The goal here is not to get as many business listings as possible. The idea we need is more community in their repertoire.
I always like to use a “saying” I learned from network marketing: “I’d rather use 1% of a hundred people’s efforts than 100% of my own to market my business.” successfully.
With that in mind, let me clarify that I’m not talking about creating an affiliate program. They come like sand by the sea and can be bought. We have to create something bigger than ourselves, I’m talking about taking our repertoire and improving everything that touches people.
ONLINE GENERAL DIRECTORIES:
It becomes a bit more difficult for these types of directories to build a community that people can relate to. This is because the bigger your audience/visitors, the harder it is to target your resources.
Here are some ideas you can use for a general directory:
- Create a blog and use it to display new entries in your directory. They might even offer some sort of verification.
- Provide the ability to add a logo or image to your ad for further personalization.
- Give people the opportunity to submit more information than most competing directories.
- Be sure to include a detailed search function.
- Create an online questionnaire with tips on how to improve the directory. Use these tips right away.
- Send an email to all members of your directory, perhaps once a month, to describe the new entries that have been posted online for that month.
- Make sure you have a “What’s New” page so visitors can see what’s new.
I think you already have the idea. The point is, there is no limit to how you can “grow” your “around” directory listings to add value to your online directory. The more you give back to people, the more they can tell their friends about your repertoire.
Whether your directory is aimed at the local business community or the international healthcare community, building a community website becomes much easier when you have a directory of targeted content.
Here are some ways to improve your target directory:
Create a forum that lists all the topics in your directory so that people can discuss problems or advice in those categories. For example, if you have a local business directory, create a forum for local business owners to discuss business-related topics, interesting commercial real estate, office equipment specials, etc.
Create a news section that describes some local news and events in your community. In particular, it will help drive more local visitors to your directory and draw attention to your listings.
Provide weather and traffic reports in local community directories.
Add a feature page where you actually interview a board member (maybe once a month).This will help people get to know your board members better and will also help promote your board. People who sign up for your directory can only request one opportunity to be interviewed about your service/product/experience.
Add a blog with your experiences on the topics of your directory. This helps in two ways:
1) People will identify with you and feel more connected to you.
2) People will start to respect what you do and will be able to tell more people about your directory if they feel your directory is more people oriented instead of just getting the most listings in the world.
– Add industry-related tips. The internet is full of articles reprinted for your website. I’m 99.9% sure you can find articles related to your industry. Maybe start a newsletter for your board members and send them tips about your industry. Who doesn’t want to learn more about their industry?
As you can see above, you’re well on your way to creating a community-based directory by simply taking a few ideas from here and implementing them in your directory. This is very important nowadays as more and more directories like yours are popping up everywhere.
Let’s not forget the search engines. They are also increasingly rewarding communities and not just online directories. The more resources and content you add to your business directory listings, the more valuable they become and the more traffic you get.
The more valuable your listings are, the more visitors will be willing to come back from time to time and possibly tell their friends about it. You never know what will make or break it, but all we can do is do what we can to add value to our increasingly popular online community.