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I am personally obsessed with researching everything about cities throughout the U.S. and the world.

I find the overlap of geography, demographics, socioeconomics, history and economics to be utterly fascinating and one of my “infinite games“. It’s an endless goal, something I will be researching and going deeper on understanding for my entire life.

Think About This: You Live in the Wrong City

You’re in the wrong city – you need to leave.

To the one that earns you more money, friends, and happiness.

We crunched the data and can prove to you there’s a better one out there.

Are you willing to move?

This is the premise of a content framework that we have found to be a really great fit for a lot of companies. We collaborate with clients to research city-based studies and topics that are related to our client’s industry.

These can be a pillar, hero piece of content in your company’s content portfolio.

It fits into your content hub, content cluster, and surround sound strategy on your company’s blog.

Further up the food chain, it can be a key part of the customer awareness to purchasing lifecycle and buying funnel.

This type of content helps bring in customers at the top off the funnel – the awareness sage.

In conjunction with other content produced by an company and their other agencies, this TOFU content can add power to the existing pages in the MOFU and BOFU stages of the funnel.

Just like with customers, the links coming into these digital PR pieces helps supercharge other parts of the website – content, sales, and resource pages, among others.

These campaigns also support brand messaging and brand building. Assume that media coverage is 10% of the area prospective and existing customers see your name, well this is an important 10% that supports others stages and marketing interactions like paid ads, social, paid social, email, retargeting and direct sales.

Imagine that your prospect sees your company name in their local news coverage – online or even on camera. How powerful is that? Or an industry partner sees that coverage in BizJournals – wouldn’t that stand out in their mind?

We’ve found this format to be high leverage, and creates truly useful new knowledge and data that a company can leverage in many other ways.

If you’re a marketer or business owner seeking media coverage and backlinks to your website to improve SEO, city studies are a powerful way to solve that problem. To do this, you need the alignment of a topic, visual data-driven content, and promotion.

In the simplest terms, this is how we do it in 3 steps:

Step 1 – Choose a Topic for Ranking that Aligns with your Brand

If you’re a pet insurance company, you’d consider a subject such as “Best Cities for Bougie Puppies”. You want a sticky idea that has a decent overlap with your brand’s industry.

Step 2 – Gather the Data and Visualize for Insights

Use your company’s own proprietary data merged in with government and university data sources to create your rankings. Visualize this data with charts and custom graphics for clear insights.

Steph 3 – Pitch Local Media and Bloggers

Now go spend just as much time promoting this campaign as you did. Pitch a combo of 50+ journalists & bloggers covering pets. It’s a win-win: you’re providing them with exciting content, and you get the coverage & backlink.

While this is an extremely time-consuming process, it’s worth it for companies fighting for rankings in Google Search results.

How would you create a city rankings study in a way relevant to your brand?

Joe Robison

Founder & Consultant
Joe Robison is the founder of Green Flag Digital. He founded the agency in 2015 and has been heads-down scaling content marketing and SEO services for clients ever since. He is an occasional surfer, fledgling yogi, and sucker for organized travel tours.
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