Throughout much of the 20th century and into the 21st, businesses were limited in marketing opportunities. For those without the budget to run ads on network television or the radio, advertising in the Yellow Pages was a highly effective way to enhance visibility and attract user attention. Today, however, the old, tried and true marketing techniques are often found to be lacking in the modern digital world. If your company is losing traction and failing to stay competitive, it may be time to shift your priorities from phone book placement to the resources available on the web.

Why Traditional Advertising Is Failing

While traditional approaches to television and radio ad spots can still be effective, print ads have largely fallen out of favor. This applies to both newspaper placements as well as listings in local phone books and publications. In general, consumers around the world are relying more and more on web-based resources versus standard methods of gathering information, leaving local papers and Yellow Pages publications ignored and unread. In fact, some companies are letting users opt out of receiving a phone book entirely, meaning that your postings in the Yellow Pages are now less visible than ever before. Some states are discontinuing phone books altogether, and several industry projections even estimate that over the next several years, Yellow Pages use will dwindle to virtually nothing.

The Prominence of Digital Marketing

With the continued growth of the internet, the ways in which consumers search for information is much different than it used to be. Over 90% of consumers rely on the web to find local businesses, making online listings far more important than traditional phone book placement. In addition, 88% of web users trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend or family member, making the information available online, both on company websites as well as review pages, vitally important. When your web presence is strong enough to attract attention, it’s much more likely that consumers in your area will find you first.

Implementing a Local Marketing Strategy

When your traditional advertising methods are failing, a digital strategy should be at the center of your approach to marketing. If you don’t have a website, or are relying on a social media page as a primary point of contact, it’s time to invest in a professional-quality page featuring a thorough review of what you have to offer. Google prioritizes original, high-quality content above all else, meaning that a proper approach to content marketing can be extremely influential. A focus on local SEO techniquesis also valuable for regional companies; by optimizing your page to focus on relevant keywords and location indicators, you can hone in on the main source of traffic and provide the tools necessary to draw in your target audience.

A few decades ago, a good reputation in the community and a visible listing in the phone book were all a small business needed to stay profitable. Today, the requirements to stay competitive in the local market are very different. Gone are the days of relying on the Yellow Pages, and here to stay is the need for strong a digital marketing and SEO strategy. Whether you’re a pro on the web or need a little guidance to get started, the right approach to marketing can be what it takes to inspire positive growth in the internet era, paving the way for a bright future for your company.