From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to one of the world’s greatest art museums, from the great outdoors to sports events, farmers markets, world-class restaurants and more, Cleveland – Ohio’s most densely populated city – is exciting, diverse and culturally rich, making it as well-suited to doing business as it is to living in.
Finding Your Niche in Cleveland
Cleveland is a wonderful place to base your business. Unlike some cities – for example, tech-centric San Francisco – Cleveland’s diverse culture, broad range of attractions, industries, and interests of its residents – and the nearly seventeen million tourists who visit each year – make it easy to identify a suitable target audience, and market your products or services to them. Let’s explore just a few of the possibilities:
The Cleveland Clinic, home of many life-saving medical innovations, is considered to be among the world’s best cardiovascular care centers, and the surrounding area boasts hospitals ranked in the top ten of eleven specialty medical fields. In addition, Cleveland’s bioscience industry has an annual growth rate that exceeds than the national average. Such a strong industry presence makes Cleveland an ideal location for a healthcare-related business.
Cleveland’s culinary scene is constantly expanding. How does an ecstatically-good baguette, some delicious – yet affordable – American-made wine and a hunk of tasty artisanal cheese sound? Or perhaps paper thin slices of prosciutto, oven-baked pizza and cold, locally-brewed beer is more to your taste? Cleveland’s many hundreds of restaurants, eateries, greengrocers, coffee shops and famous outdoor farmers markets make this city a foodie’s delight – and the perfect place to base your food-related business.
Outdoor recreation abounds in Cleveland. You could cater your products and services to the fishing fanatics catching walleye in nearby Lake Erie, or wading in the Rocky River, fly fishing for salmon and trout. Don’t forget about the avid hikers, cyclists, horseback riders and bird watchers traversing the massive Cuyahoga National Park, or the beachgoers and boaters at the beautiful Edgewater Marina.
Cleveland is home to Progressive Field – voted in 2008 as Major League Baseball’s best ballpark, and home to record-breaking numbers of sold-out games. The city’s many sports fans are a loyal, enthusiastic audience to which any number of products could be marketed.
This list would be incomplete without mentioning the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only does this monument to one of the world’s most transformative musical genres call Cleveland home – the city hosted the Moondog Coronation Ball, considered by many to be the world’s first rock concert. A love of music runs deep in Cleveland. Consider what a great market that would make.
Using Content Marketing to Grow Your Business
You’ve learned how the diversity of a city like Cleveland makes it a good place to do business – the sheer volume of activities, attractions, and pre-existing industries makes it possible. Your audience is already out there. The secret lies in allowing them to find you. It’s no longer good enough to have a storefront with an ‘Open’ sign in the window – you need to make yourself known online. To create a presence on the Internet requires, above all else, content.
Good content goes beyond sales pitches and product descriptions. It engages with your target audience and compels them to visit your website. Though profit is the ultimate goal of content marketing, the act of doing so should be approached as a no-pressure, no-pitch prelude to actual sales, involving the delivery of valuable, helpful information to prospective customers, consistently empowering them with knowledge. By doing so, you gain trust, respect, loyalty – and profit.
When you’re designing your website, don’t just make it pretty – make it useful. Though clean graphics, responsive themes and easy-to-navigate menus are an important part of web design, none of them alone will retain visitors. To reduce your bounce rate, increase visitor retention and keep people coming back for more, your site has to provide something of immediate value: information. And a site replete with informative content isn’t just good for the prospective customers already viewing it; it’s good for your search engine rankings, too.
Doing business requires something of a competitive spirit, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel like it’s you versus the rest of the world. In fact, approaching content marketing collaboratively can work in your favor.
Here’s an example:
As a business owner, you have niche-specific knowledge, and you’re happy to share it on your website – it benefits your clients, and results in sales. But you can take it a step further. Find other websites related to what you do and sell, and reach out to the sites’ owners. Offer them well-written informational content, an opinion piece or a guest blog post. Ask for nothing in return – except a link back to your site. The result is two-fold: a high quality backlink and direct traffic to your own content-packed pages.
Infographics: Cleverly illustrated, colorful, easy to read and often vertically-oriented images, showing charts, graphs, figures and other useful information. Chances are that you’ve seen a few in the last week. Though written content should be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy, don’t underutilize infographics – they have their advantages.
For one, they stand out amidst a sea of text. Website visitors can quickly differentiate between an ordinary picture and an infographic. Using them just often enough keeps things interesting. They also make it easy to compress and simplify what might otherwise be exceedingly complex information, reducing extraneous details and distilling the crucial facts into an easy-to-understand format. And if your infographics are relevant and informative (as all your content should be), they’re likely to be shared on social media.
Cleveland, with its great diversity, is an ideal city in which to build a business. Your audience is out there, just waiting to find you. Let Danny Todd, a Cleveland SEO expert, help you.
The Cleveland SEO Guy, Danny Todd says 'It’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it. He understands that sometimes the best brands get left behind because their web design and SEO has become outdated. The Internet is always changing! Google and the other search engines are always adapting! Keep your brand current and reach Google’s #1 spot.