How to dominate your local digital airwaves in 2015 with community marketing – Part III – The Content

There are 7 types of content that you can use to engage your local community. In Part III of this community marketing guide I explain not only the content but the tools you can use to produce it quickly and professionally.

In Part I – The Plan we looked at the plan for marketing by creating a digital community, In Part II – The Spaces, we looked at the spaces for that digital community. Now we look at the Content – what content should we be producing for our community to be talking and engaging with.

Your community space is fundamentally a place for people to get the news about their community.

In order of interest people care about news as follows:

  1. High impact events – events that have occurred that have the greatest impact on the greatest number of people.
  2. Shared threats and problems – are there new or growing threats that the community must deal with.
  3. Leadership changes – are there changes to the leadership of the community that might impact everyone.
  4. Shared achievements – has the community achieved something significant together?
  5. Human interest stories – are there individual stories that, while unimportant in general, have unique interest to that community
  6. New opportunities – are there new technologies, new opportunities for individuals or the community as a whole to take advantage of?
  7. Opinion and analysis – are people in the community providing new insights on something we already know?

Pick any newspaper and you’ll find it’s a mix of all of the above content. Usually you’ll find the highest impact event (as determined by the newspaper’s editors and perhaps its political bias) as the headline news while other stories appear later on.


Your job as facilitator of the community is to feed all these types of news stories into your community space (see Part II – The Spaces) and to encourage others to do the same.


Social media naturally tends towards opinion and analysis – there are plenty of people who are happy to give an opinion after all! That means you need to pay special attention to the other types of news in order to create a balanced community space.


There are some great digital tools for putting these content pieces together. Here are just a few you could look into:


1. Use Storify to bring out the story around a High Impact Events

When any High Impact Event occurs (changing of stamp duty for example) many members of your community will share their thoughts. By curating the most interesting thoughts into a storify collection you can quickly create a nice piece of content around the High Impact Event.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 09.52.54Here’s how Mashable covered a recent Bay Area Storm on Storify – something you could do for extreme weather in your neighbourhood.

2. Share Youtube video interviews around shared threats and problems

Video, with the appropriate recording plugin, is a great way to get community members to share their feelings about a shared threat (such as the new mansion tax or a growing pothole issue). By interviewing them for a Youtube friendly, 2 minute short, you can quickly get both the emotion and details of the shared threat and use that to kickstart community conversation around it.

Production quality on youtube doesn’t have to be high, this driving video showing the potholes around St Albans garned over 1800 views.


3. Publish a Rise Digital Who’s Who of community influencersScreen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.03.06

Everyone in your community has influence – you just need to find a way to score it. I like to use Klout, the social media influence measure, as a shorthand way of doing this. You can use a tool like Rise to curate your list of members (for example everyone who has tweeting recently using the name of your local town), collect Klout scores for each member and then publish a ranked list. Each week you can publish the ‘risers and fallers’ so creating instant interesting content around the leadership changes in your community.

My Haslemere Digital Who’s Who is a great example of this. Every month I tweet out to the top 10, the top risers and newcomers. Many then retweet and often mention me to their own followers. Everyone likes a pat on the digital back!

Disclaimer: I am CEO and founder of Rise

4. Promote a Twitter hashtag search to show off shared achievements

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.15.42Shared community achievements tend to result in happy hashtags. By sharing the search for that hashtag you can bottle and share everyone’s expressions of delight.

For instance New Life Magazines Haslemere campaign around the phrase ‘#haslemere #festivespirit’ brings back some nice pictures of mulled wine and stockings – what’s not to like about that?

5. Use Instagram to make human interest stories

Nothing says human interest like a beautiful photo with an atmospheric tint. Instagram’s filters can add a warmth to casual photos that increase their appeal and drive interest in the deeper stories you want to tell.

Look at how Daniels Estate Agents in Brent have used instagram to build a following of over 3,500 people with some great snaps of local people in warm settings.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.07.14

6. Write a Blog post about New Opportunities

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.14.20New opportunities such as properties coming on to the market, new ways to decorate your home, are great content for blogging. That’s because new opportunities tend to have a long tail of readability – they are interesting for longer. Building up an extensive back history on your blog of interesting opportunities for your community members will keep them coming back for more.

Read how Oliver James of Oxford gave Christmas Kitchen tips as an example of this type of content.

Now just get started….

So there you have it, some great content ideas and tools for dominating the digital airwaves in your local community in 2015. I wish you every success.

Don’t be afraid to get started. You’ll need to experiment a bit to find our what content engages your community the best. Don’t worry if you find you need to close a channel you started. If people complain then you know they were engaged (!) and you can just start it up again a few weeks later!

Happy community building in 2015.

Last word: At Rise we  think creating a local ‘digital who’s who’ really rocks when it comes to community marketing bang for buck – the amount of impact  you get for time and money spent. If you’d like to create one for you locality then get in touch. Prices for a digital who’s who are super cheap costing about 20p per player per month. So for £20 that’s a hundred pieces of engaging community related content you can produce monthly at the press of a button.


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