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    Content Marketing for Local Business: 5 Resources for Ideas

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Effective content marketing for local business can be a great way to market your business online. It starts with a plan to consistently fuel their web presence with interesting, informative, and useful content – all with your local customer in mind. But, knowing where to start can be a challenge. So, we’ve put together this list of five resources you can use to create the kinds of content that appeals most to your local customers.

    1) Write Interesting and Informative Blog Posts
    One of the cornerstones of local content marketing is your blog – your content hub on the web. Need ideas for blog topics you can write about? We’ve got 35 headline templates you can use to write engaging, compelling blog posts for your local business.  
    Resource: 35 Blog Post Ideas for Your Local Business

    2) Share Compelling Videos to Engage Your Audience
    Another content type that can help your content marketing efforts is video. This way, you can show – not just tell – your knowledge, passion, and ideas. Here are 10 ideas you can use to create fun and engaging videos for your small business – along with video examples of each type from real business owners!
    Resource: 10 Online Video Ideas You Can Use to Promote Your Small Business

    3) Post Special Offers to Spread Brand Awareness and Build Your Fanbase
    Want to really get people excited about your content online? Share special offers, discounts, and promotions with your fans and followers! This can help you build online awareness about your business, because people love to share exclusive online offers with their friends. Check out this resource on what to keep in mind when running special offers online.
    Resource: Do's and Don'ts of Running a Special Offer Online

    4) Publish Special Twitter and Facebook Content for Followers
    Social sites like Twitter and Facebook are an important component for effective local content marketing. But don’t just share links to your videos, blog posts, and offers. Creating interesting and fun content specifically to reward your Twitter followers and Facebook fans is a great way to build community with local customers and keep them engaged with your brand – and coming back for more! Use these ideas to reward your fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter.  
    Resource: 7 Ways to Reward Your Facebook & Twitter Followers

    5) Ask Interesting Questions to Generate Engagement
    Another great content type is the almighty open-ended question. This works particularly well on social sites like Twitter and Facebook where people love to broadcast their thoughts. Check out this post to learn how to ask interesting questions that get people talking online.
    Resource: HOW TO: Ask Questions that Get People Talking Online

    Are you promoting your local business online through content marketing? What are your favorite content ideas? Share your thoughts in a comment!

    About the Author
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights about reaching consumers across the web. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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    The Evolution of Local Search: Infographic

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Understanding the local search landscape is important for any local business owner who wants to market their business online. How are consumers searching? How does mobile play a part? What’s the role of local listings? Are local businesses missing opportunities when it comes to local search discovery? In this new infographic, you’ll find some interesting details about the evolution of local search – and what it means for local business.

    Infographic courtesy MGD Advertising

    What do you think about the role of local search in online marketing? Have you taken advantage of local listings on Google? Share your thoughts in a comment, and learn more about local search and local listings in the resources below! 

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about local web presence optimization as the lead blogger for ReachCast. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

    What's New with Google Plus? Search, Hashtags, Enhanced Sharing and More

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Since the launch of Google Plus earlier this year, the site has rapidly grown to over 40 million users, according to company executives. And, the site has been quickly rolling out new features, offering even more opportunities to use the site for local marketing. Here’s a look at some of what’s new.

    Google Plus Now Open to the Public – After a few months of being invite only, Google Plus is now open to the general public. If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up for one today. The company has yet to launch a way for business entities to create profiles or pages, but encourages people to use their personal profile to market their business on the site. Here’s how to use a personal profile for your local business.

    Real-Time Native Search – Google Plus launched in field trial without a native search engine on the site. Now, users can search for terms directly within Google Plus, and their search will pull in real-time results. Users can then sort the search results to show posts to Google Plus, users, Sparks, or all results. This means you can now search Google Plus for mentions of your business name, community, or competitors in order to monitor your online reputation on the site.

    Share Google Maps – Now you can easily share content from Google Maps to Google Plus through a new integration. From Google Maps, click the “Share” button from the Google Plus bar at the top of your screen, and whatever you are viewing on Google Maps, like a Google Places Page or specific directions to a location will be added to your share box so you can post it directly to Google Plus..,. Now that users can easily share Google Place pages directly into Google Plus, it’s even more  important to claim and optimize your Google Places page so that it’s attractive to local consumers.

    Share Your Circles – Google Plus also rolled out the ability for users to share circles, enabling people to curate and share groups based on different topics. You can easily select a circle, click on “share,” add a comment, and then share it through the Google Plus status updates feature. This will only share who was in the circle at the moment in time you choose to share it, and any changes will remain private until you choose to share your circle again. This is a great opportunity to promote other Google Plus users you enjoy following and build relationships with other users.

    Hashtags – With the launch of real-time search, Google also improved its support for hashtags, which when clicked, take the user to a search results page for the term. The search results page includes other posts that contain the hashtag, along with general search results for that topic. This new feature not only allows you to follow different topics on Google Plus, but you can also include hashtags that you may already be promoting on a site like Twitter on your Google Plus posts to create campaign consistency.

    Google Hangouts Collaboration Enhancements – To offer more collaboration through Google Hangouts, Google Plus has created added enhancements to the feature. You can now share your screen, collaborate on Google Docs, and draw with others in SketchUp via Google Plus Hangouts. This provides a great way to collaborate on projects with other users – whether they’re across the office or across the globe.

    As Google Plus continues to grow and develop, it offers more and more opportunities for local online marketing. Which features do you enjoy the most? What do you wish the site would develop? Share your thoughts on the evolution of Google Plus in a comment. And, if you enjoyed this post, please give it a +1, Like or Retweet! 

    About the Author
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights about reaching consumers across the web. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

    More About Google Plus

    Top Facebook Tips for Local Business

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Using Facebook to market your local business online is a great way to build your brand and share the life of your brand. But, it’s a lot to stay on top of! Not only is Facebook constantly changing and updating their site, but there are also a variety of tactics and tools you can use to engage with people on Facebook. So, we sat down with some of our ReachCast Web Presence Professionals, who are managing social media for local businesses every day, to share their top tips for Facebook. Here’s what they shared!

    1) Share About More than Just Your Business – “Not every post needs to be created by you or related to your business. Remember that Facebook is a social site where people go to be informed and entertained. If you're looking for an easy way to boost engagement, simply share a funny YouTube video or a profound article. Showing your fans that you care about what's going on is good for your page AND for your business. Remember to ask yourself: ‘Would I want to "Like" my own page?’ If the answer is no, then you need to rethink your content strategy. Have fun with it and your customers will too!” Web Presence Professional Vanessa Mosharaf

    2) Spread the Word About Your Page to Customers and Contacts – “The best way to gain more Facebook followers is to alert everyone you’re connected to about your new page.  Whether you offer a giveaway, coupon, donation, or simply share news and events, make sure everyone you know knows about your page! Use different tools, like emails, signage, and other social networks to spread the word. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your personal friends and connections to ‘Like’ your page and leave a comment. This will help their friends discover your brand too and will extend your social discoverability to new people.” – Web Presence Professional Jennifer Holub

    3) Respond To Everyone – “Building a local social following can be much like building a personal friendship. If a friend of yours calls or sends you text messages and you never respond, that person might not consider you a friend much longer. Furthermore, if you ask that friend for a favor it is likely they will ignore your request. Think about engaging with fans on Facebook the same way. Shares, ‘likes,’ and comments from Facebook fans are critical in spreading your brand, so local businesses can benefit by paying attention to their social followers, and by capitalizing on every opportunity to make them feel appreciated.” Web Presence Professional Justin Snasel

    4) Create a Fan Gate Page to Boost “Likes” – “ As a business, setting up a welcome page on your Facebook account is a best practice. One effective tip for generating more ‘Likes’ is to have a call-to-action on that welcome page directing new visitors to ‘Like’ your page. You can even create an offer on your welcome page, so that people who click ‘Like’ will then see an offer, coupon, or other ‘fan-gated’ content.  There are different tools that you can use to do this, and we have the ability to create welcome page offers through ReachCast. This is a great, effective tool to make sure that visitors to your Facebook page also become ‘Likes’ so you can continue engaging with them on the site.”  Web Presence Professional Nick Marino Jr.

    5) Use Facebook to Share Positive Business Reviews – Did you know that you can share positive reviews about your business on Facebook? You can post links to them to your wall, or create a tab specifically for reviews. Here’s a handy trick you can use to easily share reviews in addition to sharing links to them on your wall: “Since ReachCast creates an RSS feed of your reviews, you can use the Social RSS app on your Facebook fan page to create a tab specifically for reviews.  This can help your Facebook page rank well in Google searches for ‘business name + review!’ It’s great that searchers can find positive reviews through a simple search and that it leads the searcher to the brand’s Facebook page, which offers the opportunity for new fans and interaction with the content!” – Web Presence Professional Sam Davis

    Is your business using Facebook to connect with consumers and build buzz with customers? What tips or best practices have you discovered for getting more out of your Facebook presence? Share your ideas in a comment!

    More Like This: Sharable Facebook Articles

    Author: Tiffany Monhollon

    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany shares practical tips and insights about reaching consumers across the web. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

    Talking Content Marketing with C.C. Chapman: Expert Interview Video

    Last updated 2 years ago

    How can local businesses and organizations use content marketing to build their brand online? In this Expert Interview, we talk with C.C. Chapman, author of Content Rules, about content marketing for business. In Content Rules, C.C. and co-author Ann Handley share practical tips, case studies, and insights that anyone can use to understand – and start doing – content marketing. What is content? Can every company create it? How does it relate to marketing? What content marketing opportunities are out there for small businesses? Watch C.C. and ReachLocal’s own Mike Merrill talk about these questions and more.

    Want more content and social media marketing ideas? Follow C.C.Ann, and Mike on Twitter for first-person insights, and connect with ReachCast on Twitter and Facebook. And, stay in the loop by subscribing to this blog. For more videos like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    About the Author 
    As the lead blogger for ReachCast, Tiffany Monhollon shares practical tips and insights  on optimizing your business web presence. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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