Local Search Marketing 101, Part 2
In Part 1 of the Local Search Marketing 101 series, we discussed the various phases that customers go through in the purchasing process. In this followup article, we are going to discuss your Content Marketing strategy and how your content marketing efforts can help you stand out to potential customers and current clients.
For over one hundred great articles on content marketing, you may want to check out the Content Marketing section of the Dex Media blog, but here are a few of the most important things you need to know. Content marketing, a subset of “inbound marketing”, is creating great content your customers are looking for, so they can find you when they’re searching. Check out the ways that content marketing can help grow your business!
The reason that the content marketing strategy discussion should occur first is that every other aspect of your local marketing depends on the content that you create. It is important that you create content that appeals to your audience. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “content is king!” While an effective local marketing campaign cannot consist of content alone, web content is the foundation of every other aspect of your local marketing.
The first step is to decide on the type of content you will create and where it will be published. It is important to create a base of content on your web properties (website, blog, social media accounts, etc.) that will cover the needs of your typical visitors during the information, research, purchase and post-purchase stages. This can include detailed information on your products and services, as well as content that will cover typical customer service questions, such as your return policy. In addition to your website, you need to figure out the other marketing avenues that you plan to use that will need original content, such as your social media properties, email marketing campaigns and any other marketing services you intend to use to promote your business.
As part of your content strategy, you need to create a schedule that focuses on the most important content on your website first. You’ll start with the content that your visitors are usually looking for when they arrive at your business website, such as your phone number, hours of operation, a contact form to get in touch with you, and a physical address (if you have one) and links to your social media accounts. Additionally, you need specific information about the products and/or services you offer, general information about your business, information about your guarantee, and endorsements from previous and current customers. Then you can consider blog posts, news updates, photos, videos, coupons/offers, infographics, white papers, ebooks and more. You may want to schedule content to coordinate with seasons or events. Or you may schedule content that is trending in search. The key is to have a schedule.
For all of this to work, you have to come up with a lot of content somehow. In Quick Content Marketing, I gave examples of places you can go for inspiration when you are out of ideas of what to write about. There is plenty of other advice out there about how to come up with ideas for content, including a great article by copyblogger. The best advice I have, however, is to just get out there and get started. Read as much as you can until you feel comfortable with the concept and then start writing or find a good resource to help you.