There are a substantial amount of ways to market your business and many of them are free. Aside from social media and word-of-mouth marketing, another free marketing strategy is a directory listing. Listings such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business are how people find your company. When customers constantly see the name of your business, it will keep your company front-of-mind when people need it most.
To help businesses, we have created a list of free online directories, communities, and business listing sites where you should have a profile. You can read each description to determine which platform is best for your business.
For a greater online footprint, we recommend using more than one. The easier it is to find your business, the more likely people will spend money with you.
Yelp attracts millions of users every day as it is the third most popular review site on the web. Listing your business on Yelp has its pros and cons. As long as you have mostly positive reviews, a free version of Yelp is all you will need. Four and five star reviews on Yelp can help attract new customers to your business based on the good word.
Google My Business
Google is used every single day. From searching for information about a business to mapping out directions, Google is the main street of the web. Your business can rank higher in a search when you optimize your Google My Business page.
Ecoferral is a York, PA, based networking and referral hub designed to help people find the best service provider for their needs. Claim your business on Ecoferral to promote your services and products and to convert page visitors to paying customers.
Facebook is the biggest social networking platform with 1 in every 7 people on the planet actively checking local business pages every day. Creating a Facebook page for your business is an easy process and allows other users to tag your business and leave reviews, and you are able to communicate with your customers and keep them updated day to day.
If you’re in the hospitality business, you are doing yourself a disservice by not listing yourself on one of the top five review websites in the game. Over 535 million reviews have been posted on this site.
Like Facebook, Instagram is another free and popular social networking site where you can communicate and connect with your customers and followers in real time. Many shoppers research before going to a store or making a purchasing decision. Instagram is a visual invitation for people to look further into your products and services.
Linkedin may seem like it’s for head honchos; however, small businesses can take advantage of the platform for their followers and potential customers to get to know more about their brand and their employees. Companies can use Linkedin to highlight their experience and professional reputation. Linkedin is especially favorable for insurance companies, finance-based businesses, and marketing agencies.
Yahoo may seem like an old-fashioned term these days, but the search engine is still used by one billion people per month. Similar to Google partnering with Google My Business, Yahoo partners with Yext to display local small business search results. Yext is a one stop shop for making sure your business is found “everywhere.”
If you’re not using Apple, you’re probably using Microsoft. Microsoft’s default browser is Internet Explorer which searches with Bing. It’s worth your time to set up your information on Bing Places For Business.
What used to be a subscription-only service is now a free online directory for crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses and contractors.
Remember when your mom would ask you to grab the phone book? This is similar, just digital! Sixty million people still search through the yellow pages directory. Be sure to claim your business here.
Sometimes customers are interested in how businesses treat their employees. Glassdoor is the number one review site for companies and employees. Companies become registered when an employee submits a review, hopefully a positive one.
Whitepages is an enormous directory full of global people and businesses. When you search a name on Google, a Whitepage listing often ranks at the very top. An interesting feature of Whitepages is their use of application programming interface (API). This allows businesses to buy and use the company’s extensive data to build their own software.
If someone is using an iPhone, the likelihood that they use Apple Maps is high. The primary map app on iOS devices is another free directory in which you can and should make sure your business is listed.
Lastly, Chamber lists are an extremely valuable resource that is often overlooked, even in Hanover. After all, they exist for owners, the initiators of local commerce, to thrive. The Chamber is a hub for news, events, and networking, and their website keeps a list of local businesses and members. It may be worth your time to get in front of the Chamber and participate in small business services.
Now that you have been presented with many opportunities, once you choose your directory profiles of choice, what’s next? You will want to make sure you provide as much information about your business as possible on these sites. Next, stay active. The more “alive” your business looks, the more inviting your business will become to curious customers.
If this all seems overwhelming and you are unsure where to start, contact a professional at Fuhrman Creative to get you started today.