Local business listings have become a significant local marketing tool that is showing the demise of the traditional yellow pages and equally the traditional coupons. The famous Stars Wars quote comes to mind “This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the Rebellion. – Darth Vader” https://topsinamerica.com/
With the onset of mobile devices and mobile applications becoming a more useful tool to the local consumers, we have to wonder how this will affect the traditional coupons that are printed and cut using scissors. The impact we are discussing comes in three forms and we’re not talking about the convenience to the local consumer.
- The first is the cost reduction for the local business from having to pay for their coupons to be printed and distributed. The cost reduction goes down to $0 (zero)!
- The second is the impact upon companies whose business is reliant on printing and distributing these coupons. This would include large corporations like Valassis and Val-Pak all the way down to the small local coupon company.
- The third impact is one we have discussed before related to the traditional yellow pages. Local business listings are already having an impact upon the usage of the traditional yellow pages and its effectiveness for the local business has been dwindling for years.
The reason the cost to the local business is going to go down to zero is because the local business can post their coupons to their local business listing for free. Particularly with Google, although, electronic coupons through local business listings will all reduce the costs for the local business. Not only will they be able to reduce their costs, but they will see their coupons have a larger reach geographically without any additional costs.
Local business listings and business directories have been on the web for quite some time. This part is nothing new and neither is the ability for the local business to post their coupons electronically. The primary difference comes in the local consumers having the ability to obtain these coupons electronically to their mobile devices while they are about town. No longer do we need to print the coupons before we leave the house, we will have them at our finger tips when we arrive at a store. We don’t’ even need to plan ahead. When you arrive at a store you will be able to bring up their local business listing to see if there is a coupon available.
While this process has a significant impact upon the coupon companies (especially if they are not planning for this existing change to their business), for the local business this is good news and in order to take advantage of this cost reduction they will need to engage in their local business listing at multiple local listing websites.
Local listings are a local business marketing tool for the local business to reach the local consumer through web searches and mobile searches. As a local business or small business dependent upon the local consumer for your revenue you can tap into a free marketing tool with search engines, social communities, 411 websites and GPS websites.
Tapping into local listings as a business marketing tool starts by setting up accounts and claiming your listing at multiple local listing websites. Please do not be fooled by companies that provide a “get listed” service, because most businesses are already listed. Of course, the majority of local listings are not claimed by the business and they have incomplete or incorrect information. Your competitors therefore become the next best choice for the local consumer.
Aside from the benefits of mobile coupons, the other good news about local listings is that they show up on the first page of a search engine result based on the search term and the locality. For this reason, optimizing a website is not as necessary as having your local listing claimed and up-to-date. You can no longer need to understand the intricacies of search engine optimization (seo) of their business website.
If you’re wondering why you need to manage your business listing at all these locations the answer has two parts.
- The first is the local consumer who will decide which website they will use to submit their reviews and comments about a business, product or service. Equally where they will go to get your coupons. This one is probably the most important.
- The second is the mobile marketing industry. Google may be the 800 lb. gorilla “on” the web, but in the mobile industry, the mobile application developer will decide whose database of they will use to display on mobile devices and this includes the mobile coupons.
Certainly this local business marketing tool is going to evolve and mature over the next few years. Planning and preparing for success lies with getting started now. This may be the first time we can see into the future and not wait to be behind the eight ball.
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