6 Winning Content Marketing Strategies for Local Business

6 Winning Content Marketing Strategies for Local Business

Effective Online Marketing

As a small business owner, you know that effective online marketing plays a significant role in the success of your company. The competition for internet users’ attention is fierce, and if you want to make your company stand out from the competition, you have to stretch your marketing budget as far as you can. You might not have the money to take out Google ads or even to pay for Facebook advertising, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept lackluster marketing results. Content marketing is a major piece of any online marketing strategy.

Content Marketing strategies for your local business
“Content isn’t just words on a page, it’s everything you put out there on the web to engage your audience.”

Content marketing is the key to help your company succeed. When you make the effort to create unique and valuable content to share online, you can let what you create speak for you without having to spend a lot of money. The kind of content you create, as well as how and when you share it, are both important when it comes to spreading the word about your company. With that in mind, let’s look at 6 content marketing strategies that you can use to help increase traffic to your website and grow your business.

1. Concentrate your content creation efforts on evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that isn’t likely to feel dated anytime soon. For example, a blog post about a current event would not be considered evergreen; a post that defined some industry terms and jargon would be considered evergreen.

The key is to find topics that will interest your current and future customers for some time to come. Some examples might include how-to guides, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and posts addressing problems that are common to your customers. For example, if you own an apparel store, a post about dressing different body types could have a long life online because it will always be of concern to the people who shop at your store. You can and should re-post evergreen content periodically, and make updates as needed.

2. Concentrate your SEO efforts on getting high-quality backlinks and using local keywords. If you know anything at all about search engine optimization (SEO), you know that it’s a broad topic and one that is constantly changing. In the early days of the internet, all a webmaster had to do was stuff websites with keywords to get a high rank on Google. Today, search algorithms are very sophisticated. Keyword density is only one small piece of the puzzle.

Content Marketing for Google and SEO Results

Ranking for top keywords will be difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about keywords. For local companies, the best option is to focus on long-tail keywords with a geographical component. Instead of aiming at a keyword like “video games,” you might decide to try to rank for “buy video games in Forest Grove.” It’s a longer keyword, but one that local customers are likely to use when looking for a local retailer. The same is true of backlinks. The number of backlinks you get is less important than the quality of your backlinks.

There are certainly sources where you can buy back links, but that’s considered a “black hat” SEO practice and is just as likely to earn you a penalty from Google as it is to bring traffic to your website. Instead, look for guest blogging opportunities on websites that are relevant to your business. Also try to get your site listed in industry directories.

3. Use social media wisely. A lot of small companies make the mistake of looking at Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram) as a way to advertise themselves. The problem with that it is that it completely leaves out the social aspects of social media. The people who follow you on social media are not doing so because they want to be at the receiving end of an endless stream of promotional messages. They do it because they want to be entertained, engaged, and informed. This is one of the most misunderstood content marketing methods.

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” At least 80% of your social media content should be aimed at providing value to your followers.” That means that for every five things you post, four of them should be entertaining, relevant, and devoid of any overt sales pitches. The other one can be a direct marketing appeal, but even then, you should make sure to include something of value for your followers.

JVI Mobile uses the LENS method for social media posts. Listening (L) posts are designed to begin a conversation and create engagement (like, comment and share). Educating (E) posts are facts, trivia, do-you-know, or how-to posts designed to teach the reader. Networking (N) posts are written to share other people’s content while tagging them and building online relationships. Selling (S) posts are where you promote your products and/or services and should be used the least (20% of the time). Using the LENS method, you will develop a clear, 20/20 vision for your social media presence.

Content Marketing - JVI Mobile - Content is King4. Encourage readers and followers to share your content. The whole point of content marketing is to bring new visitors to your website and ultimately, to your business. For that reason, it isn’t enough simply to create compelling content; you must also make that content interesting enough to share, and provide people with the means of sharing it.

To make it interesting, write a great headline – many people who write online say that they spend as much time on their headlines as they do on the rest of their content combined – that includes numbers or compelling words like tips, tricks, ways, ideas, lessons, or facts.

It’s also important to keep your headline short. No more than 65 words so that the whole title can be viewed on a list of Google search results. In terms of making it shareable, you should embed social sharing buttons on your website and blog, and actively encourage your followers to share your content. You won’t want to do it on every post, but on something that you think is especially likely to attract new customers, come right out and ask people to share what you’ve created.

5. Find ways to make your content visually compelling. The average internet user is exposed to hundreds of pieces of content per day. You can make yours stand out by adding compelling images – originals are best, since many stock photos are generic and not very exciting – infographics, or videos are even better. An infographic can be an especially good way to share a large volume of information or data. It’s easier to read and absorb than an article would be, and infographics are highly shareable, and videos are naturally more engaging for visitors than reading a lot of text.

6. Submit a Press Release. Don’t underestimate a well written PR, it’s like a news nugget that online search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing love as well as it attracts local press. It’s an easy way to boost your online visibility, and marketing your business at the same time. Once you’ve submitted your PR online – contact your local news media and ask if they would publish it too – you may be surprised!

Whether you do it yourself through directories like PR Web or PR Newswire or hire marketing agency to create and submit it on your behalf, press releases are a great content marketing strategy for any local business.

If you use these six strategies, your content will always be compelling, entertaining, and valuable to your followers. The more value you provide, the more likely it is that one-time customers will become repeat customers and that new visitors to your website will end up buying from you.

Learn more about digital marketing by visiting JVI Mobile Marketing or by contacting us!

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4 Great Ways to Use Twitter to Market Your Business

Grow revenue with twitterIs your company using Twitter to connect with customers? If not, you should be. There’s no denying that Twitter is becoming more popular as a communication tool for companies – but that doesn’t mean that many companies don’t get it wrong. Having a Twitter account that feels impersonal or doesn’t respond to customers in a timely manner is worse than not having an account at all.

If you’re going to maintain a Twitter presence, then you have to be prepared to think about how – and when — to use it. More and more, customers are expecting compassionate engagement from the companies they follow on social media. With that in mind, here are four great ways to market your business on Twitter.

Put Customer Service at the Forefront

One of the biggest mistakes that companies large and small make on Twitter is ignoring customer service questions and complaints. It’s important to remember that everybody who follows your company can see that you’re not replying to questions if they take the time to look. Stellar customer service can do a lot to boost brand loyalty and your company’s reputation.

Twitter customer serviceThe best customer service on Twitter is personal, meaning that someone monitors your account on an ongoing basis and answers customers directly with @ Tweets. A good example of a big company who uses this strategy is airline Jet Blue. An examination of their Twitter feed shows that almost everything they Tweet is a direct reply to a customer.

While responding to customers is better than not responding, beware of responses that seem cold or impersonal. Some companies try to keep customer service off Twitter by redirecting people who post questions or complaints to call their customer service number. You’re far more likely to engage customers – and keep them in the long run – if you embrace the idea that Twitter is an ideal platform to provide great customer service.

Provide Value to Your Customers

You might already know that Twitter is not the best place to be bombarding customers with sales pitches. You already know that the people who follow you are interested in what you have to offer, but the most successful companies on Twitter know that sending out a stream of self-promoting Tweets isn’t a good idea. Instead, they find ways to provide valuable content to their customers.

Pizza Example TwitterLet’s look at some hypothetical examples. A local pizza parlor might Tweet out fun facts about pizza, or even tips for reheating the perfect slice the next day. A clothing boutique might Tweet pictures of people wearing the clothes they sell. A dentist might link back to articles on her blog about tooth whitening or dental cleanings.

What all of these examples have in common is that their intention is to share information that is relevant and valuable to the customer. Sharing valuable content makes the people who follow you on social media feel a sense of obligation, which in turn triggers a cognitive bias known as reciprocity. In other words, giving your followers something for free can do far more for your marketing than overtly trying to sell them on your services.

Open a Twitter Dialogue with Your Customers

twitter dialogueOne mistake that a lot of companies make is to forget about the “social” in social media. People follow their favorite brands on sites like Twitter because they want to engage in some kind of communication with them. That doesn’t mean that they want to be your friend, necessarily, but they do welcome the idea of friendly and thoughtful communication.

Let’s talk about some ways to do that. One technique that can be helpful for local businesses is to re-Tweet chosen messages from their followers. You can use a tool like Social Mention to monitor social media activity and find out when your brand is mentioned. When a customer says something positive or memorable about you on Twitter, re-Tweet it. It’s a good way of showing customers that you’re paying attention to them.

Another option is to ask your followers a question. If you do it right, this can actually be a subtle form of customer research. For example, you might ask your followers a question about how they use your product, or why they like it. If you offer an array of products, ask which one is their favorite and why. Alternatively, you could ask an open-ended question. For example, a local restaurant could Tweet “What’s for dinner tonight?” and include a link back to their menu. Yes, the menu is a sales pitch – but it’s a subtle one. If you decide to try this method, make sure to answer the Tweets you get in response.

Host a Twitter Contest or Giveaway

twitterAnother clever way of using Twitter to promote your business is to use it to get the word out about a contest or giveaway. Everybody loves the idea of being able to win a contest or get a free product, and Twitter’s an ideal platform to promote such a thing. A contest has the benefit of adding value to customers while also providing you with an easy way to broaden your reach.

One way to get the most out of a Twitter contest is to ask users to re-Tweet the information about the contest in order to enter. Using this method actually wraps several of the other tips in this article, as well. For example, a contest is a good way to add value for customers and to engage with them directly. Sponsoring a contest is an effective way to find out how many of your followers are truly engaged with your brand, and asking customers to share your Tweet about the contest may help gain you some new followers too.

twitter peopleThe bottom line is that Twitter can be an incredibly effective marketing tool if you know how to use it. The keys are to respond directly to customer questions and complaints instead of avoiding them and to remember that the people who follow you are people, not machines. They don’t want to be hit with a constant barrage of sales pitches. What they want is something that feels like personal engagement and compassion. If you can do that, then Twitter can be a strong part of your marketing mix.

At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help! We’ve got a crack team literally at your fingertips!

If you haven’t already, check out our Digital Marketing Assistant. It’s a brand new Facebook Group where you can get expert help and ready access to the JVI team will all your digital marketing concerns and questions!

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