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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : August 27, 2010

MerchantCircle offers local content for small businesses

MerchantCircle, a social network for business owners, is launching a content portal which may help consumers find local businesses through search functionality. The Local Content Studio (LCS) soft-launched in May, giving local businesses the ability to create short-form content within the MerchantCircle space.

by Kristina Knight

Through the platform, merchants and business owners can share their expertise on a topic, city or region in the online space. Unlike the MerchantCircle Answers platform, which answers very specific questions from consumers, the LCS platform gives merchants more room to write about topics, businesses or places.

"Companies like Demand Media and Associated Content have proven that creating targeted content at scale meets a market need. Where these companies typically focus on niche topic articles that appeal to consumers across the country, MerchantCircle is focused on creating hyper-local content generation that connects nearby consumers to the local business community," said Andy Halliday, Vice President and General Manager of LCS.

Where content hubs such as Demand Media offer general advice on where to hike in California, for example, the LCS platform would tell consumers about the hiking trails in Redwood Forest and written by a local hiking guide. After two months in the space, the LCS platform has seen more than 40,000 pieces of copy created by 150 contributors. The content created includes place descriptions, destination information and information about businesses in a specific area.

"We're confident we can engage merchants to promote their own specialties and towns using this new system and further evolve our network into a dynamic publishing vehicle for business owners to expose their local and professional experience," said Ben Smith IV, CEO and co-found of MerchantCircle.

Tags: hyper local content, local advertising, local content, localized content, MerchantCircle

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