By ‘Eck! How to Give Your Web Copy Real Local Flavour

8 August, 2012

“Na’ then lads and lasses. If tha’ wants to write web content fer people in thy own local area, ’ere’s a reyt good idea.

“Tha just ‘as t’ talk to ‘em in they own language and they’ll say ’it’s reyt good, that.’

 

 

“Meks sense dun’t it me old cock?”

…Sorry, it’s no good. I grew up in Yorkshire, but it was as difficult for me to write like that as it was for you to read it.

Today’s post is all about how to write web copy with a regional flavour, without sounding like a twonk.

There are a few reasons you might want to do this:

  • When all your customers live in one place, regional web content shows you’re one of them.
  • It can help you stand out from the competition. In 2012, the style of corporate web copy has settled into a familiar groove that some call bland. Be different!
  • It can make regional SEO landing pages (e.g. Building Services Sheffield, Building Services Leeds etc.) feel authentic, instead of the cut-and-paste jobs they usually are.

As we’ve seen though, the answer isn’t to write something akin to a Last of the Summer Wine script. Here are some real ideas.

Reference local culture

Every city has its share of famous people, historic events and local landmarks. In Sheffield we have Jarvis Cocker, the invention of stainless steel and old the Roxy night club (now sadly gone!), among others. Your city no doubt has its own.

Refer to them in your web copy and your customers will really respond. Why? Because we all love to celebrate and share in local achievements. Cultural icons resonate with customers, while a little of their glory will also rub off on you.

Use local dialect – sparingly

My intro above is plainly ridiculous. Nobody will take that kind of writing seriously and it’s a pain to decipher.

However using local words and phrases – in small doses – can give your web copy a distinctively regional voice. It’s great for adding light humour and your local customers will appreciate that you’re speaking only to them. The results can be chuffin’ marvellous.

Tie promotions to local events

Seasonal marketing is brilliant for tapping into customers’ ever-changing desires. Just look at the number of successful ads themed around summer, spring, Christmas, the new school year and so on.

At a local level, promotions themed around local events can be effective too. The recent Tramlines festival in Sheffield proved this: hotels and restaurants were able to create special promotions that drew on the excitement surrounding the event. Keep track of your local events calendar and do the same.

Did these tips work for you? Do you have any other ideas for how to appeal to local customers? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Neil Wheatley

Neil Wheatley is a Manchester-based freelance copywriter who writes for agencies and marketing depts across the UK. He isn’t this grumpy in person.

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Design Inspiration #3
17 July, 2012

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