One of the biggest problems with most online marketing advice is that it’s aimed at exciting, groundbreaking businesses. From press coverage to great ad performance, it’s easy to coast by in marketing when you’re Facebook or Twitter.
When you’re not such a well-known, exciting brand, however, marketing can be an incredibly difficult experience. Getting covered in the press is a struggle and finding an audience for your company blog or latest case study a difficult process.
This is particularly true on social media, where short attention spans and a serious focus on what’s hot, exciting and new are prevalent. If you run an important but not exciting business, how can you stand out from the crowd and get attention?
In this post, we’ll share four social media strategies that you can use to make your ‘boring’ business – whether it’s an accountancy firm or local bakery – stand out on social media and make an impression with your target audience.
Focus on becoming an authority in your field
Does the average auto repair shop have the opportunity to become exciting to the general public? Short of appearing on its own reality show, no. Most of us view our local auto shop as a useful service provider, but not as an exciting business.
Instead of trying to be exciting or interesting, you can try to be authoritative within your industry. Rather than eye-catching blog posts with titles that amaze readers, a better strategy is to focus on creating authoritative content.
Examples of authoritative content include How To guides, detailed summaries of a common problem your customers face and news coverage. Instead of being cool or exciting, focus on being the most trusted business within your field.
Find an angle that makes your business exciting
Every business, no matter how “boring” it seems, has done something interesting. A local auto shop, for example, might have tuned the performance of a high-end sports car. A local accountancy firm might have saved a client thousands in taxes.
Instead of thinking about making your business exciting to a general audience, think of content ideas that are exciting to your customer base. Every industry, even those that seem dull to outsiders, can be exciting to a certain audience.
From helpful posts on tax preparation aimed at business owners to guides to using less gasoline on your daily commute aimed at people concerned about the natural environment, there’s an exciting angle for any type of “boring” business.
Focus on the unseen value your business provides
One of the best ways to make your business feel more interesting and attract more attention on social media is by looking at it from an unseen angle. What value does your business offer that most people rarely think about?
Let’s use our auto shop example above. Instead of publishing and promoting a blog post on car performance or auto parts, publish one focusing on the total amount of emissions your community can save by having their cars regularly serviced.
Another unique content idea is the amount of money consumers save over the long term by servicing their cars instead of leaving them unmaintained. Approach your business from an angle consumers rarely observe and you’ll get their attention.
Switch from ‘business mode’ to ‘personal mode’
Far too many small businesses fall into the trap of assuming that they need to make their audience think they’re bigger than they are. From a marketing perspective, it’s actually far better to focus on your smallness as a unique selling point.
Using our automotive example above, a great way to get more attention with social media is by making your posts more personal. Instead of a new post from “The #1 Local Auto Team,’ publish posts from “John Smith, Your Local Mechanic.”
Social media is about interacting with other people, and your audience will be far more likely to respond positively to your posts and marketing when they see it’s from a real person, not a brand. Own your smallness and make it a selling point.
How can your “boring” business become exciting?
Whether you offer a professional service, sell a product that most people spend very little time thinking about or simply have an offer that’s hard to make interesting, it’s always possible to make your “boring” business exciting to a certain audience.
From switching from brand-focused to person-focused to marketing your product or service from a new angle, what could you do to turn your “boring” business into something people love to talk about on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
Is your B2B company just getting started with online marketing? There’s a massive amount of information out there on marketing your B2B business online, some of it fantastic and some of it… well, not so good.
In this blog post, we’ll cut through the noise and deliver 100% actionable advice in 10 simple tips that your B2B company can use to improve its online presence, raise its revenue from online sales and generate more B2B leads using the Internet.
Focus on sales, not just rankings
Is SEO a major aspect of your online marketing strategy? SEO is great, but it needs to be put in the context of sales, not rankings. Instead of focusing on becoming #1 for a certain keyword, focus on using that keyword to drive profitable traffic.
Develop case studies with clients
Case studies are powerful marketing tools; after all, nothing is a better indicator of your product or service’s value than a success story. Work with your existing clients and customers to develop case studies explaining how you’ve helped them.
Start building your email list today
Does your company have an email list? Email lists are immensely powerful tools for marketing your business, especially in the B2B field. If you don’t yet have one, start building your company’s email marketing list today.
When a prospect visits your website, how likely are they to trust you? Trust is vital in B2B, and adding testimonials is a great way to prove that you’re a reputable and trustworthy brand. Ask your existing customers and clients for testimonials today.
Create authoritative, shareable content
There’s no better way to brand your company as a leader within its industry than by producing authoritative content. Use your company blog to publish guides and news that makes you the go-to source for useful content in your industry.
Optimize every page for conversions
Every single page of your website – from your blog posts to your About Us page – is a valuable sales tool. Optimize every page on your website with a lead capture form or call to action to generate leads and drive conversions as often as possible.
Develop your ideal customer profile
Who is your ideal customer? Without an accurate idea of who your product, service or offer is aimed at, no amount of marketing will help you succeed. Before you start your marketing campaign, create a profile of the ideal customer you’re targeting.
Publish an authoritative white paper
White papers are to the B2B world what engaging blog posts are to the B2C world; a massively powerful marketing asset. If you work in an industry where branding and positioning matters, use a white paper to elevate yourself above your competitors.
Create with your customers in mind
Far too many B2B businesses publish content that’s useful not for prospects, but for their competitors. Instead of publishing or marketing with your peers in mind, make sure your marketing efforts are aimed squarely at your target customers.
Take social media marketing seriously
In the early days of social media, many B2B companies quite rightly shrugged it off as something of limited value. Today, with networks like LinkedIn making the B2B sales process simple, it’s vital that you take social media very seriously indeed.
Creating high quality blog content is just half of the content marketing process. The other is attracting loyal readers who’ll not only consume your content, but share it with their friends, colleagues and business contacts.
This is particularly true in the B2B field. After all, a blog post about the best types of accounting software for small businesses or ideal health and safety practices doesn’t quite have the same social draw as one about funny cat videos.
Regardless of the topic of your company’s blog, however, there are some tactics that you can use to help your content spread around the web. In this blog post, we share five simple but effective ways to make your company blog post more shareable.
Include images, infographics and videos
In the information-heavy online environment, walls of text just don’t work. In order for your blog posts to engage readers and encourage them to share, they also need to include images, infographics and video.
Try to include at least one or two images in each blog post you publish, even if they are just stock photos or vector graphics. Images break up text on your page, making even the most dense and technical blog content more readable.
Add social sharing buttons to your blog
Instead of requiring your readers to copy and paste your post’s URL to share it via Facebook or other social platforms, add social sharing buttons. Several convenient WordPress plugins are available that automatically add these to your latest posts.
Ask readers thought-provoking questions
One of the best ways to end your blog posts is by posing a question to readers? This is because questions encourage your readers to respond in the comments, and when readers leave a comment they’re far more likely to share your article.
Instead of ending your next blog post with an authoritative conclusion, pose a fun or thought-provoking question to readers. The right question can double or triple your post’s comment count and massively increase its social shareability.
Make sure your content is interesting
Very rarely does boring content get shared, and when it does it’s typically shared in a small online community. Creating interesting B2B content is hard, but it’s also very rewarding when done properly.
From informational guides that provide immense value to your audience to fun and lighthearted posts about industry trends, make sure your blog posts are interesting for your readers. If they aren’t, they’ll rarely be shared beyond your social circle.
Avoid falling into the impersonality trap
One of the biggest mistakes business bloggers make is writing their posts from the perspective of their company. People don’t like conversing with companies; instead, they like conversing with other people.
Before you publish a single blog post on your company blog, make sure each writer and contributor has their own avatar and identity. Putting a face and name to your content makes it more personal and enhances your connection with readers.
Has your content ever gone viral?
Every online business aspires to have one of their blog posts go viral and result in a surge of traffic to their website. Has one of your blog posts, articles or guides gone viral before? If so, what were the results and did it improve your online revenue?
Do you struggle to attract new customers? For many companies in the B2B space, customer acquisition is one of the most challenging aspects of fueling growth for their business.
This is due to two things. The first is a large-scale aversion to inbound marketing that’s, unfortunately, quite common in the B2B sector. The second is the massive amount of time that the B2B sales process can often take.
While outbound marketing via advertising, sales calls and trade shows is widely considered the standard strategy for B2B growth, inbound marketing is actually often a much more effective way to develop your B2B company.
In this blog post, we’ll share eight tips that you can use you to fuel inbound sales for your B2B company. From social media to blogging, read on to learn how you can supercharge your B2B sales growth rate by using inbound marketing.
Create a Facebook Page
A surprisingly large number of B2B leads come from social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Remember that while your customers are other businesses, the people making the decisions are individuals – almost all of whom have Facebook profiles.
Start a company blog
Starting a blog lets you create content that answers common questions within your industry without having to create new static website pages. This lets you bring in a huge amount of new business via common search keywords.
Get active on LinkedIn
While Facebook is the personal social network of choice, LinkedIn is a hotspot for decision-makers and prospective customers. Create a company page and make it nice and easy for prospects to find your sales team using LinkedIn search.
Build an email marketing list
Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate B2B sales leads. Add an email capture form to every informational page on your website and send out a monthly or weekly email marketing your products or services to your subscribers.
Publish an eBook or white paper
Informational resources are fantastic marketing tools in the B2B field. In addition to your company blog, create white papers and eBooks to answer your prospects’ most common questions and increase awareness of your brand.
Create industry-related infographics
Infographics are visual representations of facts, figures and other information that’s related to your business. From interesting facts to unique stories, posting your own infographics is a great way to fuel viral growth for your B2B company.
Optimize for Google search
It should go without saying, but every business that sells its products or services on the Internet should be investing in SEO. Make sure your website ranks prominently for all of your target keywords to attract valuable sales-focused traffic.
Take a long-term approach
Inbound marketing takes time, and it doesn’t always generate the overnight growth that a successful telemarketing campaign can. From social media to SEO, give it time and let your marketing efforts develop before you write them off as ineffective.
What’s your favorite inbound marketing technique?
From Facebook Pages to SEO, there are many ways to attract B2B customers using inbound marketing. Which of the above techniques has your business tried, and of those you’ve tried, which techniques are your favorites?
To many businesses, Google Plus remains the odd one out when it comes to social media marketing. Facebook has an established audience of over one billion people, making it a valuable platform for local and international businesses alike. Twitter, likewise, has hundreds of millions of active, responsive users.
Google Plus, on the other hand, is thought of as something of a mystery. Despite its limited popularity amongst most social media marketers, Google Plus has a massive range of opportunities and advantages. These include SEO benefits, direct marketing potential, and networking opportunities for marketers and businesses.
In this brief guide, we will cover the basics of Google Plus marketing for businesses both small and large. Read on to learn more about the ‘undiscovered’ social network that could massively benefit your business when used correctly.
Google Plus’s Audience and Popularity
Google Plus could be the sleeping giant of the social networking world. With over 235 million active users, it’s a quarter the size of social media giant Facebook and, for many marketers, a significantly more valuable target.
Unlike Facebook, which is evenly divided between men and women, Google Plus is definitely a male-focused social network. 63 percent of the website’s users are men, with the ratio of men to women swelling even further in certain age demographics.
Beyond gender, which skews heavily towards males, Google Plus is also young social network. More than 42 percent of the site’s users are 18 to 24, with older age groups dividing the remaining 58 percent of users between them. This is a massive contrast to Facebook, which is now attracting a large amount of older users.
Google Plus is also dominated by users in the IT and technology industry. The Online Marketing Trends blog estimates that IT Engineering is the most popular job type on Google Plus. This is reflected in the popularity of technology brands amongst Google Plus users.
Because Google Plus attracts a very different audience to Facebook, it could benefit different businesses. Does your business primarily work with young men, IT sector employees, or engineers? If so, Google Plus could be a very lucrative target for your marketing and sales team.
Google Plus and SEO: Author Rank
Google Plus offers a unique benefit for marketers interested in SEO and content-driven marketing: the ability to link your Google Plus profile to your website. By linking your profile to your website, you’ll benefit from Author Rank – a special feature that makes your Google search results stand out from the rest.
Author Rank adds your Google Plus profile picture to your search results, giving your company a consistent brand that users can identify. This ‘brands’ your SEO, making it easier for your visitors and fans to find you. It also makes your website stand out in Google’s search results, potentially boosting clickthrough rate.
By linking your Google Plus profile to all of the content you publish, you can create an incredibly visible, memorable brand that searchers remember. There is also a growing amount of evidence suggesting that using Author Rank helps your pages rank in Google’s search index, boosting your website’s traffic and sales.
Google Plus and Social Media Marketing: How to Go Viral
While Google Plus doesn’t have the same audience size as Facebook, it’s every bit as valuable for marketing your content. Because Google Plus attracts a younger, male-dominated, and technology-focused audience, it’s a great place to share content that appeals to this demographic.
From luxury cars (Ferrari has had success marketing on Google Plus) to the latest technology, certain products and services can go viral relatively easily on Google Plus. Think about the type of content that a young, predominantly male audience responds to and tailor your content to suit its interests.
Marketing writer Susanna Perkins sheds some more light on Google Plus. She lists seven great marketing tactics for Google Plus marketers that make the ‘forgotten’ social network easier to understand and far more actionable for social media and search marketers.
Think carefully about the type of audience your business would like to attract and apply these simple tips – with a growing audience of 235 million, Google Plus may become your favourite place to market your content, your products, and your business.
To some, Web 2.0 is an outdated buzzword used to describe everything from social media to online collaboration. To others, however, including well-known supporter of Open Source software Tim O’Reilly, Web 2.0 remains one of the most important and valuable concepts for online developers and modern businesses.
For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s important to know exactly what Web 2.0 is, and how it differs from the static web – known as Web 1.0 – that preceded it. From the mid-1990s until the early 2000s, most content on the web was static – websites were coded in their final form, with little use of dynamic elements or databases.
Web 2.0 changed the paradigm of the Internet from consumption and reading to a collaborative, interactive environment. Examples of Web 2.0 technology include the growing number of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and the massive development of online collaboration tools.
In simple terms, Web 2.0 is interactive, whereas Web 1.0 is not. Since interaction is such a vital part of business success, Web 2.0 remains one of the most important of the online developments for businesses.
Using Web 2.0 to Your Advantage: Collaboration
Collaborative tools like Google Drive and Basecamp are hugely important for many of today’s top businesses. During the Web 1.0 era, online collaboration took place over email conversations, often with hundreds of messages being sent to each person and conversation far more distributed than accessible.
Today’s top collaborative tools use databases to keep communications synchronized and easy to navigate. This allows a far greater degree of collaborative activity than a Web 1.0 environment could make possible. There’s a reason productivity has risen in the years following Web 2.0 – because collaboration is now far easier to achieve.
Using Web 2.0 to Your Advantage: Marketing
Web 2.0 has made marketing far more powerful than ever before. Unlike the days of the pre-Web 2.0 Internet, in which marketing was limited to banner advertising and direct public relations, today’s online marketers have hundreds of new ways to get in touch with potential customers and clients and market their businesses.
From social communities like Reddit to massive online networks like Facebook, the huge amount of platforms on today’s Internet make it easy for companies to speak to their customers directly. This cuts out the middlemen of the previous generation of online marketing and gives far more power and control to businesses.
Using Web 2.0 to Your Advantage: Research and Development
Online businesses now have more resources than ever before to use for researching new products and technologies and making them a reality. From bookmarking and organizing tools like Delicious to online storage platforms like Dropbox, the logistics of operating an online business are now clearer and simpler than ever before.
Even outsourcing certain business processes is now easier than ever. Many online businesses turn to Web 2.0 outsourcing platforms to find contractors and skilled staff, bypassing the long delays and frustrating hiring process that was the norm prior to the development of Web 2.0 technology.
How Can Web 2.0 Help Your Online Business Evolve?
From collaboration to research and development, the advantages of Web 2.0 are immense. Whether its finding skilled contractors or managing information for an upcoming product, Web 2.0 makes all aspects of business – from research to sales, marketing to customer support – far easier for businesses to manage.
Need help in utilizing Web 2.0 networks for internet marketing? Give us a call today 949-229-3454 and take advantage of our FREE CONSULTATION.
From Facebook Ads to LinkedIn InMail, some of the web’s biggest social networks have grown from fun places to network and share content into valuable business marketing tools.
Whether you operate a small, local business or a scalable online company, social networks could be a lucrative, highly profitable promotional opportunity. In this guide, we will cover four of the most effective social networking marketing tools, from Facebook’s advertising platform for smaller social communities.
Facebook: Using Pages to Your Advantage
Over the last decade, Facebook has grown from a small online community solely made up of college students into a massive network of over one billion people all around the world.
Due to its immense size and incredible popularity with users, Facebook is a very lucrative tool for savvy marketers. Pages are Facebook’s most popular marketing tool for businesses looking to connect with their customers online.
Although Pages can be promoted via paid advertising campaigns, their greatest strength is their ability to help your business connect with its customers. Using Pages, your business can alert customers to promotions, special offers, and any upcoming events that may be of interest to them.
Facebook Ads: A Massive Source of Traffic
Pages are Facebook’s free marketing option for businesses – a social page that’s ideal for promotions and other activity. Facebook Ads, on the other hand, is the company’s paid promotional network for businesses aiming to target potential customers and expand their reach.
Because of the immense amount of traffic available on Facebook, advertising is relatively inexpensive. CPMs are low, and businesses with savvy campaigns can reach tens of thousands of people on a relatively low budget.
Like any advertising platform, Facebook Ads requires some optimization before campaigns can become highly profitable. Experimenting with new images and a variety of advertising texts is important for achieving the optimum ROI from any Facebook Ads campaigns.
LinkedIn: Powerful B2B Networking
What Facebook is for B2C marketers, LinkedIn is for B2B marketers. This gigantic business social network is the perfect place to network with prospects and grow your business’s customer and client base.
One of LinkedIn’s biggest benefits for business owners is its value as a networking tool. By purchasing LinkedIn Premium accounts for your sales team, your business can easily reach Purchasing Managers and CEOs regarding new deals and valuable business partnerships.
Just like Facebook offers both free and paid advertising, LinkedIn offers a wonderful advertising platform for businesses. Unlike Facebook, however, LinkedIn’s CPMs are very costly, with campaigns starting from $2 per click and rapidly rising in cost with specific targeting options and custom variables.
Social Bookmarking: Valuable PR and Branding
Facebook allows you to expand your reach and build an audience. LinkedIn makes it easy for your sales team to reach new clients and customers. Social bookmarking, on the other hand, allows you to create a conversation with your customers and build a powerful, memorable, and lasting brand.
By being active on communities such as Reddit and Delicious, as well as smaller web forums and communities, your business can expand its reach and become far more memorable with its target audience. All it takes is a little bit of positive involvement to become a memorable business that customers will eventually turn to.
Over the last decade, social bookmarking has grown from a small niche into one of the most popular services on the Internet. Websites dedicated to social bookmarks such as Delicious and Reddit have developed from small communities into massive online meeting places, attracting users and businesses en masse.
Many businesses, however, take the wrong approach to social bookmarking. Instead of seeing the value it offers when used properly, they take the old-fashioned tactics used by direct marketers and apply them to a platform that, in many ways, just isn’t responsive to them.
In this guide, we’ll explain the five greatest benefits of using social bookmarking for your business. We’ll also offer a brief tactical rundown of how you should go about achieving each of these benefits, and what you shouldn’t do to achieve success.
1. Build valuable SEO backlinks
SEOs have long known that social bookmarking is a valuable strategy for building backlinks. Despite this, most SEOs have never fully capitalized on social bookmarks for SEO, with most taking the old fashioned spray-and-pray approach instead of building content specifically designed for social bookmarking websites.
Content that goes viral on websites like Reddit and Delicious can lead to a massive amount of backlinks for your website. In order to make your content go viral, you’ll need to be subtle about your marketing efforts and helpful for users. Don’t prepare a sales letter – instead, create a useful resource for social bookmarking users.
2. Attract visitors to your website
If your website offers a product or service for sale, you can attract new customers by capitalizing on the massive traffic of most social bookmarking websites. Millions of people use websites like Reddit and Delicious every day, making them an excellent target for attracting new business.
As with backlink building, the key to success with attracting customers from social websites is subtlety. Be indirect – don’t directly market to users, but offer content that’s valuable to them and interesting. If you can attract tens of thousands of new visitors via social bookmarking, you could potentially attract new customers.
3. Categorize important articles and resources
Do you like to share new content with your team? Do you occasionally read articles and guides that could be of value to your employees and contractors? Bookmark any interesting guides and articles using Delicious and tag them so that your employees and team members can also read them.
This saves you emailing important content to your team members. It also gives you a social platform for discussing content, as well as a lengthy archive of any content that’s relevant to your business, making it easy for you to search and reference the content whenever you need to.
4. Join the conversation and build your brand
Social bookmarking websites are hives of activity, attracting millions of users that are interested in everything from home renovations to new technology. By joining the conversation, you can build your business’s brand while networking with your potential customers at the same time.
Find a social bookmarking community that’s relevant to your business – the many subcategories of Reddit are great for this – and start contributing to the discussion with interesting information and helpful resources. Don’t market – just offer some value for the community – and you’ll build a powerful, memorable brand.
5. Communicate with customers and prospects
Do your customers congregate on social bookmarking platforms? Websites such as Reddit and Delicious have communities for every topic under the sun, and it’s very possible that your company – and your company’s products and services – may be the topic of discussion.
Search for your company and product names on popular social communities – you can also use Google Alerts to automate this – and create an account to become a part of the discussion. This allows you to communicate directly with your customers and establish a public relations asset that you can use for support and promotions.
Call us now at 949-229-3454 to find out in detail about our Orange County social media networking services.
From blogs to instant messengers, social software has grown from a niche industry into one of the Internet’s biggest fields over the past 15 years. Applications such as Yahoo Messenger have evolved into large social networks like Facebook, connecting millions of people – and millions of businesses – every single day. While most people use social software for – quite predictably – socializing, a large number of businesses are turning to social software as a way of increasing output, boosting collaboration, and creating a far more social and collaborative workplace over the Internet.
In this guide, we’ll look at four effective strategies that your business can use to get more collaboration, more socialization, and far more creativity using social software such as instant messengers, wikis, and social bookmarking services.
Using in-house wikis to train staff and establish protocols
Every business needs established systems and processes in order to scale. Prior to the Internet, these were typically established in written guide and materials, with a copy of the relevant information distributed to staff members in order to make sure the rules were followed. Today, it’s easy to train and inform your staff – even in a business environment that is spread all around the world – using wikis. Using free software, you can build your very own business wiki with separate pages explaining customer service processes, accounting information, and even instructional guides for staff. This centralizes all of your training material, giving your employees and contractors a dedicated resource to use whenever they have questions that need answers. With your own in-house wiki, your business can substantially reduce the amount of time it spends answering common questions and training new staff members. A variety of wiki applications are available for businesses. You can read more about them at this Wikipedia page, which compares several types of wiki software.
Using collaborative software to complete important business projects
Thanks to collaborative project management software, you can complete a project with one employee in Bangalore, another in Tokyo, and another in Los Angeles. The massive popularity of applications like Google Drive and Basecamp means it’s easy to collaborate on important projects regardless of where you – and your staff – reside. From blog posts to complicated marketing campaigns, online collaboration makes it easier than it has ever been to share information with staff members and centralize your activity in one location. Instead of each working independently, your team can now collaborate in real time using social project management tools.
Using instant messengers to quickly communicate with staff
Sometimes you’ll need to pass important information onto staff located on the other side of the globe. Because time zones make phone contact complicated, it’s far better to use an instant messenger to contact staff members (and even customers) to talk about their projects, their purchases, and their latest tasks. Instead of relying on email for communication – which can be slow and difficult for large businesses to manage – it’s often a good idea to encourage your staff members to communicate via instant messenger. Tools like Skype make it easy to chat with a large team and coordinate projects from around the globe.
Using social bookmarking to gather important resources
Social bookmarking services are for more than just discussion. By bookmarking any resources that you think are important to your business, you can pass on important information to your team without having to send out mass emails or message team members on an instant messenger. Encourage your staff members to use a social bookmarking service like Delicious to store their bookmarks, and use tags to categorize information as being relevant or irrelevant to your business. This way, your staff members can read documents and articles that you recommend via social bookmarking websites.
Other ways to use social software to your advantage
There’s far more to social software than just wikis and collaborative project tools – much more. This Wikipedia page explains in detail how social software can be used by small businesses and enterprises alike to increase productivity and become far more effective. Whether it’s a simple instant messenger group or a large and detailed corporate wiki, using social software effectively can make your business significantly more productive, more effective, and more collaborative.
Give us a call today at 949-229-3454 and talk to our professionals. Have a free initial consultation with our Experts to find out how we can help you on Social Media Networking in Orange County.
For decades, the go-to advertising platform for local businesses wasn’t Facebook or Google, but the Yellow Pages. With millions of customers in every major metropolis and the ultimate ‘buying mode’ audience, the Yellow Pages was, for a long time, the only way for local businesses to reach people that were interested in buying.
Today, it’s a little different. With Google and Facebook offering ultra-targeted local advertising at very reasonable rates, what reason is there to spend your ad budget on the Yellow Pages?
The answer is fairly obvious: very little. With a declining audience and fees that are massively expensive when compared to online marketing, the choice is clear: move your Yellow Pages budget online and reap the benefits of advertising that’s easier to track, cheaper to implement, and far greater in scale.
Yellow Pages to Google: How to Market to a Local Audience Using Adwords
Adwords is an incredible source of local customers, especially in ‘problem solving’ industries such as construction, plumbing, or dry cleaning. If your business offers a service for consumers, it can reap incredible benefits from Adwords search ads.
Thanks to Google’s new pay-per-call ad metrics, which allow you to pay for calls as well as clicks, it’s easy to make the transition from Yellow Pages to Google. The only difference is the pricing – instead of paying a flat monthly fee regardless of results, you only pay for the results that your ads generate.
Optimizing for local search keywords requires a slightly different strategy from the typical product or service-driven keywords. Instead of competing with corporations and large companies, you’re primarily competing with other small, local businesses.
This means your success is determined far more by smart keyword selection than it is by your budget. Create content that’s targeted to local keywords – even districts in your city – and you’ll be able to capitalize on lucrative, low-competition keywords.
The same is true of SEO – you’ll be competing not with the large corporations of big-traffic search keywords, but small, local competitors. This levels the playing field and makes local SEO more about relevance and trust than the size of your budget.
Google Local: The Ultimate SEO Replacement for the Yellow Pages
In a way, the Yellow Pages was a printed precursor to SEO. Instead of vying for the top search position using links and on-site content, businesses fought for the most prominent Yellow Pages position using their marketing budgets.
Optimizing for Google Local is a great way to reach the same audience that used to read the Yellow Pages without paying a cent. Links and content replace what was once a marketing budget, giving you even greater results without the costs.
If you’re beginning to notice declining results from your Yellow Pages ads, consider making the transition today. Your local SEO company can help you optimize your website for local maps and begin attracting customers from Google within weeks.
When Should Your Business Call it Quits on the Yellow Pages?
The readership of directories is rapidly declining, and more customers are turning to search every single day. This makes Yellow Pages advertising the ultimate poor marketing investment for businesses – while the cost stays constant, the audience continues to grow smaller.
It’s time to call quits on offline directory marketing. Take your marketing budget to the Internet and you’ll generate more traffic, attract more customers, and make far more sales.
We can help your business replace its offline directory campaigns with a scalable and effective online PPC campaign. Contact us today to learn more about our PPC marketing services and local SEO campaigns for businesses.