Content Strategy for a Local City or County

December 20, 2011By

There is a local movement happening.

Austin Skyline

Austin, Texas Skyline

People still spend the vast majority of their time in local places. People visit the places they work. People visit the places they eat. People visit stores, theaters, and fields. People go to the park and watch the other people walk past. People take their dogs down by the lake and enjoy nature. People walk past tall buildings and visit their neighbors within the same apartment building.

Our lives are local. Even with the great Information and Connected Age the Internet has brought us there is still reason to believe in all that is local. People spend their money local. Even when we pay to have things shipped from around the country and around the world we still spend the majority of our dollars in the local economy.

People connect with real people. We spend the most time with the people we see each day on our way to work, on our way to the store, and during our commute to the restaurant on Friday night.

There even appears to be a push for local business in the future. Local businesses are using branded content and content marketing to bring in even more local business. Even with the connected nature of the world there are still people that would like to know more about the world that is happening right around them. People still want to discover new restaurants and new forms of entertainment. People want to know where they can go and enjoy a cup of coffee with strangers. People want to know where they can connect with others in their local communities.

There is an opportunity for local websites to capture the attention of the people in their communities. With a strong local content strategy there is opportunity to become the information resource for your entire city, county or even state.

Here are a few examples of local websites and what they are doing right to win the attention of the local world.

Local City Content Strategy

A successful local content strategy seems to have a few common themes. Here are some you’ll see in the examples below:

  • Personal Stories
  • Opinion and Interpretation
  • Great Photography

It’s good to learn from the things others do well. It’s even better to look at these examples and improve upon them.

Chippewa Valley Post

By the time the Chippewa Vally Post was created there was already a strong establishment of local newspapers in the area. The website and the publication aimed to take on a few new twists to what was happening in the local community. The publication is truly dedicated to bringing the community closer by sharing unique success stories of individuals in the area. People like reading about others in their community. The personal stories of others allow people to share similar experiences. It creates a connection. There are also suggestions for events, entertainment, and gatherings. It’s a great resource for local in the Chippewa Valley.

Visit: Chippewa Valley Post

Also see: Volume One

Orlando Sentinel Blogs

The Orlando Sentinel is a news publication first. Yet there is a breath of community and connection on their blogging pages. Here, writers share personal opinions and interpret the news for readers. People will always think for themselves when it comes to interpreting the changes happening in the world, but with shared opinion there is reason to connect with others that share similar world views right in your own community.

Visit: Orlando Sentinel Blogs

Also see: The Orlando Blog

Austin 360

The first impression is always the greatest. When you look at Austin 360 the first thing you’ll notice is the great photography. Great images show people what is happening in your community. You can tell stories with a thousand words, but you can often do more with photography from around your local community. Find local photographers and ask them to contribute to your local website. It will make a difference for readers as they search for local resources.

Visit: Austin 360

Also see: Downtown Austin Blog

Summary

There is an opportunity for anyone to create a great local resource website. People are searching for information on their local communities. People want to experience the local life. People want to see things, hear things, eat things, and share these experiences with others.

The great news is that anyone can create a great local resource. It’s not up to any government or establishment. Although some of these places can create great local resources as well.

The point is not to wait. You can start your local content strategy right now.

Here are a few things to get your started:

  • Personal Stories
  • Opinion and Interpretation
  • Great Photography

These are just a few ideas.

What else would you add?

Austin Skyline image courtesy of StuSeeger