Content marketing remains the buzz for most organizations and it continues to grow. Simply view the Google Trends report to the right. How do we create content that connects with our audiences? Many of the larger organizations are rapidly producing content because they possess larger budgets and know this is what's needed to attract more quality brand mentions and links to their websites.
But content marketing for smaller local businesses is often overlooked yet a powerful mechanism they can deploy. Just because you're a small to midsize company does not mean you don't have content opportunities to take advantage of (Tweet This!). Small business should begin by identifying local content opportunities and tying them in with local SEO efforts to improve linking and brand mentions.
Types Of Content For Local Businesses
Local businesses have plenty of content opportunities to gain more exposure and elicit brand mentions. Our objective is to leverage these content assets and promote them accordingly. The key is in both the content creation and outreach to the appropriate organizations and businesses. One cannot be successful without the other. The content must be of value to the people we share it with.
Google's primary off-page local search factors include reviews, local citations (other review websites with consistent NAP listings), and links. Content marketing leads to direct sales for companies and helps generate the links pointing to the business's website.
Here we list five content marketing opportunities all businesses can leverage.
1) Daily Deals Page
Often an overlooked opportunity but a daily/weekly deals page can do wonders for a local business. You simply list the products or services you are offering at a discount and list them on your corporate domain with a dedicated page (i.e. www.domain.com/daily-deals). With this daily deals page, you can reach out to local organizations, potential partnership companies, and even coupon websites to share this information with. This has the tendency to result in a link or mention back to your website as well as potential referral traffic from these sources.
2) How-To Guides/Resources
How-to guides are great because they are informational, value adding, and typically non-promotional. A great example is a functional furniture company that creates a guide on how to buy the right furniture for small spaces. With these types of informational pieces, it is easier for local and regional webmasters to accept that content, especially if it is relevant to their audience.
3) Your Blog
Often an underutilized resource, blogs are the ultimate content marketing assets needed to gain more exposure from an SEO and local search perspective (Tweet This!). Business owners and webmasters think they need to post 500 -- 800 word articles more than once a week. Although ideal, there are many things that can be posted including those how-to-guides, updates about the company, promotional events, or newsworthy stories. All of these have the potential to boost SEO rankings. A great example of this is a functional furniture startup known as NYFU. They created a Kickstarter contest in New York and posted it to their blog. Coupled with the proper outreach, that not only attracted buzz for the startup but also attracted links and brand mentions for the company. Make sure you have a dedicated blog posting page on your website, keep it updated and it will reap dividends from a local search and traditional search engine optimization perspective.
4) Organization Discounts
Another great content asset is offering local and regional organizations discounts. Simply pick 20 -- 40 organizations that have members who could utilize your services and perform some level of outreach. If you run a local e-commerce store in which people can purchase from your website, you can offer distinct discount codes to those organizations so you can track your marketing efforts accordingly. The real opportunity from a local search perspective is when the organization posts the discount to their website and shares with via their newsletter or social media channels. A great example of this is with MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group). They work to provide relevant discounts on tools and services to its members. OneSource created a partnership with MENG and is now listed on their website. As an organization, MENG's intent is to bring more value to their members and if there's a strategic partnership that makes sense, they could list you as a partner on their website.
5) Your Own Case Studies
More for the local business-to-business organization, case studies are paramount. Out of all of the pages on a B2B website, this one is most reviewed by prospects who want to better understand how the company achieved results for their clients (Tweet This). Make sure your case studies are prominent and show some of the results you achieved for companies or clients. With the added benefit of case studies, you can contribute to other company's websites and gain more exposure as a thought leader in your industry.
A Match Made In Heaven
Content marketing is a critical component to local search and overall customer acquisition and is vital to creating a sustainable marketing advantage. There are many more examples on how to generate inspirational content, but the best place to look is in our own industry and our current offline marketing efforts.