THE RULES HAVE CHANGED

smartbook1Local businesses of all types are drawing the same conclusion. The things that used to work to market their business no longer work as well. The internet and mobile device platforms have revolutionised marketing. Local Businesses who evolve their marketing strategies to stay in front of these trends will gain themselves a significant competitive advantage.

Your business exists to solve people’s problems - and nowadays the first thing most people do to solve a problem is look up their options on the internet. Thanks to high-speed wireless networks, mobile devices, communications software and social platforms, local business marketing has been transformed into a largely digital discipline.

This new media is quickly replacing old school advertising methods such as newspaper ads, printed business directories like the Yellow Pages and direct mail pieces.

For instance, look at the Yellow Pages. Stop and ask yourself this question: do you know where your phone book is right now? Probably not…If you're like 80% of the population, you don’t have a clue where your Yellow book is. The average age of someone who uses Yellow Pages is over 65 years of age. This means if a business is in the Yellow Pages alone, they are missing out on the vast majority of the population.

Local internet marketing provides a strategy for local businesses to put their information in multiple places so that people can find the information at the exact time that they have a need for the product or service you offer. Both in theory and in practice, this has proven to be a much better marketing solution for both ‘brick and mortar’ business and those with the ability to sell online.

Local consumers’ increased usage of the Internet and smartphones is driving businesses to learn how to take advantage of these new platforms so their prospects and customers can find them, hear about them and, ultimately, buy from them.

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This is also important because the internet is now interactive. Consumers are sharing their experiences with local businesses...Both positive and negative! Not only is it very important for business owners to know to control the message they're putting out, but they must also keep track of that people are saying about their business.

Take a look at the statistics: Google has over 200 million searches every day; out of those 200 million searches over 1.6 billion a month (or 27% of all searches) are looking for a local solution. What that means is people are actually putting in a geographic identifier in the search bar. For instance if you're in Christchurch and you're looking for a dentist, chances are you don't just put in “dentist”; chances are you put in “Christchurch dentist” or “Christchurch dental office.” You type something that identifies where you are geographically.

From there the search engine knows to go find the information that's most relevant for you. After all, if you have a toothache, you don't really care about how great the dentist in America is if you live in Christchurch. The same thing goes for a pizza joint. If you're looking for pizza, you probably aren't looking for just pizza in general; you're looking for it based on where you're located.

Here’s another amazing statistic: 82% of local searches are followed by an action, a store visit, a call, an email or a purchase. So when people are searching locally, it means they're ready to take action and more likely to buy. They are a purchase-driven consumer!

This whitepaper is going to share with you proven, cost effective ways for your local business to maximise your digital presence and get a significant competitive advantage in the online ‘race to be found’. As bold a statement as this may be, this book will change the way you market your business forever. The great news is the most successful digital strategy involves you remaining 100% focused on simply giving your customers a great experience… let’s showyou how.

YOUR BEST FORM OF ADVERTISING HASN’T CHANGED, JUST HOW IT’S DELIVERED…

Although the digital world has changed the effectiveness of other advertising vehicles, the one thing that hasn’t changed is your very best form of advertising: word of mouth. You see, when you the business owner promote or talk about your business, only 14% of people believe you; yet whenever one of your customers talks positively about your company, 90% of people trust the recommendation.

These days the smartest way to advertise is to use your customers’ words

The Internet now offers you the opportunity to capture, spread and amplify the word of mouth your business receives. To do that you must first capture your customers’ details.

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