If you work for an Inbound Marketing agency or do freelance work in digital marketing, you probably don't only work with clients in a single zip code, right?
When you maintain a client base that includes businesses located throughout the country like we do, it's essential to put the work in to be an expert in everything. That doesn't mean just knowing where to use industry words and terminology, but also how to sound like you're right on site with the client, crafting this exceptional content out of their office.
Otherwise, everything you write will seem stilted and unnatural, and it can undermine your client's position of authority in the minds of their potential leads.
We have three tips on how to ace local marketing, even when you're so far away... (cue the Carole King — it's that kind of day.)
1. Don't Just Trust Google to Get You the Answers
Look, we get it. You're busy. You want to be able to just type a keyword phrase like "where to get coffee in Greenville, SC" into Google and trust that the search results will get you what you need.
Thankfully, you'll be able to trust those results more often than not! Google's algorithm is pretty good at seeking out newer, more authoritative content, and it's being refined and improved all the time.
Google has one weakness, though.
They aren't exactly local, either... unless you live in a single location near Google headquarters. They rely on users letting them know about store closings or changes in hours or locations.
If you rely totally on Google, you may discover your awesome, engaging blog post about must-see spots in Asheville lists a cafe that's been closed since a fire in December, and nobody nearby thought to change the Google listing.
Take your time to look through different pages and check the date on whatever you use for your research. Make sure your sources are fairly recent.
You can change your Google answer settings to be within the past month or even more current. I generally find that's a better way to get accurate results that reflect what's currently going on in the area.
2. Consider Regional Differences
I'll just say it now.
It's pop, for Pete's sake! It's not soda, or soda pop, or Coke. It's just pop.
I was raised in the Midwest, and me insisting that it's called "pop" pretty much gives that away, doesn't it? Well, that and my incessant need to talk about the Cubs winning the World Series.
You really need to consider regional differences in slang and tone when it comes to writing content for clients located in different areas of the country, especially for local print advertising like fliers or brochures.
For clients whose customer base is primarily professionals within a single industry, knowing the terms used within their industry (especially if they are heavily regulated) will be more essential than local terminology, but if you're crafting content on behalf of an apartment complex, it's important that your content sounds like you wrote it right in the leasing office... even if you're 800 miles away.
Prospects may not consciously pick up on the difference, but if you want your client to be a thought leader and an authority within their community—and you definitely want that—then it's important to catch the details, as well as nailing down the big picture.
3. Ask the Client, or Someone Local You Know
If it comes down to it, there's no harm in asking.
There probably won't be much where you feel like you really need to ask, but if you're absolutely stumped about a specific local topic, write your client a quick e-mail or turn to a friend or family member if you know someone local to the area.
You can also search out forums and community groups based around the location you're writing for. Become a member and spend some time interacting with locals. You might find that they're happy to answer a question or two for you, and it's always worth building up a more complete base of potential resources for your work.
Waypost Marketing: Ready to Tell Your Story No Matter Where You Are
While it's easy to only do the bare minimum to skate by, that's not what Waypost Marketing is about. For us, best is standard—which means that we don't settle for halfway. Your success is our success.
At Waypost Marketing, we put in the research required to best represent our clients through the Inbound metholodology, bringing potential leads right to your (digital) doorstep. We'll work with you to build an authentic, personalized 'voice' and help you become an authority in your industry and a thought leader within your community.