How to Get More Businesses to Use Your Directoryin Community Content Engine
Just because technology makes things uber easy for many of us here in the 21st century doesn’t necessarily mean we have more time. As a matter of fact, it could be said that we now have less time since we are being pulled in 100s of different directions; sometimes from all over the world! If there’s one fact of life that couldn’t be any truer, it’s this: people are more willing to do or sign up for something when some (or all) of the work is already done for them.
Therefore, when it comes to trying to get local businesses to use listings in your publication’s directory, it will serve you if you can take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to get your hands dirty – and really, it’s quite simple. By taking a few extra steps when inviting business's to use your directory, you will increase your signups and build out a more useful community resource.
You should start by heading over to your directory on the back end, and see what you’ve already got. Any unclaimed listings are fair game. You can also build out your directory by adding potential advertisers or other local businesses/non-profits/groups.
Next, there are a few key items you’ll want to update. The purpose behind this is to make the listing look pretty and presentable before you go to invite a business owner or marketing person. Here’s your checklist:
- Make sure the business name and address are correct (meaning it matches the name on the business website and/or social media profiles)
- Add a logo, if it is easily available. (This can usually be found on a business website or social media profile and make sure it is good quality – and not pixelated or illegible)
- Add a phone number
- Add a website
- Provide a detailed description – you can often copy and paste introductory text from a business’s website or “About Us” page, and other times you can write something up yourself
This should all take about 5 minutes and it maximizes your potential for more business claims, which adds value to your readers and advertising prospects. Now, simply reach out to the business owner and let them know about their new listing (make sure you have a working email address).
Depending on the system you use for your directory you will want to give them a way to log in or the person on staff to contact to make updates to their listing. It’s always best to tie your message back to the business, so mentioning the business has been featured on your website can be a plus, if applicable.
You can use this tactic to create a new relationship with a business in town that you have been trying to reach out to. You can also use it to create a snowball effect where local business owners will be more likely to complete their directory info because they see it completed by other business owners.
Note that you can also do this when adding new businesses. When you add a new business, to your directory, go through the steps we outlined above to make sure they have a complete listing, before you invite them to take control of their listing. Using these tips, over time, you will build out a more complete, useful directory that will help build traffic and provide value to the community.
Let us know in the comments and other tips you may have for getting businesses to claim their directory listings!
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