Advertising Marketing Strategy

Building a “Local” Brand Identity Through Content Marketing

Townhomes on cobblestone street

By idfive \ April 29, 2016

Yesterday my coworker came into the office and told me that his Butcher had a blog.

That same day, I listened to a DigiDay podcast in which the founder of BuzzFeed said that for his new project “Cheddar”, he doesn’t think he can compete for daily views with powerhouse, branded-content creators like Vox, Red Bull, and the Wall Street Journal.

And that’s when I thought: if one of the world’s most successful content creators believes that it’s too hard to compete for clicks and views with media companies, entertainment websites, and general business mass marketers, then what does that mean for the butcher?

After some thought I realized that the answer was simple. In order to compete with major content producers and advertisers, small to mid-size businesses need to be what the big-boys aren’t: local.

In order for the family-owned gym’s content to compete with Nike’s YouTube show or for an organic market’s content to compete with the plethora of cooking videos on Facebook, these brands need to remind their consumers that their business is special and unique to them–that it’s part of their community–with content that’s useful and relevant to a local audience.

Consumers might buy meat from the local butcher because it’s closer or has a better product than Giant, but they might also be swayed by the brand’s personality, which shines through with references to local sports team, posts about neighborhood events, or blogs about the history of the neighborhood. If you’re looking to capitalize on your “local” brand image, then give these 8 content marketing tactics a try.

Content Marketing for Local Businesses:

  1. Give content a local feel: Go out of your way to reference street names and local businesses to put your readers in a neighborly mood.
    1. Example: “It was another humid day in Baltimore, and the evil life coach inside of me decide to jog down to the inner harbor.”
  2. Mention local businesses and events in social media posts: There are three advantages to mentioning local businesses and events on your social channels: 1) it reminds local consumers that you’re just like them, 2) it creates opportunities for these businesses and events to repost or retweet your content, 3) it means you’re actually posting information that a broad audience would care about.
    1. Imagine this: “I found out from my Butcher’s facebook page that there’s a bacon festival up in Timonium!” – says your loyal Facebook follower.
  3. Snapchat stories: Snapchat stories immediately personalize your brand. Using video and pictures you can capture a festival you were at, what traffic is like outside, or what your employees are working on today. They’re very easy to make, and can be even more entertaining and personal when they don’t look “produced”.
  4. Twitter & Facebook Video: Live video from Twitter and Facebook is an excellent way to capture stuff going on in the neighborhood. Much like Snapchat, these live videos are a quick and easy way to show what’s going on around you and remind customers where you are.
  5. Instagram: Take photos and videos of the neighborhood around your businesses, as well as hotspots within the larger area. Remember to focus on the type of photos or videos a local would like seeing, even if it doesn’t have to do with your product or service.
  6. Involve your local audience in your content. Ask your local audience questions, invite them to be in your how-to videos, or mention them in posts. They’ll almost always help you spread your content organically if they are included in the process. 
  7. Create content with other businesses: Give co-content creation a try by teaming up with other local, non competing businesses to achieve the same benefits in tactic #2. 
  8. Facebook paid ads: Facebook’s algorithm heavily favors posts from people over businesses, making paid ads a major improvement to any content marketing campaign. Fortunately, these ads can directly target a local audience based on demographics and interest, and they’re not as expensive as you may think

Capitalizing on your brand’s local identity is a terrific marketing tactic. Want to see how the strategy can be carried out throughout multiple online and offline promotional pieces? See our case study of Eddie’s of Roland Park, a family-owned supermarket that’s iconic in Baltimore.