Could your enterprise-size brand, with a strong presence in the online world, ever “rival” the familiar, always-ready-to-help, “born and raised there” salesperson that everyone in the community knows and esteems? Could your national chain of restaurants ever compete with a small, family resto in your attempt to “lure” tourists into your local restaurant, promising them “authentic local flavors”?
Our answer is: yes, you can! But not if you continue to “broadcast” the same “one size fits all” type of message. Not if you continue to tell your brand's story
in a monotonous, corporate-like tone!
Your national brand can still build its own loyal narrow audience, within that local market, if you decide to mingle with key “locals”, who can lend you a hand for producing hyperlocal, authentic content. Content that your local targeted audience will “digest” far better.
Your whole “local” content marketing strategy should, therefore, rely on collaborations with these particular “creative locals”!
They're the ones who'll help you find an answer to your dilemma:
“Should I “exploit” my team to collect content with a “local flavor”, from each and every market that I'm striving to send my brand's story to, a “mission impossible”, from the very start, due to the huge resources involved and amount time required? Or should I appeal to my local partners, even if I know that they might lack writing talent and storytelling skills?”
Local creatives and local influencers are, in fact, the answer to your dilemma! They're the ones that will boost your local content marketing efforts!
Hyperlocal, authentic content “that works” will help you boost your SEO and your improve your social media engagement, too! 2 major benefits that no national brand could afford to underestimate, right?
More about how your company could benefit from strategic collaborations with these “key” locals and how to “identify” them, in each one the local markets that you're targeting:
1. Sponsor Local Journalists
Local journalists, especially those that are truly gifted with the talent of storytelling, will always be a “gold” resource for your local content strategy!
That “neighborhood flavor” that journalists working for small local news sites can provide, will always weight a lot, a lot more than the generic content delivered by larger, nationwide daily news.
It's a win-win-situation if you come to think of it: nonprofit local news sites get a new source of revenue and your company gets its brand story told in a local “dialect”.
Your gifted local collaborator will invest some of his/her talent and local knowledge into a piece of content promoting your brand (for your brand's commercials, content to be published on your company website or other branded media) or in a sponsored post.
Either way, he'll be the intermediary you need for “winning over” that specific local market and he'll be the “advocate“ of your brand. He/she will portray it as one striving to discover and then to incorporate the targeted local audience's own “brand story” in its message.
But How Do You “Recruit” These Talented Local Journalists?
First of all, you should internalize this: creative local writers and publishers need revenue diversification!
See it as an opportunity: it's in these local creatives own interest (or at least in the interest of the local news sites they work for), too, not just your company's, to lend you a helping hand to tell your brand's story.
Also, be prepared for “rejection”, too: not all of them will want to “help” you, not even if we're talking about commissioned writing.
Not all these gifted local journalists will want to help an “enterprise brand” “invade” their local market and “outshine” the small local businesses.
But some of them will want to “help” you: so seize those opportunities, in particular, for getting your otherwise standardized brand's message “infused” with valuable topic knowledge!
2. “Lure” Local Influencers: Your Brand Story's Advocates
Whether they're local vloggers, bloggers, Youtube or Instagram “personalities”, you “want” to approach these “local VIPs”.
They'll be your brand's advocates, the ones with the biggest impact on that narrow, targeted audience that you wish to “seduce”.
: they already have the content writing know-how and the needed local knowledge, too. So, it's already a an “ideal combo of qualities” that you can't afford to overlook!But how do you “lure” them? How do you convince local influencers to turn into your brand's dedicated promoters?
In way too many cases it's not even physical stuff that you can “tempt” local influencers with.
You could “reward” them, in advance, for the time and effort they'll invest, with an invitation (or more) to some of your company's spectacular, glamorous events, attracting lots of personalities in your field.
Tip 1: for many of these bloggers, getting the link to their blogs on a national brand's website and social media accounts already is a significant boost for their own SEO efforts and social media strategy.
: “think outside the box!”. When most of your competitors are reaching out to bloggers with the highest no. of followers, you should focus rather on those key bloggers whose “narrative voices” “fit” your brand. Who could add value to your brand's story and not merely “convey your message” it to their local followers!
How Do You “Track Down” These Local Influencers?
It's quite unexpected that even now enterprise-level brands haven't yet exploited the “local marketing resource” of partnering with local influencers to its full potential!
How about turning this context into a business opportunity for you?
In addition to his experience as a writer and his valuable knowledge as a local (that local journalists provide, too), an influencer would also help you “get your brand's story told to a wide audience” from that local market that you're targeting.
“How do I find local influencers?”, you say?
Here are some tactics you could employ:
- think what terms/phrases are more likely to be found on a local influencer's blog: "here in Toronto" intitle:"blog"
- consider, also, that some bloggers might not include the word “blog” itself, too, on their blogs and try out different combos such as: "here in Toronto" intitle: "restaurant"
3. Collect Local Data: “Get Under Their Skin!”
It won't be easy, we won't hide it from you! It will take your team of developers in Toronto a while for “doing their hocus pocus” and make city pages generate local data.
But it's worth the effort!
Dig up as much “local” information about the cities/communities that your company's tying to reach out to: Which are the most popular cafes there? What pizza places do most of them prefer to order from? What rent a car companies are most popular in those communities?
“Equipped” with such priceless local data, your team could then use it for crafting blog posts or landing pages with a local touch.
These will be the right means for you to resonate with that targeted local audience: you'll show them that you're full aware that they're unique and that your brand “cherishes” their uniqueness!
You'll thus win their trust and consolidate your local presence.
Face it: you need hyperlocal content if you want to boost your raking in SERPs and local publications.
Face it: your team, no matter how large or efficient it might be, won't ever manage to “grasp” that “neighborhood know-how”.
You need to team up with local people, to “recruit” new partners from all those local creatives and influencers, if you really want to add an authentic “local flavor” to your brand's message and to efficiently resonate with your narrow local audiences!
Now your turn: what tactics does your company rely on for producing quality local content that works? How do you collect your “local data” and efficiently “spread the news” about your brand in the targeted local communities?