What’s the Best Way to Advertise Your Business?
What’s the most effective way to advertise your business online? Here’s why you should be using an online directory for the job.
The decision of where to advertise your business is an important one with the media landscape in an ever-evolving state. Online spending is on the rise, and the trend line shows it will continue to be beyond 2020.
Highlighting this fact, a recent study found businesses are spending ?161 billion pounds on advertising annually or 44 percent of their budgets. That number will rise to 206 billion over the next two years, claiming 50 percent share from offline spending.
Online spending allows better tracking and higher return on investment, and online business directories are an integral part of that.
In the following article, we’ll discuss why your business should be active on these platforms. Let’s get started!
1. Online Directory Advertising Is Relatively Inexpensive
Many online business directories narrow their focus to one or a few specific niches. For example, County 2 County focuses solely on the UK and the tourism space surrounding it.
Our customers know their niche will be prioritized, and their competition will be small. Because directories are niche-specific, they don’t have to outlay as much money to get exposure for their businesses in front of the right audience.
2. It Enables You to Decrease Ad Spend Elsewhere
Much of customer acquisition cost comes from finding out who your customers are. Deciding to advertise your business with an online directory cuts down on fruitless and speculative effort (spending).
Sharpening focus allows you to shift resources toward your true customers. As a result, return on investment becomes easier to trace.
3. Business Directories Get You Exposure in the Right Places
Whenever a business adds their listing with us, they can turn the vastness of the Internet into a smaller and easier-to-manage location. How do they accomplish this?
In one word, specificity.
Continuing the example with our service, you can provide business name, country, region, and county. You can even drill all the way down to a specific town or village. Doing so gives local businesses — especially brick-and-mortars — a chance to stand out.
4. They Can Enhance Branding Initiatives
Branding is a topic we’ll discuss a little more in some of the points to follow. For now, let’s take the overview. Branding is how you establish your company’s identity in the eyes of a target audience.
It takes initiative and, as branding expert John Williams points out, consistency to ensure yours is done right. Getting your company’s name in front of the people who are actively searching for a service like yours is essential to the process.
5. Directory Advertising Boosts Online Presence
Creating an omnichannel presence is so important to addressing fragmentation. And fragmentation runs rampant on the Internet through search and social media platforms.
Directory advertising further boosts your presence online by giving you more exposure to wherever your customers are hiding out. That’s why you see most companies established on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., even if they focus most of their efforts on only one or two.
6. It Improves SEO
Search engine optimization is a constantly changing field of online reach. No one knows all of the ways Google does things, but we do know that it values data. The more data you can make available about your business, the more visible you will be to organic search.
7. Directories Help Distinguish You from the Competition
Note the word “distinguish.” Distinguishing yourself is important whether you have the best price point or not.
Being able to show key benefits you have over the competition places you in a winning position. But it can be equally important to know where you’re falling short.
Many online business directories offer side-by-side comparisons for businesses that offer the same types of services. If you are winning, great. If not, your presence alongside a competitor makes it easy to single out shortcomings and improve your product or services.
8. They Enhance Local Visibility
Local visibility is vital to companies that derive most of their business from customers within the same geographical area. To illustrate, let’s examine the growth of year-over-year searches from 2014 to 2015.
Google’s own internal search data found, during the period in question, 130 percent growth in mobile “near me” searches. Capitalizing on this ever-increasing trend means your business should be current, consistent, and reliable.
The more geo-specific exposure you have — and the more that data aligns with other directories like Google My Business, social media listings, and your website — the easier it is to stand out.
9. Help Build Word-of-Mouth
Another key advantage when you decide to advertise your business through an online directory is the customer review feature. When you deliver a great customer experience, you can make them aware of where they can go to show their support.
Word-of-mouth marketing has always been an effective way to get people in the door, but before the proliferation of the Internet, it was rather difficult to control what past customers were saying about you.
Give a happy customer the chance to voice their happiness through an online directory, and you have a targeted endorsement through a third-party service that you can show to other potential customers. A consistent strategy to boost legitimate online reviews allows you to control your word-of-mouth marketing.
10. And Aid with Reputation Management
On the flip side of satisfied customers, there are the dissatisfied customers. They have the same freedoms to leave their opinion on a negative experience as your fans do.
However, that doesn’t mean you are without recourse.
Many reputable online business directories have layers of verification to ensure the authenticity of the reviewer in question. When you notice a customer is dissatisfied with their experience through one of these platforms, you have the opportunity to reach out and make things right.
The effort may never turn a negative review into a positive. But whether it does or not, your effort and professionalism will resonate with others.
Ready to Advertise Your Business On an Online Directory?
It is our hope the above information has addressed any questions or concerns you may have had about the decision to advertise your business using an online directory. We hope you found it informative.
And if you are in the party or event planning space, we do hope you’ll check out our services or drop by the blog for the latest updates and information.