The first forays into content marketing have been compared to building a solitary tower in a green field – they stood out and got noticed. But now that everyone and their mother has jumped on the content marketing bandwagon (justifiably so, considering its power to engage and motivate), the market has become saturated, and the outstanding towers are no longer so outstanding.
Creating a niche focus for your content marketing has never been more critical. But how?
- Have “real” conversations. We live in an age when a click of the mouse can virtually send us to the other side of the world, but there is no substitute in local content marketing for regular face-to-face or (if personal visits aren’t feasible) frequent telephone conversations. We’re talking “live” exchanges here, not texts, emails or chat spaces, where words can be left off and picked up at will and there is no direct communion (notice the word “communion,” not simply communication) with staff, residents and the surrounding community.
- Employ human resources. Whether you leverage the talents of a marketing team, hire a local reporter, assign a willing resident as “scoop,” or use a guest blogging strategy, real-live people are essential. Culling generic, third-party information from the web is impersonal and irrelevant to a local perspective. And your audience will know it.
- Tailor your brand to your local audience. Senior living communities have an advantage here, as so many of their brands are anchored in their geographic locations. Leverage that to the fullest extent by including your city or neighborhood’s name in your URL; showcasing your surrounding community in your images, blogs, newsletters; dedicating a tab in your main menu to the local area.
- Tailor an actionable blog to local readers. Identify the interests, needs and concerns of your local audience and create content that is packed with actionable information. One Chicagoland senior community with roots in Scandinavia has gained a sizable, faithful audience through a blog focused on topics of interest not only to residents and their families, but to those in the local area who share that heritage. Niche-y, narrow, very successful.
- Incorporate local trends and hashtags into your social media. Stay on top of trends in your area (Twitter is the best medium for trending topics), and create content and hashtags specific to them. Join multiple platforms (you can recycle the same content on a variety of social media, provided it’s keenly targeted to those in your near vicinity). Be a regular, positive, helpful part of the conversations that ensue. This builds online relationships with great potential to develop into real connections.
- Be the go-to source for offline activities, events and insights. Angie’s List has gained huge momentum (and revenues) by providing impressions from real, impartial people on a variety of nearby goods and services. What if your community could be a similarly unbiased resource for your immediate area? What new restaurant is worth the trip? Which activities in your area appeal to grandchildren? When is the best time to buy and plant local perennials? The possibilities in this realm are endless – and viral, considering the power of social media and search engine optimization (a topic we’ll explore in greater detail in the future).
Back to those towers in the field. Because there are so many, it’s hard to distinguish any one of them. Unless it’s right outside your door. The right marketing team can help you create and manage local content that sets you apart and truly stands out.
Ivy Marketing Group. Come Grow With Us.