Content Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses

Why are small, local businesses considered the backbone of an economy?

That’s because they provide jobs, goods, services, and even pride to the grassroots communities they operate in. Be it a mom-and-pop grocery store or the neighborhood diner around the corner, these local businesses bring life, meaning, and memories to residents.

However, the traditional neighborhood of old is now a thriving digital community. With every resident connected online, local consumers can search and buy products and services of companies from virtually anywhere.

This means the “captured” market of local stores is now competing directly with sellers outside a locality and beyond.

So how can local stores compete with large, multinational companies?

That’s where content marketing comes into play. Local businesses can connect with local customers by using content that can stir local pride, without resorting to expensive advertisements.

This article will discuss how homegrown, Main Street businesses can leverage content marketing and win local consumers in this digital age.

Build Your Content Marketing Base

Before, you could rely on simple local store marketing—like hanging posters, handing out coupons, or printed offers—to bring in the dollars. But those physical storefront marketing methods won’t cut it anymore.

The 2023 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 98% of consumers read local businesses’ online reviews. This clearly shows that people nowadays spend more time online, especially to find products and services they need, that’s where you should reach out and engage with your customers.

In this new business environment, you must first set up a solid foundation. Your content marketing strategy for your Main Street business must be founded on this rock-hard ground.

a. Know Your Audience

Your first step is to learn who your ideal customer is. To do this, you must know who the people in your town are, what their purchasing behaviors are, what websites they visit, and so on, and make a logical summary of their traits, buying behavior, preferences, and so forth.

Armed with this knowledge, you can craft content that matches the needs and wants of your target audience. You can also personalize certain content that resonates with niche markets within your neighborhood, such as housewives, students, older people, and even based on gender and age groups.

b. Defining Your Brand Voice & Story

Now, let’s craft your unique, strong brand voice!

This is how your business “talks” to its customers online.

Is your store friendly and approachable? Do you value tradition or cutting-edge products?

Think about the personality you want to project and ensure it aligns with your community’s values.

Next, develop a compelling story. What makes your Main Street unique? Highlight the history of your businesses, the passionate owners, or the unique products you offer. This narrative creates an emotional connection with your audience, making them feel invested in your success.

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c. Content Pillars

These are the main themes that will set the direction of your content marketing.

For example, you could develop content pillars around “Hidden Gems around the Corner,” showcasing the business profiles of Main Street shops in your area.

Another pillar could be “Local Business Tales,” featuring interesting stories about the history and experiences of both the stores and customers of Main Street businesses.

Other excellent content pillars may include “Local History,” “Did You Know,” and “Community Events.”

Main Street Business Content Marketing Strategies

Main Street businesses have the natural advantage of leveraging home-grown stories and the experience of people and neighborhoods in crafting marketing content. You can use the following marketing channels to inspire you in creating engaging and effective content:

1. Email Marketing

Create and send informative newsletters regularly to keep your audience in the loop regarding new products, special promotions, and forthcoming sales.

Add exclusive content like early access or special discounts to new or existing products to your email subscribers. These rewards and privileges are powerful in fostering customer loyalty.

2. Social Media

Craft eye-catching content in your social media channels. Be sure you actively engage with your audience by responding to their comments and appreciating their likes and shares.

Post stunning videos and images of your product and service offerings. Create exclusive behind-the-scenes into your store or shop and introduce your audience to the people running your business.

Organize live Q&A sessions and community contests where you can offer special giveaways and privileged information about your store.

3. Blog Posts

Write engaging articles on the local business in your neighborhood’s Main Street. Craft inspirational stories behind the history, growth, and impact of these local entrepreneurs.

Create informative local guides to help locals and non-residents discover the community’s hidden gems, including the best shops, restos, and the like.

Take advantage of the exciting DIY market niche by offering useful topics in workshops and guides relevant to your business. This can establish yourself as a local expert and attract new customers.

Local blogs can be effective for raising brand awareness and trust. A DemandMetric report indicates that 70% of shoppers read blog content to know about a business before they go to a store.

4. Video Content

Produce virtual store tours to offer target customers an immersive experience of your product or service offerings, even before they’ve set foot in your store.

Create customer testimonials that function as powerful social proof, letting others know the high-quality products or services you provide. These positive user experiences also foster trust in your brand.

Spearhead annual local community celebrations and special events by actively promoting them through engaging content on your website and social media handles.

It can be daunting to manage all content marketing materials across different platforms. It’s a good thing there’s content management system software. A CMS lets you craft, schedule, and publish content easily across platforms, from a single source.

5. Collaboration & Promotion

One thing that local businesses must do to promote their products and services effectively is work together. Taking advantage of the power of collaboration can make your marketing efforts more effective and reach a broader audience.

One way to collaborate with fellow local stores is through cross-promotion. You can share each other’s social media posts to expand your and your partner stores’ reach. This allows participating stores to connect with potential customers that would otherwise be impossible.

You can also organize joint campaigns or special events with other local stores. Together, you can plan weekend market fairs or local artist concerts. These promotional efforts showcase the power of local businesses on your Main Street to bring life to laid-back neighborhoods.

6. Getting Your Content Seen

Now you have valuable content to share over the internet. It’s time to make sure it reaches your target audience. The first option for Main Street stores should be social media. It is a free, highly effective, and widely used platform.

Be active on social sites like Instagram and Facebook by regularly sharing valuable content and engaging with your audience. You can also join relevant local community forums and groups to initiate brand-related conversations with existing and potential clients.

Another option is to partner with local micro-influencers or bloggers. These internet personalities have established followers mostly via social media and you can collaborate with them through product endorsement, reviews, and testimonials.

This collaboration also opens up a treasure of potential customers that would normally be inaccessible without influencer support.

There is also the option of paid advertising on local sites or social media channels. Paid local marketing provides a more guaranteed return on investment (ROI), but this comes with a cost. If you have the budget to finance this option, go for it. Just make sure that the marketing agency can provide periodic data on your ads’ performance and achieve positive ROI.

Measuring Your Success & Making Adjustments

Developing content marketing that works takes considerable effort and time before you can benefit from it. Fortunately, you can measure your content marketing success using key performance indicators (KPIs). Monitoring these metrics will help guarantee that your marketing efforts are on the right track.

For one, you can track your website traffic to know how many people visit your site to read your content. Did you see a considerable surge in website visits when you posted a new video or blog?

Are your social media content receiving likes when you post them? Do your followers make comments and share your posts? Tracking these indicators can help you determine if your audience is actively interacting with your posts.

You can finally check the conversion rates from these online interactions. Monitor the number of visitors who take positive actions. Did they make a purchase? How many contacted your business? Did any visitor sign up for your email list?

You can use social media platforms to derive practical insights from these.

a. Refine Your Strategy

KPIs are also a great source of information on how you can make your content better and more engaging. There’s no need for rocket science to improve your content. You only need to establish what content works with your audience and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve gathered those that work—customer testimonials, social media videos, blog posts, etc.—study why they drive high traffic to your website and create similar content. Capitalizing on their efficiency will likely increase your website visitors and even boost customer engagement.

Now, analyze why your poor-performing content isn’t working. For instance, if your videos received few views because they’re made for foreigners, why not create videos that will attract local viewers?

Track your video content’s performance and make changes as necessary until they finally work well with your audience.

Grow Your Local Business with Content Marketing

Main Street stores have a reliable business ally in content marketing—an effective tool to reach out and engage local customers online. To succeed as a local business, you must know who your audience is, create captivating content, and make the most out of your collaboration and marketing. You can hire ghostwriters for creating amazing and captivating content.

This way, you can craft meaningful connections with local customers, which will help grow your business and promote community engagement.

Local businesses can reclaim their dominant control over their neighborhood—take over Main Street customers again—by effectively using content to their advantage.

With the right content marketing, tell them where you are, what you are, and why they should buy from you in a language that only locals clearly understand. And always reiterate that you’re just around the corner, nearby, early waiting for them.

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