Geographic Marketing is an important tool not only for local businesses looking to attract consumers through local business listings, but also for the large online companies who host such listings. Have you noticed the number of commercials being run by high-profile tier one companies and websites that are in the local business listing industry? These companies are all trying to capitalize on the local business marketing industry, and are consistently fighting for top recognition and use.
For example, you may have seen TV commercials for Angie’s List, Super Media, Yellow Book. If you add Internet advertising that includes but not limited to Google, Yahoo, Bing, Merchant Circle, Yelp, Citysearch and many others, you have to start wondering how all these websites can attract a finite number of businesses and visitors to use their website.
The other more significant question is how a business will manage their local business marketing information at all the local business listings websites.
History of Geographic Marketing and Local Business Listings
As a business, if you have not kept up with the evolution of geographic marketing you will need a quick primer to know where things started and where things are today.
- The origins of local business listings go back to the early 1990s when search engines had directories listing businesses by categories in addition to their basic search results.
- These basic business listings gave way to business directories giving the business the opportunity to add more business marketing information.
- While this evolution was taking place, yellow page (411) websites were also emerging on the web.
- Business directories eventually gave way to the idea of rating a business with companies like Angie’s List and Yelp in social communities.
- In 2007 business listings began showing up in search engines and customer ratings and reviews also were available.
In summary, geographic marketing is essentially based on an online business listing which consists of yellow pages information, business description, and local business marketing information, consumer ratings and consumer reviews.
Geographic Marketing is Interactive in Nature
Calling these listings a business directory does not do them justice considering all the local business marketing content, customer information and mapping information.
However, geographic marketing is not just about getting your business marketing information into these listings. It is also about essentially creating mini-websites for your business, and more importantly allowing customers to quantitatively rate and subjectively provide commentary about their experience with the business, products and services.
Local business listing websites that are social communities allow customers. Live social communities that provide location based services like Four Square, Twitter and Facebook create instantaneous feedback to friends, family and followers alike. This collaboration not only allows for ratings and comments, but the information is posted permanently.
A smart geographic marketing strategy will require a business to ask satisfied customers to post commentary and manage those postings that are negative…..at multiple local listing websites, of course.
Manage Your Geographic Marketing Process Everywhere!
Unlike the traditional yellow pages, where business information was located in a single source, the Internet lets local business marketing information be found everywhere. With so many sources, it becomes imperative for a business to stay on top of its information, description, business marketing materials and consumer reviews at multiple local listing websites.
Local Business Listing websites is defined to include search engines, social communities, 411 websites, GPS websites and business directories.
If you wonder why the management needs to take place at multiple local listing websites, the answer is simple. Your business information shows up in search engine results, mobile search results, and is available to mobile application developers for mobile apps.
Every time a consumer or customer enters a search term, the search engine or mobile app will return local business listings that are relevant to that search based on its proximity to the user’s location (latitude and longitude, city, or state). Since you don’t know what source your local customers or mobile application developers are using, you need a way to manage many sources simultaneously.
Select a Company to Help
Whether we are talking about website optimization, local business listings, mobile marketing, social marketing, or geographic marketing, a business needs proper support to succeed in this new era of store level marketing.
You need a partner with experience and expertise in multiple digital marketing fields who can adapt to the progression of new technologies that will become available over the next few years.
Some key elements for a company to provide geographic marketing services include:
- Claiming your local business listing at multiple local listing websites.
- Providing both data services and business marketing services (you need both data and marketing, not just data services).
- Updating your basic business data information monthly.
- Updating and managing your business marketing information to include photos, videos, coupons, offers, discounts, and events monthly.
- Monitoring and Managing Consumer ratings and reviews monthly.
- Reviewing analytics of local business listings and making the appropriate changes to your local business listings monthly.
- Offering expertise in Mapping Technologies and GPS that offer mapping and navigation services based on latitude and longitude, or city and state geography.
Certainly your time resources are limited and Geographic Marketing Solutions for multi-location companies are provided by SmartFinds Marketing. Let the experts of over 17 years Internet marketing experience help you use this local business marketing tool properly through monthly management marketing services and broadcast data services for mass business data distribution.
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