I was talking with a coworking space operator recently about the challenge of standing out in an increasingly-crowded market. Their particular space has started using content to differentiate itself from the competition and position itself as a local, industry leader.
This is a smart move. Content—telling the story of your space, your members, your neighborhood, your purpose—is a fantastic way to engage both your existing community and those people you want to invite into your space.
By providing insights, inspiration, encouragement and resources, you become more than just another coworking space—you become a valuable and trusted community resource.
Here are 5 tips to help you use content to stand out locally:
1. Define Your Audience
Who are you creating content for? Who do you want to reach? Prospective coworking space members? Existing members? Local entrepreneurs? Local freelancers? Local leaders and change-makers?
Once you define your audience, you can create content tailored to their specific needs and interests. Bring the local angle front and center of your blog posts, videos, etc., and you have a powerful one-two approach to reach your local target market and audience.
2. Fine-tune Your Topics
What types of information is your ideal audience or customer searching for? What are they struggling with? What are they interested in? This is where you want to go with your content.
The more you can position yourself as the go-to source for information and answers, the more valuable you become, the more people link to you, the higher you rank in Google, and the more people find you organically.
To get started, do some mind-mapping or brainstorming to generate a handful of potential topics. Then, dig down into those topics to find the most focused and valuable post ideas.
When generating content ideas, think about how people search for things and position your post (or video, webinar, whatever) as the answer to their question. For instance, if you want to have better SEO results for the phrase “coworking in Boston,” you need to get those keywords into some high-quality posts. Here are some post ideas that use that exact keyword phrase and therefore stand a chance of appearing in search engine results:
- Coworking in Boston: a Newcomer’s Guide
- 10 Tips to Coworking in Boston
- The Ultimate Guide to Coworking in Boston
- Coworking in Boston: 7 Must-See Spaces
Use your keyword phrase in the header, the first paragraph, the images, and wherever else it organically fits. Avoid keyword stuffing, where you unnaturally stick the keywords everyplace possible. Write in a human tone, using everyday language.
Google’s ranking algorithms are getting more sophisticated all the time. The best way to avoid being penalized for trying to game the search engine results is to write good, clean copy that provides valuable, focused information for searchers.
3. Leverage Local Thought-leaders and Influencers
You could spend all day trying to get people to check out your content and you may end up with only 20 or 30 visitors to your site. However, if one local influencer with a large social media following shares your content, you can get hundreds or even thousands of views.
So how do you leverage these folks? Create high-quality posts that contain information or resources from them, and ask them to share the post once it goes live. Be sure to tag them in social media mentions, as well.
Here are some proven post ideas that leverage influencers:
- Create a roundup of local resources, including tips, quotes or contributions from local influencers
- Do a Q&A with a local influencer (or a handful of them) about their best practices and insights into a particular topic
- Ask a few local influencers to share their favorite tech tools, blogs, books etc.. Round up their responses and create a resource guide.
The trick here is to include their name, a link to their business, a bit of information about them, and any other points about them that are relevant to your audience. Who wouldn’t share a post that had all those details about them? I know I would (and do).
If you get a handful of local leaders to chime in on the same post and they all share it the potential for your little piece of content just went sky-high.
4. Spotlight Members and Member Projects
Is there a member of your space who is doing outstanding work locally? Did someone just have a big win with a crowdfunding campaign or project? Feature them, frame the local angle as much as possible, and share it with your local small business support agencies.
Entrepreneurial wins make exciting and very shareable pieces of content that municipalities and local business organizations may happily share around via social media, blog, etc. Include photos, videos and links to any relevant businesses or projects for maximum impact.
5. Create a Local’s Guide
If the goal for your content is to bring in more members, create a guide that potential members will find valuable. For instance, create a roundup of the best tech events, or small business resources, or meetups for entrepreneurs, or key events for freelancers and solopreneurs. Link to the event and ask event organizers to share the post for increased exposure.
What type of content have you successfully used to engage your local community? Share your best tips in the comments. Thanks!
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Photo: Matt Jones (CC-0)