Four Ideas to Get Started with Hyper-Local Content
For the most part we all live our lives in a local community. We interact with neighbors, frequent the same grocery store, work out at the same club, and interact with the same barista at the coffee shop. The context and familiarity is a good thing. We all want to feel connected.
As brands have moved along the social maturity spectrum, more are investing in local content. They are discovering that social connection with customers happens in proximity with physical connection. However, more social presence means more content, and more content means more challenges. If you are considering hyper-local content, here are four ideas to help get you started:
1) Build it together.
I’ve seen too many programs fail because they did not get buy-in from the local branch. When you start going from one voice to many local voices, make sure you include them in the planning process. Get their input on how their customers connect, what stories will resonate, what process could look like. If the store manager is invested in the planning, they will be more likely to participate in the execution.
2) Start small.
To borrow from my friends in engineering, get a minimum viable product out the door. If you expect 400 franchisees around the world to produce amazing content right out of the gate, think again. Identify a small group, ideally the people involved in planning, and create a pilot group. As you roll out a playbook, work out the bugs together and build momentum for the next waves of deployment.
3) Practice, practice, practice.
A playbook and training programs are essential for hyper-local content success. Creating organizational habits will make it stick. Some brands use a daily checklist, others hold regional managers accountable for dealer activity, and some reinforce behavior with weekly reporting. Find existing habits and build on them!
4) Sharing is good.
Create a culture of sharing. Share content and success stories to reinforce to value of hyper-local content. Empower your regional colleagues to share with each other.
Consider creating a centralized content library where regional team members can easily find and use brand approved content. We built the Content Center within Spredfast Conversations so that customers can store, manage, and rapidly deploy various types of content.
An outdoor retailer with store locations nationwide would share very different content on social channels for its Colorado stores than for its Hawaii stores in the month of February.
A caveat about going local
With all of these additional contributors and content comes more potential risk. In addition to planning, playbooks, and sharing, make sure you have some guardrails in place. Monitor what's happening in the field. Conduct regular coaching sessions. Hold people accountable to real goals.
Creating quality content in a distributed organization presents it’s own unique challenges. It also presents opportunities to make customers feel more connected to your brand. With the right plan and process in place, your brand can confidently join the local mix.