My name is Jason Barker. I am the creator of Explore Ashe. I hope you will take the time to read my thoughts listed below on what our current market provides as far as Advertising options, and what we are providing. I myself have a Property Services company here in Ashe County, and I have found that getting the word out about my business can be somewhat arduous. I am limited to very few Advertising platforms and some are costly considering my return on investment. I took it upon myself to build something better!
Let’s review the current options locally.
Our Radio station actually has a limited amount of 15, 30, or 60 sec. spots, and with people’s attention spans these days, a person actually retaining my message, is slim to none. Add to the fact that after a person hears my 30 sec message, they have to either remember that information till they get to a place where they can write it down, or pull over and make sure they jot it down for later use. 90% of the time neither of these actions will take place unless a person is extremely in need of the services I am advertising to them, and if they were needing my service that bad they would most likely already be seeking out those services and not waiting to hear about it on the radio.
These are in limited supply and for good reason actually. If you had 1000 Billboards spread throughout the area, those billboards would not have as much value, because limiting the number of them increases the value in each one of them. This allows the owners of the billboards to charge top dollar for this prime real estate, and believe me they do. This causes two things to happen. First it limits smaller businesses from ever being on one of these billboards as their budget usually does not permit it. Next you’ll notice that most of the Billboard messages never change on many of the billboards. The bigger companies get a good location and rarely give it up. This in turn limits Billboard space even more, which also keeps the cost high.
Talk about expensive and low return on investment! Don’t get me wrong, a newspaper ad was once a very strong means of advertising, but now that we live in a digital world where things move much faster and our time is very limited, it’s value has diminished. Actually the only effectiveness it has anymore is when it is combined with other means of advertising called Advertising Campaigns. In this case you better break out your checkbook, as ad campaigns can become very costly. Our area has also become a prominent tourist destination, where more than likely the last place visitors are going to look for places to eat, or shop is in the newspaper. Most will go straight to their phone and Google the information.
Facebook has become a very popular platform for advertising. There are a lot of people on Facebook, which translates into a lot of eyes. No matter how big and popular this platform is, it has it’s issues. First, most companies are using Facebook in the wrong way. Many companies think they can just post an image or article on their page and then that post will be shown to everyone in their area who likes that page. That’s not the case anymore. So what has changed? Back when Facebook first came out, the organic reach was close to 25 percent of the audience, meaning 25 of every 100 followers would see the post. Now, the organic reach is less than 1 percent. That means more effort and less return. Next we have these groups (ex. Ashe in the Know) where more and more advertising seems to be taking place. The biggest issue here is these are normally closed groups making any advertising efforts only available to those who have joined the group. Newcomers and tourists will never see your Ads or promotions.
Google is very powerful, and a great search tool for those doing the searching. There is another side to its use, and that is for business owners. We as business owners all sign up for the Free Business Profile that is offered as a local resource. The problem is the access into that profile once you have signed up. Do you know how to get into your business profile and change anything? Just think about it! This creates a problem where there are tons of business profiles with outdated information, incorrect hours of operation, and in some cases the wrong directions to an establishment if it has moved since first signing up. That lack of access also includes trying to get a hold of an actual person at Google to fix these issues. That can be challenging.
Now let's discuss what we are offering!
Instant Advertising is a powerful feature in this fast paced world. Get the right message in front of the right person, at the right time, and you’ve most likely got yourself a customer. With amazing tools like Canva.com now available, you can create amazing promotions easily and gracefully! No more having to hire a graphic designer or sit around for hours trying to figure out how to design something yourself, it’s now efficient and affordable.
Making and Posting your own Ads couldn’t be any easier. It’s basically as easy as making a post on Facebook. We have even made the recommended image size within our Post to be the same size as a Facebook post. We have worked to make advertising more convenient, and easier to accomplish. That’s why we mention a platform like Canva, because you can go to their site, choose: (Design a Facebook Post) download it, and it will fit right into our system.
Sharing your message is simple! Anytime you make a Post on our site, you are given the option to share it out to other Social platforms such as Facebook. We believe in the old saying that “Time is Money” and for that reason we wanted to make Advertising easier to create, easier to get in front of potential clients, and easier to share. This gets your message in front of your current followers, as well as in front of newcomers and tourist visiting our area.
Features We've Built In
Most Directories only allow for a description, and your contact information. To us a picture is worth a thousand words, and image galleries are a great way to showcase who you are as a company and the products or services you provide.
Call to Action buttons that link straight to actionable processes such as Booking a Room, or Making an Appointment just seems convenient and smart. For this reason we created a pricing tier that allows for that.
If people can’t find you easily, then what is the use of a directory. On our site they will be able to click on your address right from their phone, and directions will pop up and lead them right to your establishment.
Contacting you to make sure you are open, or being able to find your email to ask a question should be easy and attainable. For this reason all of your contact information can be placed within your listing.
What we have decided to leave out.
Comments can be very detrimental to a business. One person may come into an establishment and have a bad experience. The next may have the best time of their life. The odds are in favor of the bad experience being shared and the great experience never being known about. We believe there are plenty of places for people to find the opinions of others, but we are an advertising platform. We want our businesses to be social by sharing their events and promotions, and our visitors to experience these establishments for themselves.
Research shows that one negative review drives away 22% of prospects, which is around 30 customers. In this day in time, that one review could be a fake one, and no one would know the difference. Like we said about comments, there are plenty of places for you to read reviews about a place, but here we just want you to experience our places of business, and draw your own conclusions. Just think about how many things in life you may have missed out on, because another person wasn’t satisfied with their experience.