Content marketing is useful and important for any company, regardless of size or reach. So whether you're a global company or working with your neighbors, content marketing can help you bring in new business.
The core of content marketing is producing quality content that brings customers to you. If you create blog posts, videos, ebooks and infographics that people can take value from, it gives your brand a leg up on the competition.
A business in Central Illinois can benefit from the same basic content marketing tips as a major company in Chicago, with some minor tweaks. It's time to re-open your content marketing playbook. Here are six ways to build a foundation for a successful content marketing plan:
Know your Audience
Just because you're based in Central Illinois doesn't mean you're targeting clients in this area. Before you can effectively reach out to certain areas, you have to be clear on where those areas are. This goes beyond geographic location, too. Knowing your audience is one aspect of traditional advertising that translates into content marketing.
If you are targeting clients in Central Illinois, get specific. Which areas do you get the most business from? Which fields do they work in? What age groups are they in?
In addition to the business you get, what clients do you want? You should define that as well, so you can cater your content to your "dream" clients as well.
Geo-target your Keywords
Once you know where your business comes from and where you want it to come from, use that in your content. If you're writing blog posts and want to target the entire Central Illinois region, make sure you use specific locations in your writing.
Let's say you sell cars. If someone in Morton is googling "Morton cars for sale," you want to have the keyword "Morton" included on your site, even if you're based out of Peoria or Bloomington. Try to include those specific areas in your content for better search results.
Know your Competition
Central Illinois has a rich culture of small and local businesses. Chances are, whatever business you're in, you're not the only one in the game. Who is your main competitor, and what are they doing that you're not? This is especially helpful if they have their own content marketing plan that you can gain ideas from.
Pay Attention to Client Interaction
Do not overlook the importance of personal interaction, because it's a treasure trove of wealth and content material. For example, if you tend to get the same questions over and over again from existing clients, use those as blog posts. That will help current clients and attract new ones who are searching the same question. Look closely at what people are responding to, and use that to drive future content.
Team Up with Others
As a local business, you have the chance to get to know and work with several other small businesses. Are there any businesses in your field you refer your clients to? Look at the car selling example. If you sell cars, you might get questions about your favorite auto body shops or how to take care of your car. Invite other businesses to "guest star" on your blog answering some common questions. Not only do you get more content to share, but you will begin to share your client base and help build up other companies.
Showcase your Team
Content marketing lends itself well to the human side of your business. Use your blog or social media to highlight members of your team and show off the talents of your employees. Don't forget to look for ways to get involved in your community. You live and work in Central Illinois, so being a part of charitable or community events helps you make new connections while bettering your hometown.