Today it is more important than ever for businesses to find ways to keep their audiences interested. Here are a few actionable tips to note.
Local businesses are in a unique position. A local gym may have an easy time engaging its 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% of consumers use the internet to find businesses.
People often only call a plumber when 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 rather than someone 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.
How do local businesses keep audiences interested?
It depends on the industry. I will share a few ways that local businesses can keep their audience members interested. Each method may not be applicable to every business, but a lot of methods will be universal.
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 allows 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
- Fix basic clogs in the home
- Spot where common problems appear in the plumbing system
If you're teaching people via video, this allows you to accomplish a few tasks, such as
- Increasing brand recognition and company identity
- Enabling viewers to put a face to your business, making it easier to remember you
- Demonstrating your expertise in the industry
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; however, it is important to build on this lead.
After the webinar, it is a good idea to try to encourage attendees to stay in touch with the business. This will keep the audience interested. Some of the ways to do this include:
- Sending around a contact sheet
- Providing discounts for certain services
- Entering attendees into a raffle for a major prize
For a plumbing business, this might include a free visit for plumbing inspection or maintenance. Chances are, the business will uncover something during the visit, which could lead to a happy and satisfied customer.
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 write a 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 they are a good writer. There are options available to you:
- Hire a company to handle your blog
- Hire a freelance writer
- Do the work yourself
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One trick that I use very successfully 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 articles that incorporate locally relevant content include:
- How to prepare your pipes for Friday's snowstorm in New York
- How this new tax deduction can save Texas residents money
- How To avoid pedestrians accidents in California
You 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 to spread the word about your post.
Hubspot found that companies that posted 11 blog posts per month received three times more traffic than companies posting one post per month. Posting 11 blog posts resulted in two times more traffic than blogs posting two to five posts per month.
Therefore, there are a few actionable points that local businesses need to remember when it comes to blogging locally:
- It is critical to post high-quality content on a regular basis. Search engines like to see that blogs are alive.
- Try to link blog posts to other blogs that readers might find interesting. This keeps them on the site longer.
- Those who don't have a lot of expertise blogging might want to hire a specialist to handle this task. While this costs money, the results are often better and show up sooner.
Leveraging the power of a blog can keep your audience interested.
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 two to five posts per month 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 on Facebook per day.
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 are asking questions 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. Some of the tips for leveraging news on your online outlets include:
- Post about recent events that have just happened, as people are often searching for them in search engines. This will help your website get noticed sooner.
- When possible, try to find local events happening around the city and participate. Then write about them on the website. Post videos and pictures of the business at the event, as this will keep people interested and show involvement in the community.
- Try to link social media posts back to relevant information on the website to generate more traffic. This will keep the audience informed and imbue them with a sense of loyalty.
These are a few of the top ways that businesses can keep their audiences interested. Making these small changes can go a long way toward finding success.