Since the beginning of time, local businesses with products and services offered are always looking for the latest way to attract customers. Just think about how the advertising model has changed for local businesses only in the last decade.
Businesses are used to rely on the largest ad space on the yellow page or have their business names start with “A” as a prominent way to attract the attention of prospective customers.
Then the internet holds and causes a seismic shift in a local business marketing strategy. The way to attract more customers is to take advantage of various methods to rank as high as possible in search engines. The logic is that if your business is ranked high, potential customers will find you and contact your business first before one of your local competitors. SEO & PPC become a popular acronym and local business costs a lot of money to be applied.
Now the shift in other epic proportions is to change the landscape for local businesses. This shift occurs when Google’s Titan search engine introduces reviews as part of their list for business. When you “Google” local businesses, not only display their list, but also the ability to check their business reviews. The listing will also reveal Zagat’s reputation score from 0-30, provided that business has received at least 10 reviews. If a business does not have the number of reviews needed to get a score, this can cause problems, especially if their competitors have a high score attached to their list.
For companies that have been posted, this has changed things because now when consumers type the company name + city whose reputation is open to see everyone. Many local businesses assume they can fight all negative reviews by using a reputation of marketing tactics, such as packing positive content as much as possible to various internet locations. However, Google’s new format when displaying search results has reduced the effectiveness of many reputation management solutions.
This is where the Big Game Changer has occurred for local business marketing. The more important for local businesses to market their reputation to get more customers. The reason for changing this marketing strategy is because consumers currently put very high reviews when deciding where to buy products or services. A new study was carried out by market leaders Nielsen issued this shift in the market.
Nielsen stated that “70% of consumer value reviews as a major factor that influenced their purchasing decisions,” Second only for personal recommendations. Reviews posted online are also far larger than other advertising forms, such as newspaper articles about business, information provided by business branded websites, or even TV advertisements, according to Nielsen.
Furthermore, this study also revealed that consumers trust businesses that have a minimum of 6-10 reviews. Without 6-10 reviews, the business is not credible in the mind of the buyer. This might explain Google’s inclusion of Zagat’s reputation score.
This evidence clearly emphasizes the need for local businesses to develop a comprehensive plan to market their reputation to get more customers. Business which is solely relying on a reputable management solution that has been outdated to ward off negative reviews will not produce their phone to ring as often as they want.
Business must place a system in place to hoard positive online reviews to convince consumers looking online that they must call them first to buy the product or service. Online positive reviews will help local businesses create a “star” reputation, which they can market and utilize to change more customers.