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Is all of your advertising money still going into Yellow Pages’ advertisements? Are you noticing that your phone isn’t ringing like it used to? Have you heard that your competition is moving away from traditional advertising in favor of the web and you want to do the same, but you’re not sure where to start? If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, this post is for you.
Business owners are discovering that traditional print advertising isn’t getting them the results that it used to. Instead of picking up a phone book, consumers are going to the web to search for a plumber, electrician, contractor, etc. Increasingly, consumers want to use the web to learn more about the company they’re going to hire, research the services provided, and read reviews about other customers’ experiences.
Transitioning from the advertising campaigns you used to do to get new business to a new form of marketing can seem daunting (to be completely candid, it is daunting!), but with the right team and tools, you can take charge of your marketing and feel more confident in your marketing ROI.
Step One: Review Your Yellow Page Investments
In order to know what direction you should go, you need to know where you currently are. Take a good, hard look at all of your current YP advertisements (this includes their web products if you’re using those). Find out how many ads you have, the locations those ads are targeting, and how much you are spending on them each month. Go to the websites where your YP ads are supposedly running and see if you can even find your listings.
Step Two: Track Your Yellow Page Advertisements
It is difficult to know what is working if you are not tracking it—and very few business owners are doing it correctly. By implementing tracked phone numbers in each of your current YP advertisements, you’ll be able to see how many calls are coming from the YP advertisements each month and through call recording and tagging, find out how many of those calls are leads.
By comparing your monthly spend on the Yellow Pages with the amount of revenue those ads are bringing in each month, you can make a confident decision on what is actually working for you. If you discover that you are spending more on the Yellow Page print ads than the print ads are producing in revenue for the company, it is time to move in a different direction and spend your marketing money elsewhere.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Do not use the tracked phone numbers provided by the Yellow Pages (even if they’re free). Take out tracked phone lines from a third party provider (like Blue Corona, but there are others). The first reason you should not use the yellow pages tracked phone lines is that if you cancel the ad, they will cancel the number. For as bad as the ROI can be from print yellow page ads, some consumers continue to use them, and often they end up using an old version of the book. The second reason you should not use the yellow pages tracked phone lines is because they do not tag the calls for you. Often, less than half of the calls received from an ad are actual leads. Don’t let the YP rep convince you that any call over a certain length of time is a lead—it’s not!
Step Three: Move Your Marketing Money to the Web
In some markets, print YP ads still generate a positive return on investment. However, the ROI from the web often exceeds traditional ads by more than 20 to 1! More and more business owners are discovering that they need to invest money into the web in order to grow their business. After you have a clear picture of your current marketing ROI by tracking your YP advertisements, you can stop unfruitful investments and come up with a plan and budget for marketing your business online.
Find yourself a great online marketing company / partner to be your guide to the web. The right partner will be one part teacher, one part advisor/coach, and one part doer. A great online marketing company can guide you as you create an online presence, while also continuing to track those investments.
These online marketing services can include, but are not limited to:
Creating / redesigning your website
If you want to be found on the web, you need a centralized place for customers to find you. Your website is your number one sales and marketing tool, introducing your company to customers and making it easy for them to contact you for service. You want a well-designed, well-optimized site that is easy for your customers to navigate and can convert visitors to leads.
Writing quality content for the site
Search engines reward companies for quality, unique content on their website. By creating a specialized search engine optimization (SEO) plan for your business, you can target the correct services and keywords so that you rank on the first page of Google.
Managing pay per click advertisements and budgets
Marketing yourself on the web expands further than just organic results. By investing in pay per click, you increase your visibility on the web by creating more ways for customers to find you. With the proper optimization and management of your pay per click account, your ads can appear on the first page of search engines instantaneously.
Managing your social media strategy and reputation
Social media has growing at a rapid pace over the past several. Most companies have a Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter account, promoting their company and reaching out to customers. You want to make sure you are creating the right balance between endorsing your brand and building an online community.
Each of these services helps improve your visibility on the web. As more customers find you on the web, the more your phone will ring and business will grow.
Although there are DIY approaches to online marketing, there is a lot of misleading information that can be more hurtful than helpful. Online marketing is an evolving industry and is constantly changing as search engines modify their algorithms and technologies improve. By researching and hiring an online marketing company, they can help create the best online marketing strategy for you.
For more information on transitioning your advertising online, contact us today.
About The Author: Erin is currently the Call Intelligence Manager at Blue Corona. However, as one of the first five employees with the company, she has held many positions, including analyst, copywriter, office chair building expert, and (self-proclaimed) bake-off favorite.
View more blogs by Erin Whetham