February 23, 2015

Local Business Experts Reveal Content Creation Insights

A bright light bulb going off and surrounded by webinar descriptors.

By Megan G. 

In the modern market, local business owners have to wear a bunch of hats in order to succeed among their competitors.  Not only must they excel at their chosen profession, but they have to be an SEO expert, competent online marketer, creative content writer, etc.  Content, specifically, has become a major buzzword in the fields of digital marketing and search engine optimization since the calendar flipped to 2015.

Linda Buquet, a Google Local specialist and head of the website Local Search Forum, held a webinar titled “Powerful Content Creation Ideas for Local Businesses” on February 12th.  This webinar was led by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal, who asked a series of questions to a panel of four experts in fields such as SEO, web design, and online marketing. 

A Roundup of Web Content Specialists

The panelists were: 
  1. Don Campbell, who offers website creation tools and training to his clients.
  2. Greg Gifford, a web designer that creates web content for auto dealerships.
  3. Susan Hallam, a well-respected Internet marketing speaker and writer.
  4. David Oremland, a local search optimizer and “frequent commenter” in SEO circles.

While the webinar did not detail a step-by-step strategy for content creation, these experts provided business owners with advice based on their own experiences in their respective jobs.  For this Tek Shouts! post, I’ll highlight two of the most valuable points of the talk:

What constitutes powerful content?

What are some tools that business owners can easily access and use?

How Can I Create Great Content?

What separates a shareable gem from so-so drivel?  The first thing you must decide is what your content will accomplish.  What are the “true objectives” of your online content?  The panelists tackled this question and, while their individual answers varied, each expert agreed on one main concept:  value. 

Web content must provide some kind of value to your readers, whether it adds to a customer’s personal fulfillment or provides useful information.  This can include rewards or discounts, insight into your customers’ daily problems, happenings in your particular industry, news about your company, or anything else that can improve your customers’ lives beyond the product or service you sell.  This free offering, whether a part of your website or blog, establishes trust and encourages engagement between you and your customers.

Quality Content Tools and Resources

For the final sections of the talk, the panelists offered some of their favorite tools for content research and creation.  The “Hidden Gems” questions revealed some of the experts’ secrets to content creation success:

Google Alerts; where you can receive notifications about new content relevant to your interests.  You’ll never run dry of inspiration for your content with these updates.

Perch; a smartphone app that gives users a “birds-eye view” of their competition.  You can monitor your competition’s content and learn how to better serve the customers of your industry.

Page 2 RSS; this site can essentially turn any webpage into an RSS feed, giving you access to updates on competitors’ websites, news sites, or blogs related to your business.  It can also post updates directly to your Twitter account.   

As we can see, our expert panelists believe keeping an eye on your rivals is just as important as providing interesting and helpful information to your customers. 

A “Buquet” of Tips and Tricks

Remember these key takeaways for the creation of “great” and “powerful” content:  trust, quality, usefulness, intent, and conversions.  Trustworthy and useful content is high quality content.  Your intent should help and educate your customers.  This actively engaging behavior will lead to conversions, which are essentially the holy grail of marketing.  Think of your marketing team as the Knights of the Round Table and your content as Excalibur.  Using both of these tools for the good of your kingdom—your customers—can only lead to the prosperity of your land—your company.  You can hear the full talk, without the allusions to King Arthur, here

Linda Buquet has a collection of past InsideLocal Webinars on her site, and plans to post another this upcoming Wednesday, February 25th!  Feel free to check it out, because the team here are Tek Shouts! certainly will.       

If you’re finding your plethora of business owner hats too much to handle, remember eGumball, Inc. is available for assistance with your local search marketing campaign.  We can help with content creation, Google Maps optimization, and much more!

What did you think of the InsideLocal Webinar?  What are some tools or strategies you value when it comes to content creation?  Let the Tek Team know in the comments!  

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