With the growth of digital marketing and the ease of access to products and services from around the world via your own desk or living room, it’s easy to overlook the importance of reaching the local market. In some business sectors more than others, keeping a territorial link using local content marketing can be key.
In counties like ours, where Yorkshiremen (and women) are generally proud to be from Yorkshire, there is still a pull to keep business local. But wherever you are located it can often be advantageous to remind people of your roots and local ties, rather than focusing on a more generic, country-wide approach.
Ask the question, who exactly are my audience? Where are they? And then target your marketing accordingly. A company in York for example may put out insightful and interesting comment about the costs and availability of building materials across the UK. But it would be more likely to generate business by producing content that relates more closely to their direct target audience, content related to materials available locally and suited to the local area. This is more likely to be picked up in local online searches and so generate more direct enquiries.
For SMEs local content marketing is much easier as they have the local knowledge and access to local connections making it easier to engage with the local community. Supporting local charities and community projects creates goodwill and name recognition as well as establishing strong ties with key people in the area. But local marketing can also be applied to national and international companies.
For national brands, online communications can be targeted to local communities rather than using a broad, one-message fits all strategy. Where businesses serve multiple locations, a solid local presence can be created using locality specific content and engaging with the local community.
This goes for international brands too. For example, Red Bull, a global brand with head quarters in Austria has a history of sponsoring individual athletes but has adapted to getting involved in local, community events, tapping into local pride and creating some local heroes. In 1992 Red Bull ran the Red Bull Flugtag in Vienna, where they challenged locals to design, build and pilot their own flying machine. Since then over 100 Red Bull Flugtags have been held in locations as diverse as Dubai and Gothenburg. A global brand with a local presence.
Have a look at http://www.redbull.com/uk/en/event-series/1331709952660/red-bull-flugtag-2015-event-series to see more about these magnificent men (and women) and their flying machines.
Brands can also make social networks local by creating local hashtags, handles and Facebook pages for managers to use. This can be supported by providing a toolkit or guide for visual and verbal messaging along with some basic training sessions. Alternatively, if it proves difficult to keep a certain level of consistency and tone to the messaging, companies can create a central portal where managers submit posts and ideas. These are then checked and approved and issued on dynamic, geo-targeted web pages.
Don’t underestimate the power of the local market. As businesses grow and extend their markets, it’s easy to forget to make contact with the local audience. Harnessing local knowledge and understanding can help companies gain a competitive edge so it’s key to make sure local content marketing features in your communication plans.
Take time to connect with the local community, you’ll win hearts and minds and not be just another distant enterprise from somewhere or other.