7 Reasons Why Your Business Should NOT Advertise with Yellow Pages

One of the questions we are asked all the time from small businesses is in regards to their concerns about Yellow Pages. We have so many directories for each geographical region in the Ohio Valley, so our clients frequently wonder if it is even worth it to advertise in these outdated directories. So in an effort to prevent any more business owners from using their hard-earned dollars on dead-end advertising:

1. Why so expensive to place yellow page ads in books?

At one time, the Verizon Yellow Pages was the evil empire of the advertising world. They managed to set up a paradigm amongst small businesses everywhere that success in life and in businesses ran through that little yellow book of theirs. They also established pricing structures that made it very difficult for business owners to down-size their ads when they realized the costs were too high. Such made for a financially debilitating cycle for many business owners. Luckily for all though, this little thing called ‘The Internet’ was invented and businesses far and wide celebrated cost effective advertising and marketing solutions that actually worked…

2. “Should I pay for yellow pages?”

The InSilico Media Group team says “NO”, unless you’re the type that loves flushing dollar bills down the toilet. Listing your company name, number, and domain address is fine. Beyond that though, you’re going to pay ridiculous amounts of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

3. “How dead is yellow page books?”

Today’s consumer searches online before they do anything else. Their first step towards making a purchasing is essentially the first keys they hit on their computers at work or at home to begin the information gathering process. We think it’s safe to say that Yellow Pages, at least the ‘book’ form, won’t be around in a few more years as businesses get smarter and smarter with their advertising dollars.

4. Life without yellow pages

Life without wasting money is AWESOME. At least, that’s my opinion. Since one of our clients stopped advertising in the Yellow Pages last year (other than our name, number, and website listing) they have saved an average of $3,000 per month. Do you know how much killer web marketing can be done with $36,000 a year? The possibilities are through the roof. This is also why our team members are always shocked when businesses squawk over spending less than $10,000 a year on our services when they’re essentially burning money in the campfire with the crazy amounts they’re paying in YP advertising.

5. Yellow pages are a waste of money 2017

And 2016, 2015, 2014…

6. “My business moved, do I have to pay my yellow pages ad?”

Just think, if this person’s marketing was all internet based, he could make the necessary changes at NO COST. Instead, he’s stuck paying for words on a yellow sheet of paper that are sending customers to the wrong address. OUCH.

7. What happens if your business can’t pay for their ad?

Many small business owners out there have been swooned into thinking the Yellow Pages is still a viable marketing platform. Unfortunately, in our experience, Yellow Pages doesn’t take very kindly to not being paid.

Invest money into social advertising

Online/social/digital advertising (Internet ads) is growing – fast. It’s now larger than broadcast television advertising and it’s beating traditional print newspaper advertising. More money is being spent on this form of advertising and it’s more effective at getting and keeping the attention of a younger demographic.

Brands need to invest money into social advertising for long-term success.

Reason 1 – You only reach a tiny percentage of your target audience organically.

Facebook organic reach is sitting at a whopping 2-3%. Some lucky ones (and they are rare) see anywhere from 10-30%. That’s organically (meaning they see it naturally in their newsfeed without any promotion). If you have 2,000 fans, that means only 250-600 people are seeing it or 1,750-1,400 fans AREN’T seeing it.
Advertising via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn provides greater reach based on your budget. That means your promoted post will be seen by a larger percentage of your audience. Your contest will get more entries or you’ll see an increase in opt-ins.

 

Reason 2 – Without keeping yourself out there, people will forget about you.

My background is in advertising and one thing that is permanently branded in my brain is top of mind awareness. If you do not put yourself out there and stay out there, people will forget about you.
With social media, you can stay out there by being active, but that’s only within your community. Yes, compelling, interesting and quality content will keep them coming back, but every business owner hopes to grow, not stay stagnant. According to a stat from Social Media Today, 79% of marketers saw more quality leads from social media. That’s why you need to branch out and advertise, reach that new segment. You want to continually add new people to your community and advertising is the perfect avenue.

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Reason 3 – More businesses are advertising online and will do so on a bigger scale – including your competitors.

Social advertising is almost required in social marketing now. If you want to keep up with your competitors, you have to devote some of your budget to advertising online.

Take in these stats:

  • In 2013, Internet advertising expenditures surpassed newspaper ad spending for the first time.
  • Internet ads now account for 21% of all advertising dollars, second only to television at 40%.
  • There are over 1.5 million active Facebook advertisers.
  • Over 1 million small-to-medium sized businesses are advertising on Facebook.

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These facts and figures make online advertising hard to ignore. It’s a sector that is only going to grow and if you are not already advertising online, you need to start – NOW. If you don’t, your competitor is going to beat you to the punch and you’ll spend your time playing catch up.

Are you already advertising online? If so, what platforms/areas are you using? Have you decreased your traditional advertising budget(s)?
Email our sales team at info@insilicomediagroup.com or call our office at 740-371-5099.

Why invest in advertising?

Advertising is in fact one of the marketing tactics that comes with an invoice. You must write a check to run ads or send direct mail, often before seeing any results. In my experience people shy away from advertising, not because of the cost, because they don’t know how to get results and they don’t understand the long-term residual effects.

Advertising is the only medium you can control – if you want your message to hit on the day a product launches or event is about to happen, this is the only vehicle you control completely.

Advertising allows you to target ideal customers only – when you match a very personal message to a very select audience you get far greater connection.

Advertising creates awareness for your content – The force that drives a great deal of conversion and trust building these days is educational content – ebooks, seminars and blog posts – advertising is a great way to help get that content found and consumed once you’ve gone to the effort to produce it.

Advertising adds credibility to your message – Don’t ask me why this is exactly, but every time I run advertising people comment that business must be going well. The perception that you can afford advertising is often enough to sell and resell prospects and customers alike and makes it easier to get attention for your entire message.

Advertising amplifies everything else you’re doing – When you are using advertising to create awareness for your content you automatically create more awareness for everything you are doing. Journalists find companies that advertise, referral sources remember companies that advertise, people fan and follow and friend from ads, and employees can point to well-placed ads as a source of pride in place they work.

Ready to hire an advertising agency? Email our sales team at info@insilicomediagroup.com or call our office at 740-371-5099.

The Impact of Inbound Marketing

Consumers are tuning out traditional, interruption-based marketing methods and choosing when and where to interact with brands. This creates exponential growth in demand for inbound marketing services across the core areas of search, social, content, PR, email, analytics, web, digital advertising, mobile, and more.

The future belongs to dynamic businesses with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, a love for data, and a commitment to producing results that can be tracked in real time and correlated directly to sales.

Change is not always easy, but it is inevitable. In the coming years, the marketing services industry will be transformed, and the criteria that marketers use to select and manage agency partners will evolve. Traditional firms — PR, advertising, web, SEO, content — that are unable or unwilling to evolve will fade, and a new category of disruptive hybrid agencies will rise to prominence.

InSilico Media Group is a tech-savvy, modern marketing agency thriving on change and continual application of advances in technology to strengthen our client’s businesses, evolve their services, and deliver greater value to you, the clients.

 

If you’re ready to learn more about our services, email our sales team at info@insilicomediagroup.com or call our office at 740-371-5099.

A Quick Note About Business

From time to time we receive requests to extend credit to our customers.  InSilco’s policy regarding the extension of credit, or offering “payment terms” is to simply not do so.  Payment must be made in full payment of contracted agreement/invoiced amount up-front. We accept all major credit cards, checks, money orders, plus cash.

Why we operate strictly on “due upon receipt” terms?

We believe it’s best to focus on our strengths, so we leave the evaluation of credit-worthiness to the bankers. Especially as an online company, we are at a disadvantage in the collection process.

We rarely get to meet our customers or see their operations frequently enough for our comfort, and quite frankly we don’t know a thing about the money-lending business. Inevitably, if we offered terms, some percentage of these debts would be uncollectible or steeply discounted (even without terms, to send 4 clients in 2 years to collections speak volumes toward our firm stance on this matter). Yet all would increase our bookkeeping costs and distract us from our primary business. Best case scenario would be delayed cash-flow which in turn would impede our goal of keeping ample staffing. Worst case would be debilitating losses… we’re still a small mom-and-pop at the end of the day and many of our employees are sole earners for their families.

The business landscape is littered with companies who failed for no other reason than poor cash-flow. InSilico chooses to avoid that path. While we realize that offering terms would probably increase our sales, we don’t believe it would necessarily improve our business. Instead we compete by offering great service and competitive prices to our customers. After over five years in business, this policy has worked well, and we have no plans to change horses in the middle of this particular stream. So for now, InSilico shall remain a proud participant in the deleveraging of America.

In addition to not offering credit terms, InSilico does require clients to pay upfront for services.  For marketing services, we require full payment up front each month before services start. For web development clients, we require 60% up front and 40% at completion.

There are many reasons for requiring payment up front, but the primary reasons are:

  • Keeps Cash Flowing – This is the number one reason why upfront payments are so beneficial. It ensures that we have the money coming in to pay all of the expenses and overhead required by your specific project(s). This is particularly important when we have a long-term web development project that may take weeks or months to complete. Instead of scrambling to pay salaries and bills until the invoice has been paid, we already have the funds to handle our expenses and your project fees and expenses.
  • Covers Out-of-Pocket Expenses – Most projects come with those additional expenses, such as the cost of materials, supplies, software, or outsourcing that are needed to complete a projects. This also covers all travel required by clients when needing meetings or assistance on-site.
  • Prevents Us From Getting Played – As mentioned earlier, there’s no worse feeling than completing a project and not getting paid from the client. An upfront payment, even if it’s a partial payment, ensures that we won’t get played by a client and that at least some of our time and hard work will be compensated.

By asking for upfront payments, we are insisting our clients trust us as professionals to deliver the project on-time.  Without trust built between the contractor and contractee, there’s no point in working together.

Believe it or not, there are a majority of clients who aren’t opposed to paying sourced companies like InSilico upfront. Not only because it proves to them that we’re a team of professionals, but also because it gives them the cost of a project upfront. Our clients would rather front the cost upfront instead of receiving an invoice that is higher than initially imagined.

 

 

SEO and PR – How They Work Together

I’m asked all the time – “Can public relations drive SEO?” The answer is YES!

PR and social media are about creating and spreading fame. Thus, to achieve the greatest publicity—being found and heard from, both online and offline—we have to transition away from the way we think about marketing in general. Having all functions of marketing, from PR to SEO/SEM to social media, working on the same level increases the power of the keyword strategy.

Simply, high-quality content helps earn links back to a brand’s website; links from reputable, credible media sources rank high in Google’s algorithm, leading to better search results. The more media coverage a brand receives, the more links the brand has leading back to its website.

As PR pros increasingly work with influencers, the result is more links from blog posts and social media, thus increasing SEO.

SEO uses digital channels to reach consumers or gain business leads, while PR outreach relies on relationships with the media to generate media coverage of the brand. The strategies to accomplish the goals may be different, but the goal of each department is the same: reach consumers. That includes social media posts, e-books, blog posts, e-newsletters, landing pages, online text, video ads, press releases, media alerts, and media kit documents.

SEO uses audience research to create personas; PR conducts media research to uncover publications and outlets that reach a brand’s target audience and targets reporters that cover topics relevant to the brand. Combine the results of both types of research to create an overall persona. SEO pros are looking at analytics data, traffic rankings, conversions, sales data, and followings. PR pros are looking at earned media coverage, outlets’ publicity value, and outlets’ unique visitors per month.

PR can look at SEO’s results and determine which media outlets trend to drive the most website traffic and which media outlets tend to send visitors that bounce the least, and determine whether searches for the brand increase after media coverage is secured. From PR’s results, SEO can learn best-practices for personal outreach and communication, which can then be used in social media and other customer-centric communications.

PR needs to harness and extend SEO keyword strategy. For example, PR can use multiple variations of predetermined keywords in its press releases and across digital platforms. Using keywords in press releases encourages reporters to use those targeted keywords when describing a brand, thus increasing the likelihood a brand appears in searches for those terms.

In conclusion, PR and SEO aren’t standalone marketing functions. Integrated messaging requires PR and SEO to work together to achieve the best outcomes. Having the full power of PR and SEO under one roof reaches greater audiences and achieves greater goals more efficiently in today’s digital business world.

 

We can help!

If you’re ready to launch a full brand identity for your business, email our sales team at info@insilicomediagroup.com or call our office at 740-371-5099.

Small Business Marketing is Essential

Starting a business is difficult, and the majority of business owners have little to no marketing experience or training. Though there are marketing basics that are common sense and important to every small business owner, there are many marketing services a business owner does not understand or does not have time for. Money is usually tight during launch, making it difficult to hire a full or part-time employee. Often business owners find themselves in a marketing role and are quickly overwhelmed. That’s where InSilico Media Group can help.

The first obstacle many small business owners have to overcome is that they need to remember that marketing is not an expense, it is an investment. Once they get the clear understanding that they need to invest in their business, they’re one step ahead of their competition.

… so what are you investing in, exactly? Well, you first have to have a clear understanding of what marketing is, exactly. There are so many definitions that describe marketing, which often leaves small business owners confused. Marketing is more than “just” sales, advertising, and public relations. Believe it or not – there is a difference between all of those functions, and when the difference is understood, it is easier to understand which tasks should be handled by the specific roles within your company.

Briefly, the real difference between marketing and advertising can honestly be confusing to those out of the industry. Advertising is just one component, or subset, of marketing. Public relations, media planning, product pricing and distribution, sales strategy, customer support, market research and community involvement are all parts of comprehensive marketing efforts. Further definition will be discussed in a future blog.

The one lesson to this is simple: Good marketing is critical to the success of any business.

Marketing is Worth the Expense

Many companies view marketing as an expense. However, marketing is a crucial investment when it comes to gaining the attention of prospective customers and clients, developing products, and turning those prospects into customers. Marketing has an effect on your sales, pricing, and promotions, and drives your advertising strategies. When you understand the importance of marketing, you can use it to promote the ongoing transition of your services and products to consumers. This creates success in your small business.

Market Research Helps

Understanding the importance of periodic marketing research helps you to determine your product or service in specific demographics. Segmentation of information helps you establish which customers will have an interest in your product or services, and helps you deliver the right message to them at the right time, resulting in a purchase.

Using market research helps you also gain specific information about your customers including age, gender, location, and income level. This information helps establish your marketing message and create a marketing plan for your small business that is not only effective but also cost efficient.

Creating a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan serves as a roadmap when it comes to your marketing initiatives. It details the success route that you will need to follow to get your small business noticed by potential customers. A detailed marketing plan will show you what to do and help you understand why you are doing it. It will also help you navigate away from the marketing and business mistakes that will cost you money, time and future growth potential. As a small business owner equipped with a marketing plan, you will feel more organized, have more confidence and a clear vision when it comes to your marketing goals. Put in simple terms a marketing plan increases your chance to achieve the business success that you desire.

Because marketing tactics today change as frequently as technology grows. Smart marketing plans focus on a 90-day plan, keeping you on target and focused on your overall master plan.

Marketing Budgets are Important

Determining how much of your resources to marketing within your company can be one the biggest obstacles that businesses face. It can also be a key component that can make or break a business. There are guidelines that will help in allocating your resources, learn what I recommend when it comes to marketing budgets.

Why InSilico?

It often happens that a small business owner does not persevere with their marketing plan. This happens for various reasons and small business owners often give up too soon. By hiring InSilico Media Group’s marketing experts, you are investing in your business, and will ensure your marketing will be concise and on-point.

To learn more about InSilico’s small business marketing plans, contact our sales team at info@insilicomediagroup.com, or fill out our contact form on insilicomediagroup.com.