Local Learnings from Atlanta: Unlocking a Strong Search, Mobile & Social Marketing Strategy
Small business owners today constantly think about how to generate quality leads, drive awareness of their products and services, and reach today’s increasingly mobile consumers. They also oftentimes struggle with how to go about doing all of that while still dedicating the necessary time and energy to actually running their own business.
That’s precisely why we created the YP Local Breakthrough Summit, a nationwide series of one-day events geared towards helping small business owners learn tips and tricks from the pros and their small business peers about how to build and grow their business effectively by tackling the challenge of digital marketing.
After a successful launch last month in Miami, the YP Local Breakthrough Summit made its next stop in YP’s hometown of Atlanta, as part of a month-long tour up the East Coast. What stood out as a recurring question among the local business owners who attended was a desire to learn how to spark business growth (via digital marketing, that is) despite limited knowledge and resources. In fact, Chuck Eiland of Pop Cork Wine Tours, a small business owner on our Local Champion panel said, “I am an old guy where we did things face to face.” Others, like Ruth King of On the Ribbon, talked about the challenge of reaching customers effectively and measuring ROI.
Fortunately, we had the right digital marketing experts on hand – from YP, Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Verve – to address that concern. In Atlanta, three out of four consumers use search engines to find information on products or services, according to research conducted by Buzzboard on behalf of YP. Yet, less than half – a staggering 42 percent – actually have search engine optimized websites.
So it goes without saying that having a solid SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in place is a critical first step for ensuring that consumers can easily find local businesses based on the products or services (aka, keywords) they’ve typed into the search bar. However, our panel of experts underscored that the search experience is no longer just about finding information. What we’re seeing today are consumers relying more and more on search to complete simple tasks, like calling a business, mapping directions, or simply checking store hours – even more so when they do this on-the-go via their mobile devices. So not only do business websites need to be easily searchable (vis-à-vis SEO), but the information within those websites also needs to be accessible and always up-to-date.
And while SEO is a very important piece of the lead generation puzzle for any small business, it’s really just a starting point. Ramon Ray, entrepreneur and best-selling author of the “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing,” emphasized the power of social content marketing as an easy and effective tactic to complement other digital marketing efforts. He believes that every small business owner today must also think of themselves as a “publisher” in order to stand out from the competition and generate leads via relevant, engaging, and quality content.
To get started as a publisher, he encouraged attendees to practice “FREA”:
FREQUENCY – content should be posted frequently
RELEVANCY – content should address the needs of a target audience
ENGAGEMENT – content should aim to spark conversation
ANALYTICS – content should regularly be measured for success
This was an important reminder to local business owners that connecting with the digital and mobile consumer should be an absolute priority, even though it can oftentimes be a daunting challenge for a novice digital marketer. That’s why YP is proud to partner with local businesses across the country to help them harness the power of digital marketing by giving them access to industry thought leaders and sharing best practices proven to drive business growth.
To learn more about how YP helps local businesses and communities grow, visit YP Marketing Solutions today. For more interesting local stats from Atlanta, be sure to download the Atlanta Digiscape infographic as well.
Categorized in: SMB Solutions