The information age is constantly changing.
For businesses to keep pace, they need to stay up to date and be able to communicate with their customers across a variety of platforms.
With more and more people heading to the Internet to shop, companies need an effective on-line presence.
For many businesses, a website can be costly and time consuming. Then there is the issue of how to direct traffic or views to the site.
In order to bridge that gap, Castanet has created Castanet411, the Okanagan's business directory.
Castanet411 is an interactive portal which allows companies to promote their business and connect with both current and new customers.
For shoppers, the directory acts as a search engine, allowing them to hunt for products and services, then get linked directly to that company.
"When they come on here, they can type in the search bar for what they are looking for; say a plumber or a home builder, and it will bring up results for all of those that we have listings for," says Castanet411's Erin Anderson.
Users will be able to get information about the company and stay connected with them. "They can receive e-mails whenever they come out with promotions and get coupons, which can be printed out."
For a company wanting to attract new customers and increase brand recognition, this new directory allows them to promote products and services they offer, while simultaneously improving their search engine placement.
"It's not just a listing service. It's more of an interactive way to get to know local businesses," says Anderson. "For the advertisers, it gives a really good showcase of their location and what they have to offer."
The company will be given a mini-website, a full page which allows them to use a variety of platforms to convey their message.
"Its got the ability to have slide show photos, which is good for realtors and home builders. There's video capabilities so if anyone has You Tube video's or anything like that they can post them on here."
For Built-Rite Homes (a Castanet411 client), that means access to a PDF of their latest promotion, a chance to showcase their locations through the use of a slideshow and testimonials from customers.
Another company using the site is Valley Mitsubishi, for them it means using promotional videos and giving users the chance to find coupons and special offers.
The directory provides:
- Links to the company's website
- Integration with Facebook
- A feedback page.
"A user can come on and post feedback about the business. It's sent over to the business and lets them get a look at what people are saying about them," says Anderson.
The cost of joining Castanet411 may surprise you.
"You get a whole page for $55 a month," says Anderson. "You can upgrade to the social media package for $69 and have unlimited social pages, like Facebook and Linked In. You get a 'like' button as well, and the coupons are also included with that upgrade."
There is also a special package for restaurants which includes the ability to showcase and update menu's and daily specials.