Online marketers talk about driving customers more than your average Uber driver – and who can blame them? Traffic is income, or at least it is if you do your job. If you can’t get people through the virtual door of your website, they won’t buy from you. It’s as simple as that.
The trick, of course, is getting them there. Your competitors are lined up like a row of carnival barkers, each trying to out-yell the others. You’ve got to find a way to make your voice heard above the chaos. And the secret it a surprisingly simple one:
Create better content than they do.
It’s been a long time since Bill Gates famously declared, “Content is king.” That doesn’t mean that it’s not true. In fact, content is happily sitting on that throne – and it determines how highly your site is ranked by Google and whether people will visit it, subscribe to your list, and turn into paying customers.
Easier said than done? Maybe, but here are 5 methods you can try to drive more customers with content marketing.
#1: Build Social Media Profiles & Engage Your Audience Consistently
There’s no denying that social media marketing is essential for local businesses. In fact, social content accounts for a whopping 93% of all B2B content and it’s responsible for a significant amount of B2C content, as well.
The first step is building your profiles. That means creating a consistent brand image by using your logo and a dedicated brand voice so that someone who finds you on Facebook won’t have any problem recognizing you from your website or other social accounts.
The second step is engaging your audience. You should plan on creating some content that’s unique to social media. You can also share your blog posts, YouTube videos, and other content from your website.
However, you should also be curating content from other sources as long as it fits in with your brand’s message. For example, we found a craft store in Seattle that shares:
- DIY videos for craft projects from various YouTubers
- Photographs and videos from artists
- Information about local events of interest to crafters
The key is to make sure that the content you share is relevant to your followers.
#2: Contact Local Content Creators/Influencers
The next thing you can do is to pair up with local content creators and influencers both for content creation and for amplifying your brand’s reach.
Imagine that you owned a restaurant and you noticed that one of your food suppliers had a large following. You might approach them about creating content together or sharing one another’s content to help both of you. People who eat at your restaurant might like to know more about the person producing your ingredients and likewise, the people who follow your supplier might like to know where they can sample their products locally.
Of course, influencers don’t need to be directly connected to your business. Instead, they might simply have a lot of audience overlap to make cultivating a relationship with them worth your while. Use your imagination and keep an open mind for the best results.
#3: Partner with Local Businesses
You might also consider partnering with local businesses to build your brand and attract new customers. Sometimes, a partnership is the ideal way to lift both partners while at the same time providing relevant content to your followers.
For example, a local office supply store might pair up with a CPA to create content about how to organize your receipts and other information necessary for filing your taxes. Or a hair salon could pair up with a local charity that makes wigs for chemotherapy patients showing the process of how donated hair becomes a wig.
Here again the key is relevance. Any joint content you create should be relevant to your followers and give them the opportunity to learn something new – or try something new.
#4: Confirm Your Business on Mapping Platforms
Helping people find you online and in person is a key aspect of content marketing – and one you may be neglecting. Here are some examples of what you can do to make your business more visible:
- Claim your listings on Yelp and other review sites and update all relevant information
- Likewise, claim your listings on Google Maps and Apple Maps
- Check your social media accounts to make sure your information is accurate and uniform
- Enable check-ins and badges on Facebook and FourSquare
- Respond to customer reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google
Doing these things will ensure that your business listings are accurate, and that people know you are a responsive and dedicated business owner – and trust us, that matters!
#5: Event Marketing (Hosting Events and Experiences)
Finally, check out local events that you might be able to attend or sponsor. While our focus is on digital marketing, sometimes there’s no substitute for the personal touch.
If your marketing is primarily B2B, you might look for:
- Chamber of Commerce meetings and events
- Service organization meetings and events (think the Elks or the Lions)
- Trade shows in your industry or related industries
- Charitable events with corporate sponsors
B2C marketing requires a slightly different approach, but here are some suggestions:
- Local charity events
- Local festivals and holiday events, including street fairs and community celebrations
- Gift fairs
- Little league games (you could even sponsor a team)
If you don’t see any suitable events in your area, then you can always create one, either alone or by pairing up with other local business owners. The key is to increase your visibility by getting out into the community.
Remember, great content will always win out…
It might feel a bit daunting to constantly need to come up with new content, but the five strategies we’ve outlined here can help to demystify the process and ensure that your content always stands out and gets noticed.