The Internet has dozens of high-visibility business directory sites for small firms and enterprises alike.
Not all are suitable for independent financial services companies, but these six should absolutely factor into your marketing plan. Here’s what you need to know about each and what you should do to get the most value for your listings.
LinkedIn isn’t typically thought of as a “directory” site. As the highest-visibility professional social network in most of the world, however, it’s a vital component of any B2B marketing plan. It goes without saying that financial services firms targeting small and midsize businesses must invest in a robust, well-curated LinkedIn presence that includes original content produced by key employees. Look to competitors and peer companies in related industries to get a sense of LinkedIn’s possibilities; this German manufacturer’s LinkedIn portal offers a fantastic look at what’s possible here.
- Bloomberg Private Company Snapshots
This directory resource is powered by S&P Global Market Intelligence, a leader in global enterprise research. Though it’s not particularly content-rich or aesthetically appealing, it’s a high-visibility platform through which you can provide basic information about your firm: key employees, contact information, competitors and peers, a brief description of your service portfolio. This Asia-Pacific based fiduciary service provider’s Bloomberg Private Company profile is a good example of the possibilities for independently operated financial services firms.
- Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, has long been an arbiter of quality and reliability for North American consumer-facing businesses. In recent years, it has evolved into a catchall directory resource whose utility spans industries and audiences. A properly managed BBB profile establishes credibility and provides for effective, arm’s-length interaction with customers.
Once geared exclusively to online startups, Crunchbase has broadened its aperture to accommodate most B2C verticals. This online shoe retailer’s Crunchbase profile demonstrates the platform’s descriptive potential; with far more information than Bloomberg Private Company snapshots and greater granularity than BBB, it’s a fantastic resource for firms seeking outside investors.
Manta is a “directory plus” platform that doubles as a lead generation apparatus for small and midsize businesses. If your financial services firm targets individuals and small business clients within a defined geographical area, you’ll want to invest substantial resources in your Manta presence.
- Google My Business
As the public Internet’s most popular gatekeeper, Google is a powerful marketing resource for any business. Google My Business, the company’s directory offering, is among the most authoritative platforms for B2B and B2C firms, including those operating in the financial services industry. The interface is nothing fancy, but the visibility is too valuable to ignore.
Toward a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
For better or worse, your financial services firm’s marketing plan can’t subsist on business directory exposure alone.
If you’re not investing in a comprehensive marketing apparatus that includes analytics-driven paid and organic social media marketing, paid and organic search marketing, and multi-tiered thought leadership campaigns that leverage your team’s talent and expertise to burnish your firm’s reputation, you’re almost certainly leaving leads on the table.
That said, establishing a robust business directory presence is a crucial early step on the road to greater exposure — and getting started is far easier than you might think.