viewers put a face to your business
- Demonstrate your expertise
Most people would rather pay someone to do the work for them, and if you gained their trust, you’ll likely have a future lead.
Related Article: Inbound Opportunities: 5 Ways to Generate More Sales Online
2. Blog Locally and Share
Blogging is essential in today’s Internet-reliant world. If you’re not blogging, it’s an issue. There are a lot of problems that local businesses face when they go to blog:
- A lack of content to post
- No direction or content strategy
- Lack of resources and time
- Lack of resources to hire a professional
Just because an attorney is good with numbers doesn’t mean that he is a good writer. There are options available to you:
- Hire a company to handle your blog
- Hire a freelance writer
- Do the work yourself
One trick that we use very successfully at PSM Marketing is to craft locally-relevant content. This allows the content to be highly targeted, and it further allows for a higher share rate among the right users.
A few examples of this may be:
- How to Prepare Your Pipes for Friday’s Snowstorm in New York
- How This New Tax Deduction Can Save Texas Residents Money
You’ll obviously need to craft content relevant to your profession, but it works well to connect with local readers. Just remember to share your posts on all of your social media accounts in an effort to spread the word about your post.
Hubspot found that companies that posted 11 blog posts per month received 3 times more traffic than companies posting zero to one post per month. Posting 11 blog posts resulted in two times more traffic than blogs posting two to five posts per month.
If you’re not sure how to post this much, our next point may help.
3. Local News and Events Are a Great Content Outlet
There is no better way to get known in the community than to be at local events and be involved with the local community. A lot of small businesses will have a difficult time coming up with enough content to publish 11 blog posts a month, but you should be able to get in the two to five posts per month range rather easily.
If local news events can be used in a blog post or posted on social media, this is another great way to stay in the mind of your audience. Your audience wants to be engaged, and these audience members are likely on Facebook. The New York Times posted an article on how people spend an average of 50 minutes per day on Facebook.
This means that you have a great opportunity to engage and keep your audience interested. This can be done by:
- Announcing your presence at local events, and asking if anyone else is going.
- Posting relevant news and your opinion on the news on your page.
- Commenting on user concerns and friends' posts.
You need to be in the spotlight, and if you’re staying on the sidelines, you won’t get noticed. You can even use these news events as a blog post where you discuss the recent storm and how it affected local residents. If people have questions they’re asking on social media, you can respond on social media and further elaborate on your blog. The key to keeping your audience interested is posting new and engaging content. Be helpful, and don’t be afraid to join in on conversations.