Local Listings/Maps

101 Local Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

A good read and a comprehensive list from our friends at Synup – recommended for all local business owners…

As a small to midsize business, being present on the web can make or break your business. Doing things properly can only help further your business agenda. If you don’t do things properly, it could bite you in the behind, so it’s best to consider everything when setting up your site to avoid issues down the road.

Here are our top 101 mistakes that you as an SMB should avoid. We’re breaking this into sections to ensure that you hone in on the sections that are most applicable to you.

General business information:

  1. Not having a clear purpose. Does your business have a truly clear purpose?
  2. No strategy.Do you have a strategy that helps realize that purpose? Review your plan and organizational goals at least once a year, preferably quarterly, to see if you’re staying on target.,
  3. Not respecting employees. Your most important customers are your employees.
  4. Losing the passion. If you’re building something and you’re in it because you felt you had to, and not because you wanted to, your product will suffer and you will be unhappy. Either change directions and give up the pursuit, or continue with the trudge despite its incompatibility with your values. You want to go to work empowered and happy, not dejected and unhappy.
  5. Not striving to improve. Never settle for status quo!
  6. Not having a unique value proposition. What makes you better than the other guy offering the same service down the street? Competition is fierce. If you have a competitive advantage, flaunt it!
  7. Poor grammar and spelling. People are not going to want to do business with those who don’t have a firm grasp of the language and spelling. If you can’t spend a little bit of time proofreading, you give off the impression that you simply don’t care. Is that really true?
  8. Not humanizing the business. In this day and age, it’s critical to communicate to people with emotion. Be funny on your company blog. Be approachable on social media. Show videos of the happenings behind the scenes.
  9. Not building relationships: If you build them, they will come.
  10. Having poor customer service (or none at all): Your customer service is one of the primary ways people will know to work with you (or not). If you’re not responding to phone calls, you’re losing leads. If you’re not getting back to people after promising something, you’re losing credibility. If you overpromise and underdeliver, you might find yourself with a 1 star review on Yelp, and then what? Probably nothing, except you just cost yourself a handful (or more) of potential clients. Whoops.
  11. Not asking for their business. You’ve just engaged a potential prospect and then forgot, after the meeting, to ask them to patronize you by buying your product or service. Don’t let them walk out of the door without knowing next actionable steps.
  12. Being too timid. Unless you’re an intern sitting behind a computer, most small businesses require some face to face time with clients. Show confidence in your product offering and be personable too. I would very much rather work with someone who has personality than someone who I spend my time with who doesn’t say a word.
  13. Not communicating. Communicate regularly with your customer. Find out what s/he likes about you. Find out what you can do better. Offer deals and promotions to keep your product top of mine and to ensure they keep coming back.
  14. Taking on projects that you can’t execute upon well. Do whatever is within your skillset. Don’t take on projects that are not within your core competency. If you’re a painter, don’t offer to cut lawns. Veterinarians don’t do plastic surgery. You shouldn’t either!
  15. Not building external relationships: It’s not just about your current customers but about the relationships you can build that will help you grow your customer base. A barber shop can align with the town carnival. A fitness center can align with a healthy restaurant. Find partnerships and co-promote each other!
  16. Putting decisions solely in the hands of experts. Experts know things, but you have a gut feeling too. Trust your gut–and let the expertise follow.
  17. Making things too complex rather than simplified. Simplify your business plan. Don’t do 50 things because it would seem awesome. It would just overwhelm people, as Barry Schwartz explains in his book, The Paradox of Choice. If you cut hair, cut hair. Don’t offer a cat cafe in a side room and a gardening class in another room.
  18. Not having a disaster recovery plan in place. Any business, big or small, needs a disaster recovery plan. In other words, all data needs to be backed up somewhere, such as to an offsite location. Using online tools such as Dropbox and CrashPlan are two preferred methods of backup for all local files on the computers in the office. The more subscriptions, the better! (I use both.)
  19. Losing confidence in yourself based on your company. You are not equivalent with your company. If your company has performance issues, don’t let it get to you. When things get rough, don’t go down in the dumps with it.
  20. Assuming your product will sell itself. Especially when starting out in a new business, you may think that EVERYONE will love your business. Now, you’re open for customers–yet no one comes. Word of mouth is critical!
  21. Not having a budget. You need to pay to play. Without funding, you probably can’t accomplish much. If you have to seek outside investment, go for it.
  22. Making bad hires. Hire smartly. You will make mistakes.
  23. Working hard but not smart.
  24. Not giving up control. There’s no way you can do it all, so don’t be afraid to bring someone on board who can help you succeed.
  25. Not celebrating successes. Employee morale goes up when you make people feel happy at work.

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Posted by Logital Media  |  0 Comment  |  in All, Local Listings/Maps, Mobile, PPC/Paid Search, Ratings/Reviews, SEO/Organic, Social Media, Traditional Media, Video, Websites

Local Online Listings: some important considerations…

Westchester, Putnam & Fairfield County area Businesses need “get found” when local Consumers and  Shoppers are searching online: listings and citations are one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.

And, with the increased importance of Social Media and Mobile search, Logital Media can effectively claim and  optimize your business information across hundreds of directories, websites and  social media channels.

Often however, we get questions about the different local listings solutions available to small businesses. Specifically, paid “sponsored” listings vs your own “organic” listings.

A sponsored listing, costs money, is up and running quickly, and is only live while you keep sending checks.

An organic listing does not usually publish instantly but remains on the search portal where it was built whether or not you keep sending checks.  In other words, you “own” the listing, you’re not just renting it.

Thanks to Google, most people already understand the difference between a sponsored and organic listings.  In the case of Google, you can buy a sponsored listing and see your ad running within hours.  This of course has it’s advantages and is certainly a valuable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.  However, ask any marketer if they would prefer their organic listing rise to the top of search and I’m sure the answer will be unanimous.

The business listings that we create on behalf of the SMB and National Brands are in fact organic, claimed listings.  Anyone involved deeply in local marketing understands clearly that an organic, claimed listing is much more valuable in the long term than a “power listing”, but why?

The Most Important Reason to Claim your Business Listings.

The Rapid Socialization of the Internet

In case you haven’t noticed, the internet at large is becoming more social each day.  It’s no wonder why when more that 50% of everything Internet is now mobile.  More searches, clicks, and ad dollars are now dedicated to the mobile experience, and this trend will continue into the future.

sponsored-vs-organic-listings
For the first time, mobile searches eclipsed desktop searches in 2015. Photo: Ariel Zambelich

It’s important for all marketers to understand clearly that the mobile device is a social device.  We use it primarily for talking, texting, Facebooking, reading/ sharing news, watching videos, finding restaurants and hotel accommodations and taking and sharing photos.  All socially motivated actions.

If you want marketing success on mobile, focus on social.

Local Search is Quickly Becoming Social

Directories, search engines, local sites, and apps are now evolving very quickly into social tools.  There are reviews, comments, likes, corrections, pins, check-ins, shares, photos and so on being added to the search experience.  This is a trend that is expected to accelerate.

Most understand that a company’s Facebook page is a valuable marketing and communication asset for all business, An asset that grows in value over time and effort.  The very first day you build a Facebook page is a lonely day.  With time and user interactions, the experience becomes increasingly richer and in turn the social channel’s asset value for the business grows.

Like Facebook, all social channels, such as Google, Yelp, Foursquare, Judy’s Book etc. need time and consistent user interaction to become valuable to the business.

Yext-Power-Listings

As more and more search portals morph into social sites, gathering likes, pins, shares, photos, check-ins, comment, reviews, and corrections etc. it is becoming increasingly essential to own your listing.

So I ask you now, Do you want to rent or own your social channels?

Sponsored

  • Near real time creation and updates of listings

  • No merchant interaction required for verification

  • No direct ownership

  • If you cancel your account, you lose all your listing data including social interactions

Organic

  • Direct Ownership control

  • Social Aspects grow valuable asset over time

  • If you cancel the listing management account, you keep what has been built

  • Requires some merchant interaction for claiming via postcard or phone call

  • May take up to 30 days (usually less than 10 days) to create listings

Posted courtesy of LML

Posted by Logital Media  |  0 Comment  |  in All, Local Listings/Maps, Logital Media