Directory growth tips for 2024.

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As we move into 2024, it’s a great time to think about the strategies that will help publishers grow their directory business. The publishers who have integrated the SmartSolutions™ sales tool into their businesses already know how cutting-edge techniques and technologies can add a new dimension to their organization. Today, adding value is absolutely necessary for a directory to grow in these challenging times.

The State of Local Directories in 2024

Publishers understand that local directories have survived a variety of new marketing trends and  are highly resilient. In rural areas, consumers still depend heavily on print and online directories, and businesses trust their leading directory partners to deliver leads and new customers. In big cities however – and among tech-savvy consumers online – publishers face challenges for attention.

In these tough economic times businesses are feeling the pinch, and want to maximize returns on marketing spend. Sadly, 18% of small businesses fail within their first year, and 50% fail in five years. So what does this mean for publishers and their advertisers? Ultimately, publishers need to provide more services to help advertisers increase ROI. This will in turn help publishers help their businesses grow via new income streams.

Key Strategies for Growing a Directory Business in 2024

Last year we discussed seven goals directory publishers need for success in 2023. A lot has changed in the last 12 months, with the launch of SmartSolutions being the most notable.

Empower Advertisers to Succeed

To grow a directory business in 2024 publishers must be active in their advertisers’ success. SmartSolutions is a crucial factor in this process, allowing advertisers to reach more targeted consumers with almost no additional effort.

According to Hubspot, audience targeting is one of the top two ways advertisers drive demand. The SmartAds™ software within SmartSolutions makes this possible by creating a SmartSheet™ containing words and phrases used by competing businesses in their marketing campaigns.

The data generated within the SmartSheet can then be used within directory advertising, social media, even on the business’ website. For the business, this offers a simple way to generate more leads, while for the publisher, it means selling bigger ads and an increase in revenue.

Demonstrate Credibility With Advertisers and Consumers

A study conducted by customer experience platform Tidio found that around 34% of Gen Z consumers think most online stores are untrustworthy. This lack of trust is a persistent problem for businesses of all kinds in 2024, with shoppers needing to see signs of credibility to make a purchase.

One simple way to generate trust is with a seal from an established organization like the ADP. As part of becoming a SmartSolutions Authorized Reseller, directory owners can display a Trusted Local Publisher™ Seal that immediately demonstrates credibility to businesses. In addition, publishers can offer a Trusted Local Business™ Seal to businesses purchasing SmartSolutions. A straightforward way to grow a directory, and a win-win for both parties.

Grow Advertisers Local Footprint

Increasing visibility is a key reason why businesses join directories. But what if a directory could distribute the business’ data to a network of sites for substantially more visibility? This is exactly what is possible with listing management. As part of SmartSolutions, businesses get their data distributed to high-quality directories and search engines for greater exposure and improved search engine rankings.

Train Advertisers to Get More Business With SmartSolutions

In 2024, adding value is crucial to growing a directory business. It’s not enough to simply offer a service, you must demonstrate how a business can use it to their advantage. SmartSolutions makes this possible with training designed to help sales staff use the software and secure more customers. Request a tour of SmartSolutions and see for yourself.

Embrace Content Diversity

Content diversity is a hot trend for 2024, as consumers deal with the vast number of publishing platforms. From long-form articles and email marketing to short videos and social media posts, businesses are expected to go where their consumers are found.

Publishers can assist their advertisers in this process with an optimized listing on the Trusted Local Directory™ – included when you become a reseller of SmartSolutions. Trusted Local Directory is a powerful search engine for consumers, and it also features opportunities to create articles, advertise, post videos and create deals. Combined with the data from the SmartAds print and online advertising tool for publishers, advertisers are incentivized to use these services and become long-term customers.

Start Selling More Advertising With the SmartSolutions Sales Tool

The ADP is committed to supporting the success of print and online directory publishers. To sell more ad space and grow a directory business, become a SmartSolutions reseller today. Call (800) 267-9002 or request a tour of SmartSolutions.