How to Localize Business Content for Nearby Customers
With so many commercial entities trying to stand out online and win new business, learning how to localize business content for your target market is one way to attract more qualified prospects into your pipeline. Local marketing is more of a fine-art than the broad strokes campaigns run by national brands. It demands the exact calibration of tactics like search engine optimization and social media advertising with the intangible finesse of knowing your area and where people gather. Although combining these elements can be difficult, getting it right puts your business a step ahead of most competitors and saves time by reaching only those consumers who are most likely to buy what you offer in their region. How to Localize Your Content for Nearby Customers
If you think about your area, there are probably hundreds of local sights and celebrities, customs, and curiosities that make it unique. Each of these holds the potential to give your marketing a leg up with a localized edge that bigger businesses will find hard to match. Consider the following four starting points to give your promotional campaigns a more local flavor:
1. Create Regional Variations on Your Core Message
If you run multiple locations for your business, creating a unique identity for each of them can be tough. By working to localize business content you can begin to make that happen. Local landmarks, colloquialisms, sports teams, regional history, and trivia are all potential ways to align what you sell with the place you sell it. In many cases, companies will already be running marketing campaigns that tie together across different platforms and advertising channels. If you have a Memorial Day sale, for example, you probably run ads on TV, radio, or print, as well as e-mailing your customers and posting it on your Facebook page. It's not a big stretch to take that overall campaign and create local variations that make the offer more unique to a specific location. You could offer additional discounts to those who bring in your ad from the local newspaper, for example, or donate a portion of all sales that weekend to a local sports team or nonprofit organization. This approach also works on a state and even national level. List all of the things that your employees and customers love about your area and put it at the heart of marketing communications for that location.
2. Emphasize Your Area Code
Not many marketing assets can convey your location without further explanation, but a local vanity number is one of the special few. Because of their constant use over many decades, area codes are one of the most familiar ways to identify where a person or business is based. Choosing a custom word or phrase adds your branding to that familiar prefix, creating a local contact point and clear call-to-action all rolled into one. Depending on your area, it may or may not be possible to get a number that translates to your company name. A little creative thinking can help here. Simply make a list of words or phrases that contain between four and eight characters and can be related to your product, service, or some other familiar part of your business. You can then browse local vanity numbers in your area code to Get a memorable phone number with a dial code that everyone knows and see how much easier it is to localize business content and advertising. [search-tag]
3. Social Posts, Tagged and Promoted by Location
Even though it's increasingly a pay-to-play environment, social media still provides an incredibly targeted way to get in front of potential customers in your area. You can achieve this in two ways: tagging your location and/or paying to promote your post in a specified area. The former is something that you should be doing to localize business content with most of the items you post. Almost anything can now be location tagged, but images of your business and videos made in your surrounding area are particularly likely to resonate with a local audience. Take a look at photos from your area on Instagram or the local hashtags you see on Twitter and Facebook. You'll quickly get a feel for how many people are using social in your area and how you can best connect with them by tagging your location on branded content. In terms of paid promotions, localized content simply becomes a matter of defining the area in which you want your communications to be seen. There are specific requirements across the many different social platforms, which we'll look at in more detail next month, but the general approach should be the same: make informative and entertaining content that relates to your area in a natural and compelling way.
4. Collaborate with a Local Organization or Personality
Just as there are celebrities and organizations that resonate on the national and international stage, you'll also find influencers at the regional level. States, cities, and even small towns inevitably develop influencers with the personality to convince others in their area that a product, service, or event is worth their attention. These individuals (or organizations) are a great way to localize business content and tap into an engaged nearby audience in one go. Start by identifying those influencers who are active in your area. Once you have a master list, you can begin to whittle it down to a short list of 3-5 potential candidates for a local promotional collaboration. Criteria you can use to filter out those that don't fit might include the following:
- Those who reach too broad an area, outside of the geographical boundaries you want to define.
- Any who aren't active on social media, especially on the platforms your target buyers use most.
- Anyone with a small following, or an audience that doesn't typically buy what you sell.
- Those with potentially controversial views that don't align with your brand.
The size and scope of these collaborations need only be as limited as your budget -- or the influencer's availability! Find out what motivates them and develop a pitch that appeals to the individual and, more importantly, is relevant to their audience. Go beyond the basic "shill for our brand" approach and come up with a creative way to integrate your local business with their personal brand. Standing out from the crowd as a small or medium-sized business isn't always easy. However, your knowledge of your area and proximity to customers does give you an advantage that larger companies find it harder to leverage. Try to localize business content using the ideas above and any others that your team can come up with. You may be surprised at the increased brand awareness and customer loyalty that it generates!
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