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Event Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct

Raquel Freestyle in a Store Opening article by YouCom Direct


A store opening can be a challenge. Often the retailer is new and has no existing content. Even for existing brands who have pre-existing content and social media channels, it can be a challenge to create the PR for a new store. After all, what is so exciting about a new premises to those outside of the business where most markets are very competitive meaning there’ll be another similar business nearby (why should existing customers of a competitor go and see your new store?). Take a look at this next video of our brand ambassador Raquel Freestyle. Raquel performs for store openings and product launches with outstanding football trick skills to bring in the crowds.





YouTube Tag: @raquelfreestyle.  For most new store openings, hiring a celebrity may not be viable. Giveaways are then traditionally newsworthy items for local media coverage or social media coverage.  An opening day discount. A free giveaway product.  These will help attract awareness of your event. You should also make sure all the relevant store details are on the promotion so customers can easily find you. Add to this good online listings for those searching for that new store. We recommend Google My Business of course, but additionally there are about 20 other online directories where you can list your new store address and which crucially index into Google.





Store Opening by YouCom Direct


Anytime you can include a photograph, you should do it. Tweets with visual content get 150% more retweets, 18% more clicks, and 89% more favourites*. Here is one of our own tweets. You can see just how much engagement we’re able to generate for our clients and publishers by the use of AIDA, principally from a good photograph. SMM use of influencers are another way to promote a new store opening and they have even better understanding of the powerful effect from a good photograph. Our parent agency YouCom Media runs a mystery shopper program of over 500 individuals, many of whom write successful blogs and offer influencer services.





Store Opening by YouCom Direct

It seems obvious but your brand should become involved in the local community to where you’re having the store opening. There will be lots of local charities and members clubs, all of whom would like to partner for some publicity and all would welcome news of a new business that for example offers their members some sort of local discount (even if only for the store opening weekend). Write to the local council, perhaps try to secure the services of the local mayor (after all you are providing employment for local people). Write an editorial for the local newspaper. Take our advertising in the local newspapers.  Ensure your business directory listings cover local search keywords.




Store Opening by YouCom Direct


The hashtag. This is useful for those of us who are getting a little older and need a handy memory-jogger. But jokes aside, we all need a memory-jogger when we live in a world full of advertising noise. A Tweet with a hashtag is 55% more likely to be retweeted*. Aim for an easy to use hashtag that is nice and short. Experiment with using humour. A new bakers store opening for example could use #greatbuns or #hashbrowntag. Research to identify local hashtags that are trending now and see if yours can ‘surf that wave’.




Store Opening by YouCom Direct


Brands can often treat their store opening like dipping a toe in the water instead of using a diving board that could really launch a new store location. A store opening can set the stage for not just your products or service but also the customer base that you’ll be able to build. You need something that can draw people’s attention for instant AIDA. Customised, relevant helium balloons are a great instant awareness and interest form of advertising when it comes to your store opening. You should also think about placement before your store opening day to build that awareness. Again, the messaging you use will be of utmost importance and especially the colour and design used.

 

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

 

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Glossary:

              A.I.D.A – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action [Marketing model]

Data Source:

              * Alexandra Sheehan

              Some images sourced from Pixabay incl. alexas_fotos & AirAdPromotions

 

Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Dec 2019, London, ‘Store Opening’.

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Data Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct
YouCom-Direct-They-Watch-You

Love your data and it will reward your brand.  In such a competitive global economy, data marketing is necessary for every organisation.  For local search advertising, the data brands have about their customers enable better keywords and rich content for improved Google results.  Data marketing can be split into two parts.  Historical data and predictive data.  Historical data most companies have (even if they don’t collect it very well).  It will include the name and contact details but also buying recency, frequency, monetary value (RFM); interests and other transactional data.  Predictive data will look at customer geo-demographics, lifestyle, propensity to respond to different offer types etc.


 YouCom-Direct-They-Watch-You

But brands can’t just gather data for the sake of it.  Companies must learn to ask the right questions.  Agencies will generally help marketing managers define the information they need because they work on many different brands all wanting to increase market share from brand marketing or performance marketing.  Here are some examples of ‘brands’ that know the data they need to meet their goal.



 

MI5 use sophisticated computer programs to analyse data


MI5 will be using sophisticated computer programs to analyse social media feeds, CCTV cameras (where other systems interact like number plate recognition software), Oyster card data and many more, that will help their goal to keep us safe from terrorists.  




YouCom-Direct-They-Watch-You

Tesco pioneered the use of supermarket data marketing as we know it today with the first widely applied loyalty card.  They know what you buy, what time of day (or night) you buy, how frequently you buy, what promotions are successful for you and how your eyes look around a store.  They can then combine this with social media groupings to alter buying behaviour.  As consumers we are all happy to participate because stores like Boots give us good rewards.  But woe betide you buy hair loss gel for a friend, because you’re going to receive a lot of hair loss promotions over the next six months!



 YouCom-Direct-They-Watch-You

Social Media sites like Facebook will have similar face recognition software to the security services and are (as you read this) even now analysing your photos to find you ‘friends’, people who look similar to your family and friends which may make you click to connect with.  They also use contextual data targeting.  Announce to your friends you are getting engaged and advertisers searching to advertise wedding services will suddenly have you added to their list of targets to receive their advert.  Now you are bombarded with wedding photographer adverts (or pre-nuptial solicitor services for the more cynical).  

YouCom-Direct-They-Watch-You

It means ‘they’ really do know everything.  If the data is used for performance marketing, which YouCom Direct specialise in, then the data will help generate better keywords and rich content to ensure directory listings appear for the most relevant searches in a certain store radius.  This will also mean competitor search results are pushed down the page and often to page two, so it has an added bonus.  Targeted copywriting in directories increases calls, click-through-rates (CTR) and improves conversion rates from call to sale and from click to sale (the latter being notoriously poor).  To learn more about how data marketing could work for you, email us below.  
 

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

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Glossary: CTR – Click-through-rate RFM – Recency Frequency Monetary Value
 

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Nov 2019, London, ‘Data Marketing’.

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Search Engine Marketing
 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

YouCom-Direct-Ultimate-Bet

Imagine, the ultimate bet.  Everything you have on either black or red.  You either lose everything or win it all.  They say you cannot beat the odds and you cannot beat the casinos, but there is one way.  Roulette.  The bet to end all bets, a straight simple bet either the ball lands on red or it lands on black.  Minimal skill required, just luck and in casino parlance, a lot of balls.    


Ashley Revell's bet it all Idea  

For one man it all started in the pub. Mr Revell was drinking with friends after work when one of them said “wouldn’t it be great if we went to Las Vegas and bet everything on one spin?”  

Then the next day Ashley Revell couldn’t get the idea out of his mind.  At the time he wasn’t married, he didn’t have any kids, he realised if he was going to do it, he had to decide now.  

Everyone he knew said it was a stupid thing to do. His mother naturally said it was a silly idea and he should be thinking of his future.  His father’s advice was the same.  

But unable to stop thinking about it and unable to make the decision, he began the process of selling everything he owned.  Ashley didn’t own a house but he had about £10,000 in savings towards his first mortgage.  He had indulged in a Rolex watch and a BMW during his early work years plus a set of golf clubs.  All the things that were the trappings of a single life.  He sold them all.  

Ashley sold the more expensive items and set up a car boot stall for the smaller things.  He sold sentimental things like his first XI school cricket jumper and two football ties.  He instantly regretted losing them, but he knew he had to have nothing remaining otherwise it wouldn’t feel like gambling everything.   

After six months he was ready to go.  At this stage, the story had become widely known and Sky began filming his experience.  He flew out to Vegas owning absolutely nothing, even his tuxedo was rented.  

Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Ashley says it was crazy but he felt totally convinced he was going to win. He felt he was just going to Vegas to collect his winnings.  

When he woke the morning of the big bet, Ashley went down to the Plaza Casino and Hotel.  He had transferred £76,860 from his UK bank and the Vegas casino gave him a large stack of chips.  



At the Roulette table in Vegas  

At that point he didn’t know whether he was going to go for red or black.  He still hadn’t decided.  

When he arrived at the Roulette table, the croupier explained: “It’s simple, when I spin the ball, if it goes round more than three times before you say red or black, you can’t place a bet”.  

Suddenly the croupier began to spin the ball.  The crowd had gathered behind Ashley.  The atmosphere was electric.  Everyone had heard about this crazy man from Europe who had sold everything he owned to bet on one spin of the wheel.  
As people pressed closer, Ashley in his black tuxedo watched the ball spinning round once, twice and then the first thing that came into his head was red.  So he pushed all of his chips forward on red.  

That spin was the most amazing moment of Ashley’s life.   He is quoted as saying time stood still.  He felt calm.  He had no possessions, he either returned a winner or with nothing, not even the (rented) shirt on his back.  

The ball began to slow.  It wobbled around and then landed in what he thought was red but it disappeared slightly from view.  

Later that year, Ashley met a girl in Holland and is now married with two children.  As to what happened that night, remember Sky was there and you can watch the moment live: (requires sound).    


Gambling is like any industry, there are many casinos, online gambling sites and betting shops.  Business directories are perfect for advertising a brand or company to a large amount of potential customers.  YouCom Direct understands directory advertising isn’t just about Yell.com, pagesjaunes.fr or Detelefoongids.nl.  There are many geo-location friendly sites.  Which is why YouCom Direct has a diverse range of clients across many industries offering pay-per-call or pay-per-lead advertising, in many instances exclusive to our agency.  

The Directory Critic is a gambling directory ranked 6,000 by Alexa with a PR 5 and often number one for keyword searches.  It takes a lot of time to search and select good gambling directories to submit a branch details to.  The company also needs to go through each directory, find relevant categories, enter the titles, the descriptions, handle the administration etc.  YouCom Direct offer directory advertising management for local search to take care of the work for you.  Our advertising delivers more calls with a higher call to lead conversion rate and lower CPA.  

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Mr and Mrs Lecrinier of Belgium who were married in Vegas in 2016 (hopefully with less media attention and less stress than Mr Revell).  

Disclaimer: YouCom Direct and our parent agency YouCom Media does not condone the actions of Mr Revell nor promotes irresponsible gambling.  Gambling can be addictive and users should only gamble what they can afford to lose. 
 

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

 

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Glossary: CPA – Cost per Acquisition  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2019, London, ‘The Ultimate Bet’

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Content Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

YouCom-Direct-Creative-Marketing-Tips-Be-More-Dog

This article contains bullet point tips for getting more calls and more clicks and more footfall than your competitors and it’s all free by the way.  YouCom Direct are an advertising agency who advise clients how to turn around their campaigns.  But we provide that advice freely and it’s available here too.  





Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Your website, social media platforms and online business directory listings should all be working hard to help you stand out from the competition.  Because your digital footprint is what will help you sell.  But not every company does that well. Everyone’s looked at their own websites and wondered how is it that the competition is getting better search results, better call volume, better footfall?  The answer in the main is because many brands assign social media or business directory advertising to someone in their organisation who is simply putting content out there and doing little else.  But that would change if they followed this free advice.  

There is so much more they could be doing to get their story and their message noticed.  YouCom Direct are a local search advertising agency that specialises in getting brands noticed in local searches and we have identified the following ‘tips’ for digital marketing staff;  





YouCom-Direct-Creative-Marketing-Tips-Be-More-Dog


Focus on tags
Our clients outperform their competition. Period.  Their call volumes are higher than before they worked with us, their stores are more sold out than their competitors and there are many things we add but tags are the quickest big difference we can make.  If you do a Google search on ‘YouCom Direct’ and go to Images what do you see?  The same applies to our clients and should apply to your company or you as an individual if you’re writing posts and blogs.  You can’t just throw a lot of tags in there, there is some science behind it, but broadly speaking, any tags are better than none.  Place search tags on all your images.    





Creative Marketing Tips By YouDirectories

Focus on Keywords
It sounds obvious but marketing staff don’t do it enough or as well as they should.  YouCom Direct have taken on brands as clients who only had their store address, phone and URL data on their directory business listings (think Yell.com).  What about the keywords? How do they expect to stand out online and achieve that digital footprint they want?  The first thing we do is a full review and identify the keywords the brand should have.  Digital marketing staff need to do the same.  Use the business description, use the heading, use the photos, even use the URL.   There are many different ways to add keywords and alter the local search results in your favour.    




Creative Tips by YouDirectories

Content Curation (show the love)

This is the next big marketing term.  We had content marketing and everyone was talking about that.  Now it’s content curation.  This is where you find another piece of content that you feel is great for your brand and your business or that you feel your customer audience will benefit from possibly unrelated to your business and you share it. You make your social media channels a place where people go to for the best news regarding your industry or their interests.  And that’s the key.  Use good data-marketing techniques to establish the interests of your customer audience. Always make sure you give credit to the source.  This is a new world with an old word and that word is love. Share the love, gain traffic for someone who wrote some great content (if you wish to share ours / this news article, click on the links at the bottom).  




YouCom-Direct-Creative-Marketing-Tips-Be-More-Dog

Hashtags
Almost always forgotten, almost always not used well enough.  Many brands have an in-house member of staff, sometimes even an agency, who does some really good writing and engaging content, they put it on social media and it’s lost in space. For Twitter, Google Places, Tumblr, LinkedIn and even directories, if you use hashtags, you’ll gain traction. The main purpose of hashtags is to highlight the relevant local search word in each tweet or post. With the right research, all brand marketing staff can find the highest searched hashtags for their industry.  




Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Headlines

The headline serves as the single biggest factor determining whether your reader will click to read your article or post.  You have to have a headline that draws them into your marketing message. Make it A.I.D.A. related (see glossary at the bottom of this article). Give readers a promise or promotion. Think about what will they learn by reading your message? Why should they bother? Becoming really good at writing headlines is one of the most important skills a digital marketing person can gain and this is one of our most important creative marketing tips.  




YouCom-Direct-Creative-Marketing-Tips-Be-More-Dog

Use different formats

Creating quick social media posts is easy, blogging is also pretty good for content creation, but what about video?  What about research studies?  Surveys? White papers? infographics? There are many ways to reach your customer audience. The biggest mistake a digital marketing person can make? (Or rather the biggest mistake senior management can make when they appoint them) is allowing the company to focus on using the platform they are most comfortable with rather than the platform where your customer audience spends most of their time.  


Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

Our Twitter news

Our Tumblr news

Our Pinterest news

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Glossary: A.I.D.A. – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (marketing model)  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Sept 2019, London, ‘Be More Dog’.

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Data Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Account Manager, YouCom Direct

YouCom-Direct-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories 

Have you ever seen your business listed on a directory site and wondered how it got there? Perhaps the information is wrong and you correct it but it reverts back to the incorrect data again? It will help if you understand the origin of that information. The national database known as OSIS.    


In this article, YouCom Direct will share;


– What is OSIS?
– Why you can’t change your business details on the directory site displaying the wrong data.
– How you can change your business details on OSIS.
– How do you find OSIS?
– European OSIS
– Alternative databases.


As a directory agency we manage a company’s details for their stores across all print and online directories. It is our knowledge together with buying power that makes us a valuable partner. But we don’t just keep our knowledge to ourselves. OSIS is not widely known but equally it’s no secret either.  


What is OSIS?

 
“OSIS” stands for Operator Services Information System and is a stream of seemingly endless data flowing along corridors of database servers.



YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-3

Like all large datasets, OSIS is much in demand and has never lost its popularity. It is a database of directory data managed by BT Wholesale Directory Services. The data is used to populate the BT Phone Book printed directory and is bought by other companies such as Thomson Local, Yellow Pages (once owned by BT), the 118 telephone directory companies and a large amount of online directory sites.   



YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-4       YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-Yalwa  

Directory sites like Yell.com are very well established, Yell.com has 10.9 million monthly views, but how did they begin? Look at Yalwa.co.uk, see how different they are to Yell.com? Yalwa currently have 82,000 monthly views (a far cry from 10.9 million), yet they already seem to have a lot of businesses listed on their site.  

This means when your customers search for your business, one of the Google search results could show a Yalwa URL link. But the information could be incorrect. Perhaps your telephone number is wrong on Yalwa, or the address inaccurate.


So how did they obtain their data and your business details specifically?  


BT Wholesale is obliged to make OSIS available to any organisation who wishes to pay for it, specifically under Universal Service Condition 7.4 (USC7.4) which states that


“BT shall supply [the contents of a directory information database] on terms which are fair, objective, cost-oriented and not unduly 
discriminatory…”. A condition frequently challenged by those who pay to rent it. 


YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-BT-Phonebook

The OSIS database contains more than 26 million residential and business names, addresses, and telephone numbers supplied to BT by over 80 UK Communication Providers and sources such as Companies House.  


When an individual requests a new telephone line and agrees to be listed in the telephone directory, the data will be entered into BT OSIS. When a new business starts up, the data will be entered into BT OSIS. This makes the BT OSIS database very accurate and up-to-date (The database is updated 6 days a week).    


There are three types of entry on the OSIS database:


Directory Entry – The printed phone book is comprised of these records. A telephone number can be appended to a name and address that matches to a directory entry record on OSIS.


Directory Enquiries Only – These listings are not present in the phone book, but are made available to directory enquiry 118 services. You can append a phone number from these entries where it matches the name and address on your record.


Ex-Directory – Ex-Directory listings are only available in telephone directory enquiry 118 services. Don’t worry, only the fact that the record is ex-directory may be provided.



  YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-7  


Why can’t you change your business details on the directory site displaying the wrong data?

Type your business brand name and the town of your store location into a search engine like Google. If you see an incorrectly listed entry for your business on an online directory like Yalwa, why can’t you contact them and change it?  


The short answer is, you can. You can also pay them for a paid-listing to feature more prominently in their search results (the fundamental service of YouCom Direct as an agency). But the next time that online directory uploads a new data feed from OSIS, all the non-paid for listings will be replaced by the OSIS data. In other words, although you’ve changed the incorrect data, the change is overwritten by the old incorrect data from OSIS.


You can’t stop the waves and you can’t surf against the tide either…    



YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-8  


How can you change your business details on OSIS?


Keeping it simple, there are two options.

One, contact BT Wholesale and make a formal request to amend the data. This process can take between three to six months. You will need to check it afterwards to ensure there isn’t a duplicate data entry still containing the old incorrect data.  

Secondly, you can take the stance of the larger advertisers and pay a specialist directory agency like YouCom Direct to do it for you. YouCom Direct will reach out to BT OSIS and change your data as quickly as 1-2 weeks. We see it in all walks of life that businesses respond quicker, to other companies whom they sell to (in our case, BT sells directory advertising to us for paid listings and paid classified adverts).  




YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-9  


How do you find OSIS?

You don’t find OSIS.  OSIS finds you. 

But you can change their data.


BT Wholesale Directory Solutions (BTWDS) is a ring-fenced unit within BT Wholesale. They aggregate telephone number information from Communication Providers (CPs) in order to produce an accurate central telephone number database historically referred to as the OSIS database. Under OFCOM regulations, all UK CPs that have signed a Schedule 11 agreement have to provide BTWDS with their customers’ name, address and telephone number information. At present there are over 80 CPs in the UK e.g. BT, Virgin Media, Cable & Wireless etc.  


OSIS data can only be used in Directory Products and Services by companies who wish to produce Directory Information products or services, who agree to their pricing terms and gains authorisation from BTWDS to receive OSIS data. OSIS data is sold under specific terms and conditions including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Information Commissioners Code of Practice on Telecommunications Directory Information covering the Fair Processing of Personal Data and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. – Licensees must agree to abide by these within the terms of the Directory Information Licence Agreement. OSIS cannot be used for Validation and Verification of individuals or in associated Validation and Verification Services.    



YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-10  


European OSIS

Operator Services Information Systems aren’t only peculiar to the UK of course. YouCom Direct talk with media owners across Europe and manage listings in several EU countries. In Sweden these are primarily Eniro and Rejta businesss directory websites, Din Del and the 118 118 directory assistance service. In Norway, Proff and the 1880 directory assistance are the main directories. Danish search services are marketed under the krak.dk (now owned by Eniro), Mostrup and Den Røde Lokalbog brands plus several others, while Panorama Firm is the brand in Poland. Finland customers encounter the 0100100 brand.

All take their data from OSIS equivalents such as Factual, a database of 75.8 million local business listings in 50 countries. Or Schober, a B2B data provider in Germany.    


Alternative databases

There are other data sources also, OSIS shouldn’t be the only place you look.  


The Postcode Address File

(PAF) is a database of every address in the UK to which mail is delivered, together with its appropriate postcode. This database contains over 28 million addresses of residential, business and other organisations. The PAF is produced by the Royal Mail and is updated quarterly.

The National Change of Address register
(NCOA) records individuals and businesses when they relocate. CRM practices teach all marketing mangers that to retain existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. With the NCOA register you can maintain contact with your customers when they move home, saving cost and increasing profits via an elongated customer life cycle.

The Gone Away Suppression
(GAS) File from The Data Agency uses both public and private data sources and is a compiled list of individuals at addresses they are known to have moved from. In every case, each move out is qualified by a move in to ensure accuracy.

Despite the other data sources, OSIS is certainly the most powerful database storing data on your business and if you don’t ensure its correct (and remains correct…), then every other organisation and directory site renting their data, will broadcast incorrect details about your brand and ruin your SEO.


Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

Our Twitter news

Our Tumblr news

Our Pinterest news

Our LinkedIn news

 

Glossary:

OSIS – Operator Services Information System

GAS – Gone Away Suppression

NCOA – National Change of Address register

PAF – Postcode Address File

B2B – Business to Business

YALWA – Yet another local web application

CP – Communication Providers

SEO – Search engine optimisation

BTWDS – BT Wholesale Directory Solutions

 
Data source:

OSIS Definition

BT Wholesale

Universal Service Condition explained within an Ofcom dispute raised by Thomson Local over costs of renting OSIS.

Ofcom dispute on OSIS rental costs between The Number (118 188) and BT wholesale proving that telephone directories like 118 118 also obtain their business data from OSIS

EU Factual Database

Schober Database


Required reference
:

YouCom Direct News Article, Jul 2019, London, ‘OSIS, the origin’.

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Search Engine Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Every street is local to the people that live there


Every street is local to the people that live there. Focusing online content on local keywords generates more search results with Google’s algorithm favouring localised sites. This approach is required on each site that lists your store. Online directories are effectively duplicates of your own store pages. But, vary the content and these won’t be seen as duplicate pages, instead search engines will categorise them as ‘additional pages’ (new content). This means more search results for your brand on page one of a Google search and less of your competitors. Inserting local keywords into your store page’s title / meta description tags is the first step toward local ranking.


Your localised content should focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site


Your localised content should focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site. Long-tail keywords will help the store page rank higher than a generic keyword which have much more competition. ‘Storage Greenwich’ may describe your service and local area, but ‘Best storage company in Greenwich’ will have less competitor noise and be more likely to reach your sales market. Don’t forget the meta description tag is truncated in search results if too long, so for geographic keywords it is better to insert them as near the beginning of the tag as possible.


The Itsukushima Shrine (also known as the floating torii gate) is example of localised content


The Itsukushima Shrine (also known as the floating torii gate) is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan (shown above). Localised content that can be displayed on your store pages and your online directory listing pages alike should contain information relevant to the local area.  Detailing nearby local landmarks is perfect for this goal.  But content marketing management is (relatively) easy once you get going / have experience.  For instance, have you considered adding testimonials from local businesses you’ve served?  Suppliers or SME customers are often very willing to provide a testimonial and that is like gold to Google searching for local content in a search results page.


Before producing localised content for your store area, identify your target audience

 

Before producing localised content for your store area, identify your target audience. Ask your store managers to interview customers face-to-face. Those interviews themselves can provide additional local content for that store.  Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to measure search volumes for the keywords that were identified out of that customer research.   If you’re lucky enough to have people willing to link back to your store page either via their personal blog or review, make sure you have content that is worth shouting about to give them reason to do so.  Some tool that represents an advantage over your competitors or at least appears new to customers will do that job.


 

Such a tool for localised content could be a virtual tour where blog writers or reviewers can discuss your industry in general and then give an example of how people can now walk around a store to answer their questions without even visiting.  Such a tool is newsworthy and worth writing about, relevant to both the readers and to Google. 



Becoming active in your local town or village will also generate ideas for localised content, so you can be authentic in your writing (no one else will have that content and the same keyword search terms that you know your customers will use to find your service, will be ranked higher within that content due to its originality).


Hosting local events is one such example of being active in your local community


Hosting local events is one such example of being active in your local community.  If your store has a lot of space that will lend itself to the activity nicely.  If the local event is charity related you will also generate natural, original, localised content for your store page.  Attending local events or sponsoring local events are other ways to cultivate your community inclusion.  Now we know we are creating local content to rank better in a search engine.  But don’t forget, the main idea should also be to position your brand in the local community.  For that reason, it is essential to publish strategic content on different media channels.


Links to high page authority sites increase your ranking

 

Social media should be your main channel highlighting your community activity and linking back to your store pages that display it. But good high-ranking local landing pages will add to this and accelerate the results of your hard work providing excellent localised content.  YouCom Direct have a strong partnership with a local landing page company to achieve just that for our clients and priced on performance (so the only cost being when customers click through to your store page from the localised landing page or make a call to your store).


 

Local search marketing works best when utilising store page assets such as your own local research and statistics. For example, you have customers, right?  So, you record sales history.  From this you can glean sales patterns, data trends.  You are sitting on your own gold mine of data.  So, analyse this (or give it to an agency to do it for you) and put the resulting statistics on your store page (localised content derives from such data). By doing this you are creating the opportunity for bloggers and local media outlets to reference these statistics and create new backlinks for you naturally.

Our social media marketing gains 1,000 new followers a month

As a specialist agency in directory advertising, contact us for more information on building localised content, circulating localised content via online directory networks, connecting to high page authority bloggers for natural link building and for social media marketing that gains 1,000 new followers a month (see our own Twitter).  All of our services are paid by performance with a cost per customer lead or cost per click (i.e. pay-by-results performance marketing). So, you only have to supply an advertising budget when we perform.

 

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Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Jan 2019, London, ‘Localised Content’.

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Data Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct

Everyone wants to personalise their look

 

Everyone wants to personalise their look.  E-commerce has for a long time seen the benefits and value to data personalisation. Amazon and Tesco are famous online sellers who collect vast amounts of data on customer’s purchasing patterns. They analyse recency and frequency of purchase, behavioural trends and patterns. These are used to power their offers and suggestions to sell you more things. ‘Bricks & Mortar’ sellers, often struggle to replicate those successes (with exception to those that do well on both like Tesco). In 2018 we have identified a shift in understanding with physical retailers making changes to introduce personalisation practices.



70 percent of retailers are personalising the in-store experience

 

According to one research company, 70 percent of retailers with a physical store presence are now personalising the in-store experience to compete with their online counterparts. Let us introduce ‘Facenote’, a machine learning AI software that recognises your customers using face recognition techniques. By personalising the customer service, briefing sales staff to personal preferences and tracking their needs, such software can lead to greater customer loyalty and retention as well as upselling benefits.


To register, brands invite their customers to be identified by texting their selfies

 

The software requires only a simple webcam or regular security camera.  Its algorithms allow for customer recognition and identification. Shoppers can then be welcomed by name, and staff on the sales floor can be briefed on each customer’s personal preferences and purchasing habits. In-store product recommendations can then be personalised in the same way that Amazon does to you online.  To register, brands invite their customers to be identified by texting their selfies or sharing Instagram images.


Amazon uses algorithms to personalise user’s homepages

 

A study by salesforce found that 52 percent of consumers would switch from a brand that doesn’t personalise their marketing communications.  This is why Amazon uses algorithms to personalise user’s homepages with product recommendations based on previous search and purchase history. When you read this, you think “makes sense”.  But the majority of retailers have a simple one-size-fits-all generic homepage for all logged-in users, irrespective of age, gender, behaviour, disposable income etc.


85 percent are likely to buy from a personalised mail order catalogue

 

The real winners in marketing are those who personalise a service or product leading to add-on sales, upselling and organic growth.  Scotts of stow are a growing mail order company who succeed with catalogues littered with the recipient’s name making various products more appealing.  Consumers will open the catalogue and see a doormat with their family’s surname on it for example and are 85 percent more likely to buy it as a result.  More than this, they do it extremely well making it seem less like a Photoshoped digital makeover and more like it is a real selling product that everyone else is buying.


Netflix know if you haven't seen this film

 

Netflix are one to do similar and of course they use the latest AI technology to assist their algorithm analysis.  For example, if they know you haven’t yet seen Knight and Day with leading actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, but you have watched many other Tom Cruise films, they will tailor the film cover in their ‘recommendations’ to show Tom Cruise.

If you watch Cameron Diaz films, you will see the Knight and Day film cover with Cameron Diaz on it.  It is clever marketing that is (relatively) simple to do and (relatively) cheap (brands don’t need to buy billboard adverts for example, simply use existing data to personalise recommendations that lead to more new sales).


Trademark Logo


YouCom Direct specialise in this same approach to business listings by personalising content based on geographic area and even consumer past purchasing history.  We use all the data our clients can share with us (after our usual NDA agreements to protect privacy) to tailor those natural search results showing in Google that originate from business directories.  We have seen a provable uplift in response rate as a result.  To discuss personalisation in more depth contact us on contactus@youcomdirect.co.uk

 

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Data Source:

              https://facenote.me/ 

 

Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Dec 2018, London, ‘Personalisation’.

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YouCom Chatter
Copywriter: Sam Jones, PR Assistant, YouCom Direct


Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

There are a lot of talented pumpkin carvers out there and in this article we present some stunning and funny designs from our mystery shoppers and publisher/supplier contacts. 

First Place – “Mr K” is the cool superhero name of Eileen’s 9-year-old.  Mr K shown above prefers to do a monster face than use a template.  Excellent Pumpkin grimace Mr K.  We look forward to what you create next year.  But it wasn’t only Mr K’s Pumpkin that won the top prize…    



Pumpkin contest by YouCom Direct

It was a family effort again that won second place with Eileen’s original Tinkerbell Pumpkin created using a drill bit.    




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

And Eileen’s second attempt of a very pretty pumpkin (isn’t Halloween supposed to be scary Eileen?).  So, Eileen and Mr K win £15.00

 

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct
 

Second Place goes to Dani for this Batman and Superman inspired effort with crazy teeth pumpkin in the background.  But this image alone wouldn’t have won without a little help from our furry legged friends as shown by the same picture in the daytime…    



Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct


Bat girl and Spider Dog to the rescue.  Dani wins £5.00  




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Lucy and her son Tyler are missing Disney and carved a Mickey Mouse Pumpkin.  Mum and son also carved Goofy, but the photos didn’t come out so well.  However, this effort judged with photos that we can’t upload, wins a third prize of £5.00.  Well done Lucy and Tyler!    



Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Group Account Director Award
Louisa’s boys were very keen for her to send their pumpkin efforts again this year.  The glitter pumpkin on the left is the work of 3 year old Oliver.  The scary face on the right is by 5 year old Benjamin!  Well done Benjamin!  They win the special Group Account Director award of £7.00    




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Louisa’s husband and Life-long Mansfield Town fan sneaked his own design in between the boys pumpkins late one night, a carefully crafted pumpkin showing he’s a real football fan (no prawn sandwiches for him on match day).    




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct


One of our favourite pumpkins for cuteness factor was submitted by Petra having first been drawn all over by her 3-year old.  Very colourful.    




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Laura’s daughter Sophie age 3 years helped her mum make the cat pumpkin and was very insistent on how it should look (an agency creative director in the making there).  Laura’s son Alfie, age 6 years, made the other pumpkin all by himself!  Well done Alfie!  And a very cute mini-pumpkin made by Alfie too.  We’ll be sending mummy some equally cute finger puppets because we’ve run out of cash prizes.    




Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct


Marie runs a creative and engaging blog and sent in the above.  Excellent effort by Marie and family and worthy of highlighting here.    





Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct


Jackie made her first pumpkin for ages after her children previously made them.  Placed at the entrance to her house by the looks of it, this spooky chap will scare off trick or treat visitors!    





Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Afra’s pumpkin is uniquely adorable.  Made with her 11 year old daughter who absolutely loves owls, this ‘Owl Pumpkin’ with it’s slightly odd eyes will bring a light and a laugh to even the darkest night.  And as Afra says, how many pumpkins do you see with feet?  Well done all!    





Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Hannah’s son Jaxon (with a little help from dad) carved this and clever mum made pumpkin soup for tea.    





Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct


We end this year’s competition with a simple yet slightly sinister pair of pumpkins from Laura B. Thanks to everyone who took part.  Always remember if you’re making something anyway, give a competition a go, you might just win!  

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Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2017, London, ‘Pumpkins 2017.

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Data Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


Personalisation by YouCom Direct


At YouCom Direct we focus on something called ‘Design Personalisation’.  We tailor client’s advertising to show accurate local content for stores, but we also have specifically designed adverts for a local audience and personalised messaging.  These adverts have a design that is unlike anything you normally see in Yellow Pages or online and will create customer engagement to drive higher call volumes (as you can see from these images).  




To understand the ROI from marketing design personalisation, we should first look at hospitality marketing.  Hospitality is a collection of supplementary services that adds value to a purchase by treating customers like guests, providing amenities that anticipate the person’s needs during their interaction with the service/product provider.  Hospitality marketing ensures employees treat customers as guests, greeting them with pleasure when meeting them for the first time and when old customers return.  They are creating a personalised experience for each customer.  This creates brand loyalty in a fractious marketplace.  Pret do this very well.

Pret rated the highest on personalised interaction with customers


A survey of 4,500 consumers by Market Force, asked consumers to rate their satisfaction with their last experience at a coffee shop and how likely they would be to recommend it to friends. The data was averaged to rate each company brand on a Composite Loyalty Index.  Pret also rated the highest on seven of the eight critical drivers of satisfaction, primarily driven by ‘friendliness of staff’.  Courtesy for customer’s needs extends to all forms of marketing communication.  Face-to-face like in Pret, but also telephone and online interaction.  



Brands realise the importance of customer lifecycle marketing


Brands realise that the customer lifecycle is more important than short-term sales and seek to build customer loyalty to gain repeat business and upsell opportunities.  In the USA, hospitals make a lot of money from people because they don’t have a national health service free at point of use like in the UK.  They know the reason most families start using a hospital is to give birth and with so many birthing centres and hospital, they face stiff competition.  Stiff competition and a service/product that opens the door to further ‘sales’ opportunities will require hospitality marketing to make that service or product more personal to the customer.

74 percent of marketers know personalisation is good for business

To gain new customers, brands seeking to deliver hospitality marketing messages do so via data personalisation.  According to an Econsultancy study, 74 percent of marketers know personalisation is good for business, yet the same study reveals only 19 percent of marketers are actually using personalisation.  BMW improved sales conversion rates by 30 percent by personalising their media messages with customer’s first names.  BMW know that your brand begins to have added value in the customer’s mind when you design the adverts to create engagement via tools such as personalisation.  

The search for competitive advantage in mature industries will come down to not where you advertise but what and how you advertise.  The creation of value-added services and supplementary services to make your product/service/brand stand out from the competition.  Managers must be aware of selecting the right mix of supplementary services and the right agency will help you to do that.  YouCom Direct won’t just list your store details on websites with high user numbers, we focus on ‘personalising’ your store data to become relevant to the customer on a local level.  Good Design Personalisation is an effective form of local marketing.  


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Data source: Survey by Market Force, a leading global customer intelligence solutions company.  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News, Jun 2017, London, ‘Personalisation.’

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Consumer Behaviour
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct


YouCom-Direct-Marketing-Tips

Many local business’s today are overwhelmed by the variety of local marketing choices available across desktop, mobile and tablet platforms. Many don’t know where to start which is where these marketing tips help.   At YouCom Direct, we understand how every local business is trying its utmost best to attract as many local customers as possible. We can help businesses outperform their competitors through local search optimisation and directory advertising.


Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Accurate & Accessible Information

One of the most important aspects of local search is ensuring that your businesses information is consistent, accurate and accessible throughout the web.


50% of business owners have listings for their business that are not accurate.


70% of business owners say they don’t have the time to manage listings on all of the sites that consumers use.


Only 23% of business owners have a good sense of how listings drive traffic to their business.


 
If your business information is outdated or appears in different ways in different places, it will not only lower your visibility in search it will make it difficult or even impossible for potential customers to find you.  



Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Optimise Your Website
Make sure that potential customers can find your business in search by listing all relevant information in the website title. Create individual pages for each business location as well as each product or service your business offers. This will raise the visibility of each in search, making it easier for potential customers to find exactly what they’re looking for.


Use keywords and phrasing that potential customers are most likely to use. Include basic business name, address and phone number information on every page of your website. This not only boosts SEO, but also makes it easier for a potential customer to contact or visit your business.  We recommend more than this of course for a website needs a UX focus but these are the basic tips.  


Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Mobile Friendly

One of the biggest mistakes your business can make is not optimising its website for mobile. 50% of local searches are carried out on mobile devices. If a potential customer attempts to access your website via mobile but is interrupted by pages not loading, sizing issues or the inability to find information, they are more likely to go back into search until they find one of your competitors.

70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. Mobile users that find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. Why? Because mobile users are on the go. When a consumer grabs their smartphone to search, they have a specific intent in mind.  



Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Visual Content

A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to capturing your audience’s attention, you want to take full advantage of every chance to communicate your message. Consumers today are attracted to photos and engaging videos, they also help to boost website SEO and improve visibility for local listings.

Studies show our brains not only process visuals faster, but they retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually.

According to Brightcove, video on social sites generates 1,200% more engagement than texts and images.  Imagine what this could do to your business listing on a directory site?  But you need the right sort of video so talk to us to get it right.  



Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Don’t ignore reviews
If you want your business to appear prominently for localised searches, then you will certainly need to consider how your customers are able to leave reviews for your business online. The importance of accumulating genuine and honest reviews is increasing.

People are looking for reviews on local businesses to determine if they are exactly what they want or try somewhere else. Customers are now sensitised to write reviews and publish them, especially after a positive service and experience.  

For 7 out of 10 consumers, positive reviews inspire trust. This highlights just how important they are for a local business, and it’s clear that reputation management is something that cannot be ignored.


  Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Over 20% of searches on Google today are from users who are looking for local information and 97% of all consumers are going online to look for local companies. Using the above tips can really help to engage your customers. 83% of people doing online local searches then continue with a number of actions offline such as phone calls, emails, visits or even purchases. What’s interesting is how consumers are researching online but buying locally.   Contact us to discuss how we can help you enhance your customer engagement using the above great tips and much more!

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Glossary: UX – User Experience SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, April 2017, London, ‘Local Marketing Tips’.

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