Panel-SlideIf you could sit in a room with someone from Google, Facebook, Yext or SuperMedia — what would you ask them about advertising your business locally?  Recently, dozens of small business owners got that chance as four industry experts shared advice on how to advertise successfully in the digital landscape.  A few key bits of advice from the panel include:

  1. Beware of anyone who guarantees they can place you on the first page of Google search results.  Ben Wood, Director of Channel Sales Americas for Google, warns that claim simply isn’t possible since the search algorithms for Google change roughly 100 times per month.
  2. Don’t be afraid of all the digital options out there — mobile, Facebook, Google, Google Places, etc.  CEO and Co-Founder of Yext, Howard Lerman reminds small business owners, “They’re all just screens.”  Don’t let all the options intimidate you, they are just different ways of displaying the same information for your business.
  3. The first thing you have to do to be successful on Facebook is be on it.  Matt Baker, Manager of Small Business Partnerships for Facebook encouraged business managers to be present on Facebook, but then don’t walk away — remain present with regular updates, pictures or postings. If you don’t keep trying new things, you won’t learn what works for your business.
  4. Don’t forget mobile.  Pretty much everyone has and uses mobile phones, devices or tablets.  But Chris Folmar, Director of Mobile Development with SuperMedia, reminds us that most of the time we aren’t putting our advertising into formats that fit those devices. Business owners need to design and consider mobile delivery when they put their marketing plan together.

Additional questions and topics from the discussion included:

  • How to handle bad reviews
  • What kind of images to post for your business
  • The importance of fresh content
  • How much search is happening on mobile
  • How many sources consumers use to search before purchasing
  • Social media is the new word of mouth
  • Questions you should ask when buying local search services


The panel discussion “Digital Advertising Trends for Local Businesses”