By Alan Perkins
The World Wide Web is coming up to 30 years old and, as its name implied from the outset, its promise is to access the information and services of the whole world.
The threat to local business is clear, especially in hindsight. There have been many examples of businesses that have closed branches or closed down completely in the face of newer or wider competition. We've seen a lot of this in Kettering and across Northamptonshire.
But it's not all doom and gloom. As the web matures, more and more online opportunities for local business become apparent. Social media, for example, gives the opportunity for businesses to engage much more fully and deeply with local customers and prospects, developing more meaningful personal relationships that global businesses struggle to replicate.
As a Google Premier Partner and Bing Select Partner, SilverDisc is very clued up on the opportunities provided by such companies as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to reach a local audience. Google for example has lots of tools available that clients are using successfully to attract local business. These tools have been developed thanks to the rise of mobile devices, which are often used to find local business. A couple of years ago, there was a large rise in searches for products and services 'near me'. Already though, people aren't even bothering to ask for 'near me' when doing a local search, as they know that Google will give local results. At the same time, there has been an 85 per cent increase in 'where to buy (product)' searches on mobile. 'Same day' shipping searches have doubled in the past two years; travel searches for 'today' and 'tonight' are up 150 per cent; and searches for shops and restaurants 'open now' have tripled! The opportunities for local business should hopefully be obvious.
We owe it to our local businesses to work with them and buy from them to allow them to compete with the bigger players, at least at the local level. That's one way to help our local communities to thrive. Another way is to give back to local charities. That's why Kettering-based SilverDisc and Cransley Hospice are pleased to announce that SilverDisc is now a Charity Partner of Cransley Hospice, not just for a year but ongoing. SilverDisc will be using its digital marketing skills to help the hospice, including using Google Ad Grants of up to $10,000 per month which we, as a Google Premier Partner, will be able to take full advantage of. We'll also be getting involved physically. Our first event is the Dragon Boat Races at Wicksteed Park in September - hope to see you there.
If you would like help with a digital strategy to deliver more to your business - locally, nationally or internationally - contact SilverDisc by calling 01536 316100 or visiting silverdisc.co.uk