Content marketing really isn’t new.
The basic idea is to use some form of content – text, video or audio – to earn the attention of a target customer. Companies have been doing this in various forms for many years.
An early example might be the pharmacist that would go from town to town selling various concoctions and potions. They would setup a presentation in the town square. A type of live performance that was entertaining.
Then came radio where companies would sponsor radio shows. Then when TV came around those shows turned into video shows that were entertainment. And companies sponsored those.
Pretty much any form of entertainment or education can be content marketing.
Let’s say you’re looking to invest in content marketing for your local business, but you’re not sure where to begin.
Here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning…
1. Weekly Roundup Videos
Video marketing is the choice for many local business owners and managers. Some don’t enjoy writing. And video has become relatively easy and cheap to record thanks to smartphones. Obviously there is more to it than that. Editing is a real skill that requires repetition.
And then there is the issue of what to record and publish.
A good way to take care of it all is to simply do a roundup of what occurred at your business in the previous week (or whatever timeframe you choose). You can do this in a few ways. You could record all week and cut it down into a snippet. Maybe a 10 or 20 minute clip. You could also sit down for interviews each week and recap what went on.
You’d be surprised how interesting this would be for people in your area. What is normal for you isn’t for others. And people are usually interested in how things work and why we do things.
2. Weekly Podcast Q&A
Podcasting continues to become more popular. People like audio because it allows them to multitask. It’s like music. You can listen to it in the background. You might not take in 100% of the info, but you’re still taking in some. It’s a time saver.
Anyway, a good format for podcasting is the simple question and answer.
To start, gather questions that customers commonly ask you. Answer one per episode depending on the length of the answer. If the answers are short then you can certainly do more than one per episode.
Then start asking followers and customers on social media for questions for upcoming episodes.
3. Weekly Podcast Interview
You can also do the traditional podcast interview. You can interview employees, partners, customers, vendors and more. Just about anyone involved in the happenings with your business. There really isn’t a trick to an interview other than to try and be as comfortable as possible. Try to ask questions that lead to stories and good insight and entertainment for the listener.
4. Podcast Guesting
With content marketing you don’t necessarily need to produce your own content. You can be a guest. There is a podcast for just about anything and you can be a guest on those podcasts and get exposure for yourself or your business.
Start searching for local podcasts. You should be able to find a few. If you struggle start asking business associates and friends in the area if they know any. Then approach the podcast hosts and ask if they are looking for guests. It can help to listen to a few episodes before reaching out.
When pitching yourself, focus on what you can bring to the listeners. Your story. Your knowledge. That type of focus.
5. Local Radio/TV Guesting
And it’s not just about modern media like podcasting or videos on YouTube. You can focus on the traditional media like radio and TV. There are a handful of business owners in my area that are regulars on the morning news and on segments on radio.
These shows are on daily or weekly in most cases. They’re always looking for content and if you can pitch something good they will likely have you on. Say you’re a dentist. Pitch the local TV channel that you could do segments on proper brushing, brushing tips for parents and their kids, common myths and fears and going to the dentist, and more.
6. 3x Weekly Blogging
Blogging remains a great way to boost your website rankings. Each post has the opportunity to bring you traffic and as a result it helps build your brand, which helps your homepage rank for important sales terms.
3x per week is a great goal for a blog. Focus on identifying the questions your target audience is asking. Then provide the answers with each post. Some posts may be long. Others may be short. It depends on the answer. Some will be technical and others simple.
Just remember that it’s about helping your customer.
7. 10x Daily Social Media Posting
Most businesses post way too little on social media. As a result, they become frustrated with the lack of engagement.
Aim for 10 posts per day on your preferred channel. Post your own content. Post content from other sources. Aim for it all to be either entertaining or educational for your followers. Both if you can. Maybe a funny video that a customer took with their phone. Or a quick Q&A video with someone in your office.
Post it natively on the platform. This will make it more likely for your followers to see it in their feeds.
8. Local Online Publication Guesting
You can be a guest on TV and radio, but don’t overlook the local magazines, newspapers and online publications as well. These can still have many followers and readers. And since many are struggling they’re often looking for content from any source willing to provide good content.
If you’re a mechanic, for example, write an article that helps people with basic car tips. Pitch it to the local newspaper and they will likely help you edit the article and get it published.
9. Local Social Media Commenting
Identify other businesses in your area. Follow them on social media. When they post something interesting, leave a comment. Aim to provide the best comment of any of their followers. Keep it positive. Try to make the business look good so that they appreciate your comment.
For example, say you’re the local bank. You see a restaurant that posts a new menu item on Instagram. Leave a comment talking about the last time you visited the restaurant and had the new item. Let people know that you definitely recommend that they visit and try the dish.
People love getting and reading comments like this and you will stand out to all the followers.
My recommendation would be to pick one of these. Then create as many ideas as you can. Aim for 100 ideas. Choose the best 50 and table the rest. Then set a schedule and start creating. There are certainly tips for creating better and better content, but there is no secret. It takes consistent effort and quantity. The more you create the better you’ll be.
So pick one and get going.