Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Thriving in the digital landscape requires rethinking traditional business avenues. In the past, finding local customers was primarily attributed to television commercials, radio, and Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH). Today, emerging digital spaces like Facebook and Google have disrupted that advertising status quo.
Consumers have a digital-first mindset. 82% of smartphone shoppers search for businesses "near them" on Google and 50% of those searches lead to a store visit the same day (28% lead to a store visit and a purchase). However, finding ways to incorporate location-based searches into your marketing portfolio isn't always easy. 33% of marketers struggle with figuring out how to use local searches to deliver a relevant message.
What digital platforms should your business have a presence on to take advantage of local searches? How do you deliver a relevant message on those platforms? And how do you manage your business information across all of those digital platforms regularly?
The Power of Local Searches
How long has it been since you've picked up the Yellow Book? 81% of Americans own a smartphone, and the average smartphone user checks their phone around 50 times a day. When people want to know something about a business (e.g., location, hours, services, etc.), they don't reach into their cabinet and pull out an old phonebook. They check or ask (20% of all searches are voice searches) their smartphone. Mobile-based searches are the most dominant force in local searches in 2019.
For businesses, this presents itself as an opportunity and a challenge. If you can figure out how to get in front of all of those consumers searching for businesses online, you can capture more customers and boost your profits. But where do you start?
The digital landscape is fractured. Between the +2 million apps and the thousands of directories and search engines, figuring out where to spend your time is difficult.
Here are the 5 places where you should start.
Let's start by saying this — 46% of ALL Google searches are local searches. Seeing as Google receives over 63,000 search requests per second, that's A LOT of people using Google to find local businesses. Simply creating a Google My Business account is a significant first step towards appearing on some of those searches. And the more searches you appear on, the more customers you get.
Over 80 million small-to-medium-sized businesses have a Facebook profile. Believe it or not, there's a good reason for that. 79% of American consumers have used Facebook to find products or services to purchase. Creating a Facebook page is incredibly simple, and that page can act as a user magnet and a place to address customer complaints.
If you run a B2B brand, existing on LinkedIn shouldn't be optional. 50% of Americans with a degree use LinkedIn, and over 45% of LinkedIn users are in upper management. There's a reason that 94% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn — it's filled with decision-makers, businesses, and opportunity.
Microsoft now manages the Bing, Yahoo, and Verizon ecosystems. In particular, you want to be on Bing. Not only does Bing own a good chunk of the search engine market (around 14%), but it's also filled with a ton of business users. Since Bing is the de facto search engine of Windows, Bing captures a large chunk of the desktop audience — which happens to be stuffed with people at work. As with Google, around 40 - 50% of Bing searches are also local.
This may sound strange at first but posting videos on YouTube is a great way to drive local traffic to your business. Let's ignore the fact that over 60% of businesses post videos on YouTube and that 1.9 BILLION people are watching YouTube videos. Let's focus on value. YouTube gives you an outlet to not only post branded videos that inform and engage your customers, it also gives you the opportunity to chat with them, create Q&As, and help them explore some of the more personal aspects of you and your business.
How Do You Manage All Of These Digital Spaces?
While these 5 platforms are a great start, there are hundreds of other apps and social platforms that you should be highly visible on. How do you do it? How do you keep your business information and photos relevant and up-to-date across a portfolio of digital assets?
We can help. Our location management solution can help you create key business profiles across all of the most important digital spaces. Additionally, we can keep all of your information fresh, consistent, and hyper-relevant to your target audience. Are you ready to win in the digital age?