Why An Online Directory Can Help Your Demand Generation Strategy
Digital marketing teams can’t seem to catch a break. Not only are they tasked with initiatives including social media marketing, PPC, content marketing, email marketing, tracking metrics, and more, but there is also the pressure of understanding the target audience to create messaging to help their sales teams build trust through demand generation campaigns.
More than ever, marketing experts continue to focus on brand awareness and brand authority, to help aid the sales process and concurrently the strategies and behaviors that supported both increased public awareness and a brand’s reputation for being an industry leader.
A recent Gartner report provides a powerfully in-depth breakdown of how a brand can implement a comprehensive demand generation strategy by leveraging data-driven tactics designed to increase brand awareness and product demand. Using their approach is useful for driving both brand awareness and authority in key channels. This can be a difficult undertaking if your search engine optimization (SEO) hasn’t been built around making your brand easier to find and easier to research. That’s where online directories become essential tools for marketing experts looking to craft a well-designed demand generation strategy.
Establish Which Online Directories Are Essential
Online directories are the modern equivalent of the Yellow Pages and allow registered businesses to provide potential high-quality leads with every vital piece of information about their business offerings at a glance. Online directory listings, if properly tailored and managed, can provide that crucial first step in the customer journey that sets the tone for their future experience with your team. Aside from the basics of company name, phone number, and addresses both physical and web domain, but also a brief overview of services and the opportunity to direct that potential lead to a targeted landing page.
Whether industry-specific or general, every directory has its own established community of users that trust that directory to provide it with businesses that can meet their needs. What’s more, by creating a properly formatted directory listing with a link back to your website, you’ve provided Google search algorithms with a backlink to a legitimate business, crucial for effective SEO.
Chances are, your business has multiple unclaimed listings hurting your brand
While some directory services are fee-based, most have either a standard or some form of free directory listings that you can claim and flesh out. These are free opportunities to build brand awareness of which many owners aren’t even aware.
Which online directories are suitable for my business?
Online directories can be generally focused, industry-focused, or even focused on specific local communities. It’s important that your marketing team or service provider search out any and every directory that might be valid to your business, and that they don’t skimp when it comes to local search given that in 2021, 21% of consumers had performed a search for local businesses every day, and 35% of them had performed that search at least several times a week to find local businesses that met their needs.
How do I effectively manage so many listings?
There are arguments for and against manually managing your most important listings, such as your Google Business Profile, and those directory listings that are most influential in your specific industry niche. Beyond that, however, you should consider leveraging directory listing management tools, of which there are many. Using such free tools will help ensure your directory listings are consistent across platforms, crucial for SEO ranking and establishing brand legitimacy as far as Google and other search engines are concerned.
Why Online Directories Are Crucial For Demand Generation Tactics
While similar, there are a few key differences that marketing professionals need to remember to exist between successful demand generation and lead generation, and in those differences lies the importance of online directories for supporting demand generation strategies. With many marketing specialists more focused on lead generation tactics intended only to move prospects through the sales funnel, a team more focused on growing the potential audience interested in their products through demand generation strategies will gain the upper hand in any industry niche. Maintaining directory listings provides your marketing team with a stream of crucial data that reveals consumer exposure to your brand and can be used to track subsequent patterns of engagement.
Put your brand assets in front of a larger audience
Marketing strategies are no longer single channels of advertising as they were in years past. Aside from organic and paid advertising, you now have to rely on content campaigns and other methods for engaging with customers, and crafting the right content or executing paid ad campaigns in the right channels requires knowing the buyer persona, what they’re looking for, and how they’re engaging with your brand, as well as their demographic information. All of this can be captured through the traffic reports that many directory listings make a part of the listing user’s experience.
Customers trust companies they can easily find online more than those who only have a website
Of course, the goal of your inbound marketing strategy is to get qualified leads into your sales funnels and onto your targeted landing pages. But if a potential customer is searching for products or services in your niche, and you and five competitors show up in the results, what’s going to help them decide between those five options?
Marketing experts have found that when search results include not only your main website but also several well-known industry directories touting your expertise and showing reviews from customers who have had a positive experience with your team, you are more likely to catch that potential customer’s attention than the brand who’s only presence in the search was a sales-focused landing page.
The fact is, new customers are more likely to trust your brand the easier it is to find. Brands without directory listings come across as untrustworthy and as if they’re hiding the poor experiences of their customers.
Opportunities to improve brand through review generation
In the last few years, updates to the Google SEO-focused algorithms have put a premium on review-focused content. One of the perks of claiming and maintaining your listing across multiple directories is that it gives you more platforms where customers are going to leave reviews. This increases opportunities to engage with customers and improve your reputation, as well as helps you rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs), key components to building brand awareness and establishing a company as an authority versus competing businesses in the specific niche.
Determine what marketing efforts have the most impact
Directories are an amazing resource for researching how to improve your services and how best to meet your target customer’s needs. Through directory listings, you can do a deep dive into the advertising and marketing tactics of your competitors, research trends in your industry, gather data from users, and overall leverage directory platforms in better dialing into your target customers’ needs.
Not to mention, identify potential new channels where your messaging and marketing efforts might build and expand brand awareness and improve the overall reputation for being a leader in the services or products you provide.
Stay Connected to UpCity
Subscribe to our blog for monthly updates on best-practices, guides, and more for B2B service providers.
How The UpCity Marketplace Can Help Your B2B Demand Generation Efforts
Once you’ve sorted out your Google Business Profile, take the time to decide what other directory platforms to utilize for an effective successful demand generation strategy. You don’t have to make that decision alone if your team doesn’t have the experience or expertise to properly execute. Your next stop should be the UpCity directory, where you can find a local B2B service provider specializing in reputation management or lead and demand generation marketing.
With a marketplace full of credible providers, each with a curated list of reviews your business can trust, the UpCity service providers community is organized by state and province, ensuring that you can find a business service provider local to your offices who understands your business needs and can help fill whatever business process gap you’re looking to address.