Small Mentions, Big Impact
Directories, newsletters and making your business noticed in print
Business print as a medium exists in multiple guises. The print that you produce to advertise your business is entirely in your control; your colour scheme, text and images reflect and reinforce your branding and business message. Conversely, the print in which your business finds itself is beyond your branding and beyond your control. So how can you ensure that your brand message is consistent in other peopleís print?
In an age that has moved on from the vastness of the old printed Yellow Pages, small local listings magazines are enjoying something of a renaissance. The role of print in building networks, such as directories and newsletters, will see your business often set against competitors, sometimes alongside editorials or advertisements and frequently without your branding to determine your corporate identity.
The most important aspect about modern listings print is its locality. Take our local area of Hampshire and its network listings and newsletters for example. They have the capability to reach parts of the county that would otherwise be missed. Hampshire is not unique in its size and scale, and the pockets of locality that exist within it can remain exclusive of each other were it not for county wide print networks.
The naming of taxi firms along the lines of AAA or ABC is a hangover from the days when alphabetical print listings were the only way to look up a business or service. Nowadays, online searches and forums have countered the need for any such lengths to be taken to achieve prime positioning. You should, however, still consider the potential in highlighting your business' appearance in a directory by placing an advertisement in the publication. This has the effect of not just increasing general awareness of your business, but since the eye is drawn to familiar words, advertising in these sources also increases the likelihood that your business name will stand out in the listings.
Directories and listings appear in many different local media as well as in dedicated volumes so it is important to consider which local publications are the most appropriate for you. Listings magazines that are distributed via schools, for example, should be a priority for businesses that can identify families as a target market.
Freed from the limitations of physical space that published listings can present, local and national online listings offer the opportunity to add links and reviews. The level of information that can be featured for your business listing can be key to making a great first impression on potential customers, as long as you are responsive. Acknowledge comments and feedback promptly. Keep editorial contacts informed of any changes in details or updated sales offers to ensure that the information featured is up to date.
Of course, leaflets and listings print neednít be exclusive of each other. Many locally distributed listings magazines can insert your printed leaflets to optimise your impact on local readers. Again, the key to making this valuable to your business is identifying and forging a relationship with appropriate listings print that is distributed either in your targeted area or to your targeted market.
The quantity of locally focussed listings publications is growing - and is becoming big business. In a world where the sheer vastness of search results can be daunting, increasing numbers of people look to source products and services locally. Since itís not just about information but awareness, listings media can be instructive in building visibility. The key is to ensure that you consider and maintain all of the places that your business appears both in print and online. Your own publicity print works alongside awareness provided by local listings and network print so that your business can catch the eye of a customer even from the tiniest mention.