The rise of online commerce in the last couple of decades has led to many businesses making major changes in the way they operate. We’re talking not only about improved communications and use of technology, but also in marketing.
Long gone are the days when a direct mail routine would be used to roughly target appropriate leads, or when word of mouth was the way of getting your brand about, as today it’s all about online marketing, or digital marketing as it sometimes known.
Any business that does not have a website is going to lose out to competitors, but even those with the most up to date and sophisticated websites are often losing leads to better optimised competition.
What do we mean by this? There is a lot to consider here so we’ll try and keep it simple, but let’s start by talking about social media, which is the main focus of many a marketing campaign.
Social Media and Local Searches
Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It’s free to have your own business page on Facebook or Instagram, and a Twitter account too. These are very useful tools for businesses that are targeting the younger generations especially.
But there is one form of marketing that has carried over from the pre-digital days: the business directory in which businesses list and consumers search. There are many such online directories around, so why should you be in them?
Put simply, if you are not listed in a business directory and your local competition are, you’ve lost out already. Note that we said local; there’s a good reason for this.
Did you know that the mobile smartphone is now the most-used method of searching for local businesses? It makes sense when you think about it. You’re on the move, heading into town shopping, and want to know where you can find a pair of shoes of a certain make.
You type in ‘Smith’s shoes near me’ and the phone uses your location and matches with the relevant shops.
Or you may be in a strange town and looking for somewhere to stay or eat: a search for ‘hotels near me’ or ‘restaurants near me’ is the norm, and you’ll get a number of recommendations.
If you are not listed, you won’t show up on these searches, and more people than ever before are using business directories as a source. Google, Facebook and more make use of this information so you cannot afford to miss out.
How to Get Listed
Listing your business on business directories instantly gives you greater reach in local terms, and as we’ve already mentioned the vast majority of online searches these days are locally based.
Some directories are free, some require a small fee, but we recommend you have a look at a few and check out their relevance to your product or service, and what coverage they provide in your town or city.
Listing is usually a case of simply entering what your business does, its name and contact details – be sure to check out the relevant keywords used in searches for your industry – and then waiting a very short time for your details to be published.
For the short time it takes it really is worth the effort, as you will be overtaken in visibility by the competition if you’re not in the directory. Check out the link we shared to a typical directory and get your name in their now.