With no technical expertise required, Vistaprint’s Online Search Profiles take minutes to create and are distributed to over 100 search engines including Google Maps, Yahoo Local and YellowPages.com. Consistent listing data entered into many trusted search engines helps increase a business’ local online search ranking, potentially surpassing the listings of competing businesses. In addition to an increased online presence, business profiles are also published in a special Vistaprint directory for further exposure.
So how much does this cost? It’s $3 per month or $36 per year. It’s pretty much a no brainer. And Vistaprint is relatively “trusted” by its customers; there is a brand of sorts there.
I always forget about Vistaprint as an SMB sales channel. However, the company claims “relationships” with eight (8) million SMBs. Compare that with 3.2ish million YP advertisers and 3 to 6 million (depending on how you count) million SMBs tied into Intuit products.
Think about a potential not-too-distant future where SMBs use some combination of the following as their marketing:
- Extremely cheap “paid inclusion” offerings like this
- Their own website or Twitter/FB/Place Page/blog as substitute
- Subscription reputation management product/tools that also offer data accuracy monitoring (e.g., Marchex, GetListed)
Beyond a simple presence, more savvy SMBs may also independently “work” Facebook, Twitter and maybe one or two other social media sites (Yelp). Mobile distribution is provided by the online entities they deal with already so they don’t really have to think about that too much.
Though quickly and crudely formulated on my part, some version of the above scenario is probably the future of SMB marketing. Traditional media is certainly in the mix too but perhaps for only selected strata of SMBs. To sell traditional media, it will need to be performance-based or have to be part of a bundle that includes digital (much like print + online newspaper subscription bundling becomes a way to retain print subs). The smaller and budget conscious will probably cut more expensive traditional media products altogether.