Get ahead today. Go local with your marketing content.
You’ve probably heard the old adage “all politics is local.” But have you ever thought of applying that idea to your content strategy? In business as in politics, making something local means you’re identifying and addressing the issues that matter most to your audience – and becoming part of the solution.
When done right, acting local makes your audience members feel they’re being heard and understood. In return, they’re more willing to give you their attention and trust. In addition, the more relevant you can make your case to your audience, the more chance you have of breaking through the clutter. With today’s endless stream of messages, any advantage can help.
The good news is that acting local from a marketing perspective has never been more possible, thanks to today’s ability to micro-target audiences with on-line advertising and social media. There are also many more opportunities to act local – if you look closely enough, that is. For example, changes in local regulations or business climate may provide opportunities to differentiate your offerings. But you need to take the time to understand the issues and message your solutions accordingly.
How can you adopt a localized content strategy? Here are three ways to get a start.
1. Address local issues with tailored content
This past year saw an influx of major state-based climate legislation. New regulations, standards and incentives were codified in both red and blue states, ranging from Washington state’s new cap-and-trade law and fuel standards to North Carolina’s ambitious targets for emissions reduction. Can your offering help customers meet new regulations like these? Is your solution eligible for financial incentives?
There’s a good chance your customers are aware of new legislation but don’t have time to fully interpret the impact it might have on them. Providing content that addresses their questions or highlights new opportunities will make your solution more relevant to their needs today. A simple piece of content — be it a blog or a flyer or a short video — can explain a new piece of legislation (or even just a local trend), describe why it’s important and then present your solution. It’s an opportunity to give your audience extra value while emphasizing your expertise.
2. Create local case studies
It’s important to make sure the success stories you tell are ones that best support your organization’s story. It helps to apply a localization strategy when managing your case-study pipeline. First, determine which local markets are important to you and evaluate your existing customers there who have a story you can tell. Then, do a little more research and see if those customers have local significance or are highly recognizable in the community. Fill your pipeline with stories that not only sell your product but would also be interesting to your local audiences.
3. Localize existing content
In an effort to improve the customer experience, global firms of all types have been employing machine translation to create local-language versions of web and marketing content – but with varying degrees of success.
Really localizing existing content can be a relatively easy proposition. Think about updating generic imagery with new photos or other images that feature your target market or connects with the local mood. Rewrite headlines to address the local market while also looking more closely at the copy to see if there are ways to integrate local cultural references. Or, going back to our first strategy, bring in references to specific state-level regulations or trends in the community that impact your audience and are addressed by your offering. In our less-print / more-digital world, creating multiple, localized versions of the same piece of content is a feasible and affordable strategy for breaking through in a cluttered market.
One more tip…
On a final note as you begin your content localization strategy, don’t forget to leverage experts with knowledge of your markets. If you’re lucky enough to have a deployed sales force in your target markets, these local team members will be critical in helping you define the key issues in their areas and then review and vet the content to make sure it hits the right note with their customers. As we all know from visiting family or friends in another city, people are always more than willing to share the local knowledge – and sometimes it’s even useful!