Ask a baby boomer how to get to the grocery store that’s closest to you, and they’ll likely give you directions to it. Ask a millennial the same thing, and they’ll just ask you to Google it.
Breaking a habit is hard, especially if you’ve grown up doing something that’s as convenient as searching for something that you don’t know on a mobile device. Reports from Google state that 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information, and why wouldn’t they, right? You can search for all kinds of information online these days, and it can get as specific as the time at which the restaurant near you that serves Pad Thai closes.
And this is exactly why focusing on Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) is important for local businesses in the search landscape. DKM can impact both business owners and consumers positively, because you need rich, accurate, and verified data online in the first place to access it using search. But before we talk about how it can help businesses, let’s talk a few steps back.
What is Digital Knowledge Management?
Digital Knowledge Management is the creation and management of public facts about a business on all forms of consumer-discoverable digital data platforms. Information ranging from something as simple as a storefront’s name being found on Google, or as complex as the off-season price of a business’ services can be deemed as digital knowledge about a business.
Digital Knowledge Management Today
In 2010, a Google business listing (Step by step guide to update your online business listings) looked like this, more or less.
Skip forward to 2019, and this is how that listing looks, today.
But wait, there’s more. There’s a ridiculous amount of information that you can find on a Google business listing, beyond just the business’ basic NAP (name, address, and phone number) information and pictures.
You can ask questions that the business or other customers can respond to, directly on the business listing.
You can view the star rating the business has earned on other websites like Facebook, Yelp, etc. and blog posts/reviews that critics have written about the business.
You can even check out the hours during which the business experiences the highest footfall.
Beyond this, you can view the restaurant’s menu, place an order from the business, and view links to the business’ social media profiles. All this data is accessible right from the business listing, today.
And this is just Google. Specialized information about a business and reviews from its past customers can be found on several other such major platforms such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Bing, Manta, etc. Consumers are always on the lookout for more options when they’re shopping and that’s why maintaining complete control over digital information has become important for a business.
How Digital Knowledge Management Helps Businesses
Not having the right kind of information about your business when consumers are running searches will likely:
- Keep you from getting discovered at all by consumers (read more about that here)
- Make your consumers feel like you have insufficient/unreliable information about your business
- Cause your customer to consume inaccurate information about your business with respect to its location, contact details, etc. and create bad customer experiences
Imagine a scenario where a customer calls you up on an outdated phone number from your listing. They’re not able to get through to you, but they see that your business is marked open online. So, they go ahead and decide to visit you, only to find that you’ve relocated. Yikes. Scary thought, isn’t it?
Digital Knowledge Management can solve all this for a local business. It can help improve your local SEO and get your business discovered by more people online. It can ensure that consumers reliable information about your business online. And most importantly, it can help you avoid situations where customers have frustrating experiences after trusting your business’ online digital data.
Digital Knowledge Management can directly help improve your business’ revenue as well. Studies say that 18 percent of local smartphone searches lead to purchases within a day, and that 65% of people use their smartphones in their “I-Want-To-Buy” moments, and that 64% of them use search to accomplish this.
Digital Knowledge Management and the Future
Consumers’ adoption rate for using local searches to find businesses around them has increased by over 500% in the past two years, and there’s no reason for these numbers to die down anytime soon. Consumers can now search for businesses using wearable tech, smart speakers, and connected car ecosystems. This only means that business owners have to pay more and more attention to managing their digital data from a centralized platform since consumers are going to want to access information through more channels than ever before.
It also means that businesses need to get ready for the voice search revolution, and make sure they stay on top of information they relay to voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana.
How Can Businesses Manage Their Digital Information at Scale?
It is nearly impossible for enterprises and businesses with several physical stores to manually work on managing and maintaining their digital information. Here are some things you can do to automate your Digital Knowledge Management at scale:
- Get a full-service Digital Knowledge Management software that you can use to manage your business profiles across the internet.
- Set up a centralized dashboard that will give you complete control over your business profiles. This will help you edit your business information at scale and have accurate and up-to-date NAP and business information on all channels at all times.
- Provide rich data about your business on your digital profiles. Focus on tagging your business under the right categories for improved discoverability. Upload media content (photos/videos) to your business profiles, and have additional information such as payment methods, description of the business, links to business social media profiles, etc, available.
- Get reputed publications and bloggers to write or post about your business. This helps give your business a positive online reputation and gets your (potential) customers to find posts that say great things about you.
Have any more thoughts or questions for us? Let us know in the comments below.