If your business is still investing in yellow pages advertising, there could be a few reasons why: maybe there’s a long-standing relationship with the yellow pages, or perhaps you’re just unaware of the alternatives. But you’re probably not sticking with them because you’re getting great results – the yellow pages have been producing diminishing returns for more than a decade.
Instead of throwing away more money on the yellow pages, you should switch to a content marketing strategy. Content marketing uses blogs, social media and content offers to attract visitors to your website. Once there, visitors are encouraged to provide their contact information so they can learn more about your company, or gain access to a free content offer.
The yellow pages may try to impress you with their dual offering of print and internet advertising, but content marketing has them both beat. Here’s how:
Pop quiz: Where’s your home’s copy of the phone book? Can you think of it off the top of your head? Probably not, but that’s OK, because most people don’t use the yellow pages anymore. In fact, some are declining yellow pages delivery altogether: from 2011-13, more than 3.5 million people opted out of yellow pages delivery. These days, the yellow pages are primarily used by people living in rural areas and the elderly. That’s an awfully small and specific segment of the market to be advertising to.
With content marketing, the entire internet is your oyster: you can reach anyone who has access to Google. And with proper research, you can discover the important keywords in your field that you need to focus on. If you incorporate those keywords into your content, you will soon be ranking highly in Google search results, which means more traffic and more possibilities for leads.
In an attempt to get with the times, and justify their exorbitant fees, the yellow pages are touting their online directory services. They claim they will help generate leads and drive traffic. But here’s the problem with online directories: you don’t need them. In fact, they may actually hurt your traffic.
Google (and other search engines) already function as directories for everything online. As we discussed above, with proper SEO (search engine optimization) and implementation of keywords, your content will get ranked highly in search results. Forcing a visitor to go through an online directory first is just adding an extra step to the equation, and really helps out the yellow pages more than it helps you: they get to insert themselves into a process they don’t need to be part of.
Regardless of the medium, content marketing is a better choice than yellow pages advertising. If you’d like to learn how you can get started with content marketing, download our FREE eBook: A Six-Step Plan to Transition from Yellow Pages Advertising to Content Marketing: