As marketers we are inundated with this and that, and told we must be here and there, it can be…NO it is pretty overwhelming. One thing you must stop and take notice of is Local Business Marketing using Yelp. Word of mouth advertising, testimonials and reviews are three of the most powerful marketing tools available to us business owners. And guess what, they are hardly ever used.
Consumer review sites like Yelp.com have become the first stop for recommendations on everything from hair salons to restaurants. Since its inception in 2005 there have been well over 20 million reviews. As a business owner and marketer you are forced to up your game and go the extra mile to ensure every customer has the best experience possible, cause if they don’t they will surely take the time to right a BAD review on sites like Yelp. The opposite is true too, but it has to be an over the top experience for a customer to take the time to write a GOOD review.
When Marica Hoeck first mentioned Yelp as a marketing tool to me, I thought oh boy here we go again. I didn’t want to get all hyped up about the next Pinterest – fact is Yelp has been around a lot longer and is much more powerful. Look for yourself, just Google your favorite restaurant or retail store and you are bound to find them on the first page of Google with review stars shining bright grabbing your attention. Consumers don’t take these reviews lightly, the make buying decisions from the experiences others have had with a business. Good reviews equal new business from a customer that has never bought or used your services. And you guessed it, bad reviews will steer them away to your competitors.
So right after my meeting with Marcia, I went back to the office and jumped on Yelp – my business Bizarre Marketing was nowhere to be found. So I created a personal account and then I added my business. Check It Out Here (write a review if you are a client) wink, wink. I can now leverage my new Yelp listing and ask my clients to write a review to help boost my Local Business Marketing presence. Keep in mind that in most cases Yelp creates business listings and you just have to claim and edit them with the information you want listed – so be sure to search for your business before you create a listing.
Still not convinced? Did I mention it’s FREE and in the last quarter of 2011 66 million people visited Yelp, besides that Google loves Yelp – nuf said, go create or update your listing and start asking for reviews and watch your bottom line grow with new found business you could never get with traditional display advertising.