How to Create a Local Content Marketing Strategy That Will Grow Your Business

The biggest challenge facing local trades is standing out from the competition.

We see the same situation in communities across the country: A local trade, whether it’s a plumber, electrician or general contractor, has unparalleled skills, but because they’re located in a saturated market with lots of competition, they’re lost in a sea of options and potential customers aren’t aware of the quality of work they can provide.

It’s not enough to merely offer the highest quality of service in your region. To grow your local business, you need to let the local community know your service is their best option.

The best way to tell them is through a local content marketing strategy.

Local Content Marketing

In this article, we’re going to define what local content marketing means to trades, identify the benefits it can bring to your local business and provide a step-by-step guide to implementing it strategically so that your services become the number one choice in your community.

What is Local Content Marketing?

Local content marketing involves creating and sharing material tailored to the interests and needs of a local region. That means focusing your content — whether on a website or through social media — on the interests, concerns, and questions of the people near where your local business operates.

This approach not only engages the nearby community and boosts your visibility in local searches, but it also enhances your status as a trusted local business, bridging the gap between the high-quality services you offer and the market recognition you need to grow.

Here are some examples of how locally targeted content can be used:

  • Blog Posts: Writing articles that address local issues, interests, or questions. Topics for blog posts could range from “How to Prepare Your Home for the Local Climate” to “The Best Local Materials for Your Renovation Project.”
  • Social Media Updates: Regularly posting on social media platforms about local events, promotions, or behind-the-scenes looks at your business operations. Social media posts sharing stories of local involvement, such as sponsoring a little league team or participating in a community cleanup, can also resonate well.
  • Local Guides and Tips: Creating guides or lists that are useful to the local community, such as “Top 10 Local Home Improvement Resources” or “Your Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist for [City Name].”
  • Customer Testimonials and Case Studies: Featuring stories and testimonials from local customers, or detailed case studies of projects completed in the area, showcase your local impact.
  • Email Newsletters: Sending out regular newsletters that include local news, offers, and informative content. This could include seasonal advice, updates on local projects, or invitations to community events your business is involved with.
  • Landing Pages: Creating web pages specifically optimized to be landing pages for local searches, highlighting your services in different parts of your city or region. These pages can include some elements mentioned above like location-specific information and local customer reviews.
Importance of online reviews

Whatever form it takes, this type of content connects your local business to the specific region where your target audience resides and from which you draw your customers.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Target Their Content to the Local Market?

Always remember: your local market is your target market.

Despite the benefits of this targeted approach, local content marketing is often overlooked by local businesses that either aren’t aware of how it can boost sales or are hesitant to devote resources to changing an already “effective” content marketing strategy.

Whatever the reason, this presents an incredible opportunity for proactive local trades willing to shift the focus of their content from general to local:

  • Reduced Competition in Digital Space: Less competition online makes it easier to stand out with unique content. This affects search engine results, engagement on social platforms, and the general feeling about your brand.
  • First-Mover Advantage: Early adopters of local content marketing can establish themselves as community leaders, securing customer trust and loyalty before competitors.
  • Better Local SEO Performance: Being one of the only trades to focus content on a local target audience can significantly improve visibility in local search results, drawing more customers.
  • Differentiation Through Brand Personality: Showcasing your brand values as being in sync with your local community’s values will differentiate your trade from competitors who aren’t targeting their content locally.
  • Cost-Effective Digital Marketing: Using a targeted approach like this is a budget-friendly way to yield significant visibility and engagement. The high return on investment it offers local trades only stands to increase when competitors aren’t in the running for local attention.

The 9-Step Guide to Crafting Your Local Content Marketing Strategy

Now that we’ve defined what it means to focus content on a local audience and highlighted the benefits of becoming an early adopter — ahead of other local businesses — in your community, it’s time to actually roll up your sleeves and get down to implementing it.

Here is a 9-step guide to crafting a local content marketing strategy that will help drive growth for your business:

Local Content Marketing Strategy

1. Set Clear Objectives

Begin by identifying specific, measurable goals for your efforts.

  • What is the primary objective of this strategy? Do you want to increase potential leads, boost online visibility, establish your brand as a local thought leader?
  • Consider using the SMART framework and set objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
  • Having clear objectives helps you tailor your strategy to meet these aims effectively.

2. Know Your Audience

Understanding your local market’s demographics, interests, and behaviours is crucial to creating content that will resonate with them.

  • Conduct market research to gather insights into the local market’s pain points and online behaviour.
  • Utilize surveys, analyze interactions on social media accounts, and gather direct feedback to create customer personas.
  • Define your target audience with these customer personas. Let them serve as blueprints for creating valuable and informative content that will resonate strongly with your community.

3. Analyze Competitors

By analyzing the content marketing strategies of the other local businesses you compete against, you can pinpoint which strengths to emulate and which weaknesses to exploit.

  • Scrutinize the content of your competitors, noting what works and where there are opportunities for differentiation.
  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses, online engagement, and customer responses.
  • Use this analysis to further differentiate your business as the better local option.

4. Content Audit and Planning

Now, do the same for yourself. Evaluate your existing content to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Determine the impact your content is currently making and its relevance to your local audience.
  • This review should inform the development of a comprehensive content calendar in which you schedule posts around local events, holidays, and seasons.
  • Plan for a variety of content types to engage your audience.

5. Local Search Engine Optimization

Having laid a foundation with the previous steps, it’s now time to refine your existing content for local SEO before diving into the creation of new material.

local SEO
  • Enhance your content’s visibility in local search results by integrating keywords and phrases that your target audience uses to find services or products like yours: “emergency plumber in [your city],” “electrician near me,” “licensed contractor near [region],” etc.
  • Optimize your website and content for local search by including geographic locations and local industry terms wherever possible.
  • Ensure your business’s name, address, hours of operations, and phone number are accurate and consistent across all online platforms — especially your Google Business Profile.

6. Content Creation

Crafting content that’s both informative and engaging is key to connecting with your local audience on a personal level.

  • Utilize storytelling to share local success stories, highlight customer testimonials, and showcase your involvement within the community.
  • When you create content like this, it not only makes it more relatable but also reinforces your position as an integral part of the local community.
  • Incorporate local culture, landmarks, and events to further localize your content, making it distinctly relevant to the community you serve.
  • Refer to the list in the “What is Local Content Marketing?” section for all the different types of content to which targeting local audiences will align most naturally.

7. Distribution and Promotion

When it comes to content with a local focus, where you post and share is almost as important as what you’re posting and sharing.

  • Identify the most effective channels for reaching your local audience and focus your distribution efforts there.
  • This could include social media platforms where your audience is most active, local online forums, and your business’s website.
  • Consider leveraging local partnerships and collaborations for cross-promotion, extending your reach and introducing your brand to new segments of the local community.

8. Engagement and Interaction

That last point is also suitable for No. 8. You want to use your content to do more than just fulfill the obligation of posting regularly. Use it to make connections that prompt engagement and interaction.

  • Foster a two-way communication channel with your audience by encouraging interaction with your content.
  • Participate in discussions, respond to comments promptly, and take part in local online forums or social media groups to build a sense of community around your brand.
  • Highlighting and encouraging user-generated content can significantly enhance your credibility and foster stronger connections with your local audience.

9. Measure and Adjust

There will always be opportunities to fine tune your local content marketing campaigns further. Continue with improvements and keep reaching potential customers.

  • Utilize analytics tools to closely monitor the performance of your content across different channels.
  • Track key metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy.
  • Be prepared to adapt your approach based on these valuable insights, experimenting with different content formats, topics, and distribution channels to continually refine and optimize your successful content marketing strategy.

Building Trust and Engagement Through Local Content

We’ve already mentioned how local content marketing can create a strong brand image, but it’s worth emphasizing one more time.

Many local businesses, when they first implement a local content strategy, will only consider it as a means to increase visibility through local SEO campaigns. And while it certainly achieves this, locally focused content also has the capability to create a deep connection with your community.

By strategically delivering content that’s not only relevant but also deeply valued in your region, you demonstrate an understanding and commitment to your local audience’s unique needs and interests.

Reaching your target audience in this fashion is about much more than improving search engine rankings. It’s about building a brand that the community knows, trusts, and prefers.

Overcoming Content Challenges for Local Businesses

Becoming the preferred choice in your local community isn’t as easy as simply pressing a button to align website content to local audience demographics. Local content marketing comes with its own set of challenges.

Here are some common issues local businesses might encounter:

  • Resource Intensiveness: Crafting and maintaining a local content marketing strategy requires time, effort, and financial resources.
  • Content Creation Challenges: Keeping up a consistent, relevant content output to engage the local audience poses a significant challenge.
  • SEO and Visibility Fluctuations: Navigating the complexities of local SEO and standing out amidst increasing competition can be daunting.
  • Measuring ROI: Determining the direct impact of locally focused content on sales or leads, especially in the short term, can be complex and unclear.
  • Audience Engagement: Achieving and maintaining high engagement rates with local content can be unpredictable and require active management.

Overcoming these obstacles involves strategic planning, leveraging local insights, and staying committed to your strategy. It also helps if local business owners have digital marketing experts in their corner, with experience guiding local businesses to becoming the preferred choice in their region.

Become The #1 Choice in Your Local Community with Harvard Excelerate

Harvard Excelerate specializes in transforming local businesses into community favourites by handling all of the challenges outlined above. From ensuring a positive brand reputation in your community to optimizing local search engine results, our digital marketing solutions have been developed specifically to help trades increase sales and grow their business.

optimising brand reputation

By focusing on the unique needs and search behaviours of your ideal customers, Harvard Excelerate will help ensure your business stands out both in local searches and as a community leader, driving visibility and engagement.

The journey to becoming your community’s preferred choice starts with understanding your audience and ends with a tailored, impactful content strategy that resonates with the people you serve. Let us help you get there.

The target audience you identified in Step #2 of our guide to local content marketing is already on Google searching for local businesses like yours; they’re on social media with questions that your business answers. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure they find your business before they find your competitors’.

To enhance your search engine visibility and connect with your community like never before, reach out to Harvard Excelerate for a free quote and get ready to become your community’s #1 choice.

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