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94% of Diners Will Choose Your Restaurant Based on Online Reviews

What goes into the decision-making process when a diner is looking for a restaurant? According to the new TripAdvisor “Influences on Diner Decision-Making” survey, 94% of US diners are influenced by online reviews. The numbers are also quite high in other countries, with French, Spanish, and Italian diners coming in at 90, 91 and 93% respectively. Diners in the UK were influenced the least at 87%, but still something to take notice of if you are a restaurateur. The importance of online reviews can no longer be overlooked because they carry a great deal of weight when diners are looking to eat out — especially when they are looking for a new place. Another survey in 2017 pointed this very fact out as 97% of respondents said they read reviews for local businesses. Customers even decide how much to spend on your business based upon online reviews. In the case of the survey,  31% say they would likely spend more money on businesses with positive reviews. Meanwhile, 22% say they wouldn’t buy a product or service from a business after reading just a single negative review. If the number of bad reviews is more than four, it can take away up to 70% of your potential customers. The TripAdvisor “Influences on Diner Decision-Making” survey was carried out between January and February 2018, with responses from 1,005 restaurant owners across 6 markets. A total of 9,500 international diners in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States took part. How Diners Choose Restaurants In addition to being influenced by reviews, photos also had a perceptible impact on customers. In the US, this was the case for 60% of the respondents, while in Spain it was 72% followed by Italy at 67%, France 64% and in the UK 52%. Diners also reported they are researching the places they plan to eat more carefully than ever — whether they are at home or traveling. The amount of research increases even further when customers are traveling, though it’s plenty high even when they are at home. The survey also indicates TripAdvisor leads…

Master the Art of Local Marketing with these 12 Tips

Local marketing has multiple benefits for a business. It offers you the opportunity to get your products and services in the face of new home-based customers and can elevate your business in the community. Your company can easily become a household name by being front and center in the neighborhood where you are located. That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following: “What’s the best method you’ve found for marketing your business locally?” Tips on Marketing a Small Business Locally Here’s what YEC community members had to say: 1. Connect With Local Businesses “As a guided meditation company for women who are preparing to conceive as well as pregnant women and new moms, healthcare providers around the country recommend our product through brochures. On a local level, developing relationships with these providers and expanding the network of businesses carrying our brochures, including prenatal massage and yoga studios, has been instrumental to our success.” ~ Mark Krassner, Expectful 2. Participate in Community Events “The best way to build good business relationships is to network in community events that don’t necessarily involve your industry. Participating in a 5K run or charity event allows you to introduce yourself to other businesses in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. Everyone is in a comfortable environment where conversation can flow.” ~ Chris Quiocho, Offland Media 3. Encourage Clients to Tell You What They Think “Everyone wants customers to have a good experience. Right after a person makes a purchase or signs up for a service with your company, encourage them to share their experiences on your website, on social media, and other popular review sites. Word of mouth is the best way to promote your business, especially locally.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 4. Use Google Local “Making sure you’ve got your listings properly managed is one of the best ways to be present locally. You need to make sure that you play by their rules. Upload pictures, include relevant phone numbers and information and ask people to participate in reviews of the location. If you check all…

Thumbtack’s New Instant Results Feature Matches Customers with Service Pros Fast

Customers looking for local services can now use Thumbtack’s Instant Results feature to get real-time booking and pricing. The new feature comes as Thumbtack is rebranding itself to address the growing gig economy with a more intuitive and responsive platform. The company says it wants workers and the customers looking for them to communicate seamlessly and have a good experience all around. The workers using the Thumbtack platform are local individuals and small businesses. By improving the way they can be found by customers looking for their services, Thumbstack is increasing the number of bookings these businesses can receive. Professionals ranging from plumbers to contractors, caterers to photographers use Thumbtack to connect with potential customers. Marco Zappacosta, co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack, explains what customers can do to find the right professional. On the official company blog, Zappacosta writes, “Customers can adjust filters like the date, the location and the job requirements, and see how prices and availability changes before their eyes. By removing barriers to using local services, such as time constraints and a seamless way to book instantly, Thumbtack is bringing more customers to the backbone of the American economy — small businesses.” ? The Features in Thumbtack Instant Results Instant Results has improved the rate for matching customers with professionals, which has been increased by up to 20 times, the company says. For each potential customer or client looking for a professional Thumbstack is producing up to 30 pros who can perform the task. Customers can now filter their search by price, location, schedule and other factors with a single click. When the right person is located, they can message them to get more answers before the final booking. The Instant Results upgrade is made possible in part by an overhaul of Thumbtack’s infrastructure. The overhaul has allowed the platform to move away from its inefficient manual bidding process to a new automated bidding and real-time inventory matching approach. What is Thumbtack? Thumbtack is a platform which connects local professionals with customers in more than 1,000 categories. The company has raised $250 million in funding to date,…

Selling Things Locally Doesn’t Have to Be Hard, See These 20 Apps

If you have some extra office supplies or inventory lying around that you want to sell quickly, you might not need anything other than your smartphone to complete the sale. There are tons of apps out there that offer local selling options for connecting with potential buyers nearby. What is the Best App to Sell Stuff Locally? Here are 20 options to consider when looking for the best app to sell stuff locally. eBay The popular ecommerce platform does offer a local selling feature and a mobile app, allowing you to reach its massive customer base right from your mobile device in order to sell items locally. Etsy For handmade or vintage products, Etsy offers a similar local search feature that can help you get your products found by customers nearby. Facebook Marketplace If you already use Facebook for your small business, then the social media giant’s marketplace platform could also be an attractive option for selling locally. You can list products and manage conversations right from the app. CPlus for Craigslist Craigslist is one of the most popular online platforms for selling items to local buyers. In order to leverage the platform on your mobile device, a third party app like CPlus can help. Carousell Carousell is a mobile only platform that’s designed specifically for person-to-person selling. You can post a photo, chat with potential buyers and then complete your sales with people right in your neighborhood. LetGo Another mobile platform that aims to provide a simple experience, LetGo allows you to post, chat and make sales quickly. You can set a specific location and buyers can search within a specific range in order to find the relevant products that are closest to them. OfferUp OfferUp lets you sell a variety of different products to nearby consumers. Buyers and browse through the platform’s many categories or search for something specific. Vinted Vinted is a platform that’s specifically for buying, selling and swapping clothing items. You can post a photo and chat with potential buyers if they have questions, then close sales quickly. Depop Depop describes itself as an app…

Yext Introduces New Voice Commands to Update Your Local Business Profile

The Yext (NYSE: YEXT) Spring ’18 product release has added 15 new Knowledge Assistant skills and improvements across the Yext Knowledge Engine. With these additions, you will have more control of your brand and digital presence by just using your voice to make changes and look up your data. Yext Knowledge Assistant Update The new skills can be used from your mobile device to make changes to important pieces of information to determine what your customers see on your digital presence. With 80 percent of consumers losing trust in local businesses because they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online, the ability to quickly change the info can prove to be invaluable. The solution Yext provides is especially useful for small businesses because of the flexibility and easy access it provides to your digital assets from anywhere you happen to be. On the official Yext company blog, Marc Ferrentino, Chief Strategy Officer at Yext, explained how the growth in conversational user interfaces such as chatbots and voice searches for consumers can also be used for businesses. He said where speed and ease of use are critical, the technology can add value. He added, “With today’s release, the Knowledge Assistant can now answer crucial questions about how your customers see and interact with you across the digital universe… We built the Knowledge Assistant to bring the convenience and power of conversational UI to Digital Knowledge Management, and today’s announcement marks a leap forward in the sophistication of this new technology.” What is Yext? Yext is a Digital Knowledge Management platform which allows businesses to better control how their customers experience their brand. It gives you more access to the intelligent services driving consumer discovery, decision and actions such as maps, apps, search engines, voice assistants and more. The platform is currently used by brands including Arby’s, Berkshire Hathaway, Ben & Jerry’s, Marriott, Taco Bell, Rite Aid, Pep Boys and many others. But the company has many small business customers too. ? The Yext Knowledge Assistant uses an intelligent conversational interface to manage the customer-facing data of your business.…

How to Help Your Local Business Get Found Online

How to Help Your Local Business Get Found Online written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing Marketing Podcast with Mike Blumenthal Podcast Transcript People say a lot of things about SEO – it’s dead, it’s all tricks, it’s too hard. Here’s the thing – SEO, including and maybe especially local SEO, is certainly not dead – it’s more alive, necessary and vibrant than ever. It has shifted to become more of an integrated, foundational and strategic part of the overall marketing pie, but take it lightly or dismiss it and you’ll find yourself needing to pay dearly just to survive. Here’s the tough part of about local SEO – Google pretty much sets the rules, keeps score, and owns the game, so they will continue to see how they can use local search rankings to make money – there is no getting around this fact, but savvy marketers are still finding gold by applying the techniques that allow them to show up in local and organic listings as the game is played today. My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Mike Blumenthal, the undisputed king of local SEO. Blumenthal is the owner of Blumenthals, one of the founders of Local U, as well as GetFiveStars, a review service that helps local businesses. He and I discuss the ever-changing world of local SEO and how you can keep up. Blumenthal’s goal is to help local business do better and be better through feedback and reviews. He specializes in developing and assessing feedback and review strategies for location-based businesses, local search consulting, Google Maps, and local search optimization. Questions I ask Mike Blumenthal: What is the intention behind Google My Business? What are the most important local ranking factors? What will the Google 3-pack look like in 6-12 months from now? What you’ll learn if you give a listen: Why there is confusion around Google local business listings Why local PR is important Why the words used in Google reviews are important for your ranking Key takeaways from the episode and more about Mike…

10 Pro Tricks to Master Local Search Marketing

Sponsored Post A successful local marketing strategy requires more than just choosing a few general keywords and setting up pages on Facebook and Yelp. Small businesses and consumers are constantly getting smarter. So if you want to stay ahead of the competition and make sure local customers can find your business, your local marketing strategy has to evolve. Small Business Trends recently spoke with David “Rev” Ciancio, director, industry insights for Yext, a company that helps businesses manage their digital knowledge and reputation everywhere it lives online including listings, maps, apps, Knowledge cards and more. During the conversation, Rev shared a number of helpful insights for small businesses looking to step up their local marketing efforts. Here are the top 10 tips. Go Beyond Google My Business Google isn’t the only place where all your business information should be listed and up-to-date. There are hundreds of them out there that  range from general sites like Yelp, Facebook and YP.com to ones meant for specific industries like TripAdvisor for hospitality businesses, and YaSabe, USA Yellow Pages site for Latinos. Rev said overlooking these business listings is the number one mistake that local businesses make with their online marketing efforts. Yext offers a solution that can help you easily control and update all of your business listings across platforms. But even if you don’t choose to use a paid service, monitoring these listings manually should be a top marketing priority. Scan Through Online Directories Regularly Updating your digital knowledge isn’t just a one-time task either. You should sift through all the places online where your customers can find these facts about your brand regularly, especially if you’ve made any recent changes, like updating your holiday hours or adding a new service. Doing so should only take a few minutes if you are using Yext. If you are managing your digital knowledge manually, it will take much longer as you’ll need to update each intelligent service on its own.. Rev adds, “A lot of small businesses prioritize their marketing efforts upside down. It’s been reported that the average half-life of a Facebook post…

Waze Local Can Share Your Business with Commuters Starting at $2 a Day

After testing Waze Local in beta for more than a year, the new tool has been launched to specifically give small businesses a marketing platform to reach consumers on the road. And with campaigns starting for as little as $2 per day, this can be a way to drive foot traffic into stores. Waze is a carpooling app owned by Google which has taken a different approach to ridesharing. And one of the ways it generates revenue is through advertising, which it has been doing by allowing large brands to buy ads since 2011. With Waze Local, small businesses will be able to do the same, albeit without all the bells and whistles. What it will do for your small business is increase foot traffic. Kung Fu Tea, which participated in the beta test, saw more than 5,500 drivers going to one of its 16 locations thanks to ads over a span of three months. On average, Waze Local delivered a 20 percent increase for the businesses which bought ads, Google says. ? On the GeoMarketing blog from local marketing service Yext, Matt Phillips, Head of Waze Local, explains the need small businesses have to drive in foot traffic. Phillips is quotes as saying, “SMBs are not interested in driving clicks to their websites. They want real-world impact. They want the ability to do that in a digital advertising context to be quick and easy. They don’t have big marketing teams, so they want the reporting to be simple as well. We took those needs and addressed them in Waze Local.” Using Waze Local Waze Local is able to reach drivers close to your location with a local ad experience. There are three types of ads you can use to launch your marketing campaign, and Waze says you can do this in a few minutes. A Branded Pin lets drivers know your business is on or around their route, and it gives the user more information when clicked. A Promoted Search boosts your business to the top of search results along with your brand logo. Zero-Speed Takeover works like a…

11 Strategies to Combine Your Offline and Online Marketing Efforts

What’s one strategy to connect my offline marketing to my online marketing? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. 1. Use Online Incentives If you’re operating an e-commerce business, this is the smartest way to bridge the gap. If brick-and-mortar shoppers know that they can get a bigger discount of some sort by purchasing your products or services online, they’ll do it!- Codie Sanchez, www.CodieSanchez.com 2. Look for Tactics That Work in Both Areas Identify marketing tactics that involve both channels so you can create content that works in both places or that encourages your audience to visit the other channel. This could be adding social channels to your offline marketing information or hosting an event and asking visitors to share it or check in online.– Drew Hendricks, Buttercup 3. Make Sure Your Messaging Is in Alignment Making sure your messaging is consistent across your offline and online marketing is extremely important. Your offline and online marketing should be closely aligned in language, target customer, and (as much as possible) call to action. Reaching different customers in different realms will lead to a confusing customer picture and a sales pipeline that is difficult to manage.- Kevin Bretthauer, FuelCloud 4. Use Ad Tracking Software Aside from making sure you maintain brand continuity across your ads, you can also implement analytics tracking measures into your offline ads. Radio ads can have promo codes, brochures can have call tracking numbers on them and depending on your market, you can utilize QR codes, too.- Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now 5. Let Customers Do the Work One of the quickest and easiest ways to merge the offline with the online is to host a competition. A good example is to ask customers to take selfies that promote your brand by having them upload their images to your social media accounts using a particular phrase or a unique hashtag. The details about the competition should…

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