As the official Flathead Valley Business Directory (http://www.flatheadguide.com/)
The Flathead Guide is hyper-local to the Flathead Valley, but it shares the same marketing challenges that every business faces, creating awareness for their services. What makes this effort unique is that by promoting the Flathead Guide, all listed businesses benefit as a result.
In July, the owner of the Flathead Guide, Tom Heatherington, was named in the Daily Inter Lake’s reader’s poll as one of the “Best Promoters of the Flathead”. Achieving such recognition after only seven months in operation prompted Tom to turn up the heat in the marketing department. Since then, Flathead Guide commercials are heard daily on KGEZ radio and he leverages print advertising in a number of publications including the popular “Kalispell Quarterly” magazine.
Heatherington said, “I have been in the Internet business for twenty years and have been consulting with small businesses for most of that time. I know what it takes to get traction online, but with a new business you often need to help create awareness with offline advertising and promotion.”
The Flathead Guide offers businessesa number of important marketing benefits. With their listing they receive a link to their primary website from a local authority site, which can help their website rank better in search results. Additionally, each listing is a mini-website that includes an unlimited description, a photo slideshow, all contact information and links to the company’s social sites, a Google map and the ‘Tap to Call’ functionality of a smartphone. Every listing is optimized for search and all mobile devices.
Online, the Flathead Guide maintains aggressive marketing activity with a dynamic Facebook page, one of the largest Flathead Valley Pinterest boards, a YouTube channel with dozens of videos and over 335,000 views, a Twitter account with hundreds of local followers and employs other resources such as Vimeo, Tumblr and Google Plus.
Smartphones have become an essential part of American life and the millions of visitors that visit northwest Montana every year no longer rely on their laptops to find local attractions or information. They use their smartphones to get directions, find restaurants, hotels, campgrounds and virtually every product and service available in the Flathead Valley. The Flathead Valley Business Directory helps to connect businesses with the people who are searching for them.
Tom Heatherington is a recognized Internet business author and online marketing consultant to small business. His books include the "SEO & Social Media Marketing Guide" and "The Complete Small Business Internet Guide" (published by Macmillan/QUE)