Monthly Archives: September 2012
Make sure your business is found when someone is looking for you
Having your business name and number listed in print, available online, an on mobile devices is important. However, it is more about getting your business exposure in the right places. Remember, the Yellow Pages is no longer just in book form. The medium continues to deliver large volumes of high-quality, cost-effective business leads through multiple platforms.
There are many advertising options available to a business when it comes to advertising; however, there are only five (5) basic requirements for a successful advertising medium, often referred to as “CURER.”
Usage – what is the usage, or visibilty of the medium?
Retention – when is the advertising available?
Economy – is it cost effective, generating a return on the investment?
Results – does the medium generate measurable results?
Try to think of an advertising program like a circle. If you were to draw a line through the middle of the circle, or cut it in half, the upper half would represent “non-directional” forms of advertising. This intention of this type of advertising is to create brand awareness, identify needs, and make impressions.
Alternatively, the lower half of the circle represents the “directional”form of advertising. This portion of an advertising program should support the creative aspects of a campaign, or make sure the buyer knows where to go when they have made a decision to make a purchase, or use a service.
Did you know there are two types of Yellow Pages users?
Recommended by your existing customers
Influenced by other forms of your advertising
Contacted by your salesperson
Passing-by your storefront
Are your former customers and shoppers
Newcomers to the community
In need of an emergency service, or product
Dissatisfied with your competition
*So…53% of purchasers have a decision to make at time of search
Now that you have decided advertising is a good decision for your business…
Next . . . think about some questions you may want to ask yourself, and your local sales representative:
- What is the coverage area of the directory? (sometimes a directory will cover a wide area, but books are only delivered to certain parts of the area)
- When and how is the directory distributed? (door-to-door, mail, pick-up)
- How many copies of the directory are distributed to the market area (s)?
- Is there more than one directory that I need to consider?
- What products and services are offered by the directory publisher that allow me to reach my prospect? (e.g., print, electronic, mobile)
- What are my competitors doing in the way of advertising?
- Do my competitors advertise in other places – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
- Does the advertising program recommended satisfy my business needs?
- Do I have a complete advertising program – non-directional/directional forms of advertising?
- What can I expect in terms of my return on investment (ROI)?
- Does the publisher have usage data to support my buying decision?
- Is there a way to track my results? (call measurement)
- How will I be billed?
Don’t get too excited yet, but it appears that some commentators are starting to embrace what we’ve known for some time.
It’s always the right time to advertise in the Yellow Pages
By Ken Clark, YP Talks
The nice folks at American Express sent me an article about when the best times are to tweet and post on Facebook, times when you can get the maximum exposure. These emerging social media are examples of new platforms that some marketers are frothing over to use their advertising dollars on, I assume to help grow their businesses.
Any guesses?? Early morning? Late at night? For the record, beyond the YPTalk.com website, I use both Twitter and Facebook to share business information with the greater industry, but have always been a bit doubtful that these platforms could ever really attract and retain customers anywhere near as well as Yellow Pages.
The source of this analysis was Bit.ly, the URL shortening service which recently analyzed retweets and clickthroughs that tweets get when they’re posted at certain times of the week and times of day. Bit.ly also analyzed Facebook links.
And the results were….
Time to Tweet:
For Twitter, peak traffic time for Twitter in general is around the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST window, Monday through Thursday. As an marketer, your best chance at getting the most clickthroughs is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday. Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided and Bit.ly even noted in a blog post:“….Specifically, don’t bother posting after 3 p.m. on a Friday, since as far as being a gateway to drive traffic to your content, it appears that Twitter doesn’t work on weekends.” Wow. That doesn’t sound like a very effective advertising platform.
More depressing news is that the half-life of a link on Twitter is something like 2.8 hours.
Getting More Likes:
For Facebook, traffic starts to pick up about 9 a.m., but Bit.ly suggests waiting to post until 11 a.m. Facebook traffic begins to fade after 4 p.m. The absolute highest number of clickthroughs comes at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. picking up the highest average clickthroughs. Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. perform terribly. As with Twitter, weekends are less than ideal. But if you miss Wednesday at 3 p.m. there is always next week.
The Bit.ly analysis conflicts a little with a study from last month by Buddy Media, showing that Thursday and Friday were better for engagement on Facebook. One possible reason for the difference was methodology as Buddy analyzed 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and Likes spurred by those posts, whereas Bit.ly focused just on the sharing of links.
As a disclaimer of sorts, Bit.ly adds that it is important to keep in mind that these times are meant only as “a guide”, and may not apply to breaking news. In addition, the ideal post times may vary by a particular business, customer, or type of content.
So let’s take this theme a little further. When is the best time for someone to use a print, online, or mobile Yellow Pages? Answer: 24/7/365. Results are not limited to 1 to 4 pm EDT on alternate Thursdays.
So why should a savvy SMB advertise in the Yellow Pages? Answer: to be available to those buying customers 24/7/365. Three examples of why that’s important:
- Do you know when a strong wind is going to blow down your fence (as mine just did several weeks ago)?
- Can you predict when the garage door opener is going to jam and not work (as in the door will not open so I can’t get the car out of the garage) like it did on a recent holiday for me?
- Why is it that the dog always seems to get sick and need professional veterinarian care on a Saturday evening?
I’m sure you can think of dozens of other similar life events that occur when you least expect them, or even those purchases you know you need to make for something you are not an expert in. Where would you turn? Facebook?
It may not be very sexy, but the Yellow Pages work, every day, weekend, holiday, at any time the need arises for a local product or service.