Booker Launches Two New Content Communities for Local Service Commerce
Booker today announced the launch of two new content communities for local service commerce, driving a new "fourth phase" of content marketing that is data-based, context-rich, and customer-driven. With a series of award-winning blogs already offering tactical tips and insights for service SMBs, Booker's blog usage data mapping and research of over 1,200 local service business uncovered an opportunity to further support and deliver content for this audience in two key areas. 31 percent are seeking to implement technology to expand a successful business, while 44 percent of women service business owners are seeking to grow their business.
For the last two years, Booker has leveraged data to evolve its content marketing strategy to more directly address customer needs, increase engagement, and drive down customer acquisition costs. Having rolled out and reaped the benefits of being at the forefront of the "content phenomenon" to SMB service companies, Booker's new communities define and introduce a fourth phase of content marketing – creating a context-rich community and platform that uses technology and measurement to drive engagement, and facilitate a user-created content ecosystem. The four phases include:
- Phase One: Push and Pray. Publish content according to your own agenda, and hope it connects – and resonates – with your audience.
- Phase Two: Attract and Track. Create content that's more targeted in both relevance and reach, refining it as readers opt-in and further define their preferences.
- Phase Three: Predict and Personalize. Serve up content that is highly relevant to each reader, based on individual profiles, search behavior, data-based algorithms, and more.
- Phase Four: Engage and Respond. Integrate content and community so they are one and the same – creating a real-time context environment to drive the discussion and enable ongoing engagement.
Phase Four ultimately reduces the cost of content creation and delivery and drives down customer acquisition costs. At the same time, it improves reach, engagement, lead quality, lifetime value, and customer loyalty. Booker saw an opportunity to move to Phase Four following its successful implementation of Phase Three with the recent launch of its new website, driven in part by Marketo's real-time personalization. By delivering contextual content that is personalized to each business prospect, Booker increased its related leads by 300 percent while dropping cost per lead by 50 percent. The resulting sales efficiency is a key driver of the company's lean business model, and was a major factor in its $35 million Series C funding last year. It also positioned Booker to lead the next big shift in content to fill a void for local service commerce – delivering the insights that local service businesses need through two, customer-driven content communities:
- NextWave SMB: providing direct access to a virtual outsourced CTO and strategic advisor for the 40+ percent of SMBs pursuing a new stage of growth – enabling them to effectively monitor, assess, and implement technology solutions to take their business to the next level.
- SheBOOM: delivering an interactive community by and for the millions of women service business owners who have limited time and resources to find trends and education about business growth. Women-owned businesses comprise 36 percent of all businesses, an increase of 30 percent over 2007.
"Our research shows that the service commerce community has been largely underserved when it comes to content around these two key topics. Through proven data and results, we saw an opportunity to augment our blog, and add context to content to fill this gap," said Josh McCarter, CEO of Booker. "Our new communities put the reader in the driver's seat, so it's easier than ever for service SMB owners to find what they need, when and how they need it."
Booker tapped two seasoned industry veterans and longtime service business owners to create and drive each community, who will initiate the conversation then continue to prompt and guide interactions as the communities grow. Brand and content innovator Nancy A.Shenker will lead SheBOOM. A former CMO for Fortune 100 companies, Shenker now heads up theONswitch and consults to small businesses on marketing, digital media, and innovation. Leading digital media and marketing strategist Peter Krasilovsky will head up NextWave SMB, where he will offer deep analysis and observations of SMB technologies and trends. Krasilovsky is the principal of Local Onliner, and has been a strategist for major companies providing SMB digital services for over 20 years.
"Millions of women own or aspire to own service commerce businesses. They are incredibly busy, yet desperate for content and support to help them grow," said Shenker. "SheBOOM has an informal, telegraphic style designed to help multi-tasking women (and men!) connect and prosper with money and staff management advice, profiles of successful service business owners ("sheBOOMers")…and a dose of levity."
"NextWave SMB is aimed at SMB owners who are pursuing the ‘next wave' of growth for their business, and seeking information on technology and marketing trends and successes to do so," added Krasilovsky. "There is an unprecedented amount of technology being offered to SMBs. We'll provide insights into what is important to SMBs and why, while highlighting true innovation."
Both communities offer a hub of information, trends, and community for local service commerce businesses, and will evolve as readers engage with them. This reinforces Booker's commitment to equipping service commerce providers with the innovative tools and content they need to grow, so they can truly "be free and enjoy their work."
Booker is the leading technology platform in service commerce, delivering an end-to-end platform for business owners to compete in the rapidly growing market for local services. Booker offers SMBs an all-in-one solution with online booking, CRM, staff management, and POS. With its acquisition of Frederick (hirefrederick.com), Booker's automated marketing platform now offers a suite of yield management, customer retention, and referral tools. Booker makes it easy for SMB owners to run and grow their businesses, providing them greater freedom to focus on the work they love. Headquartered in New York City, Booker is used by more than 110,000 professionals at over 10,000 locations. For more information, visit www.booker.com.
Resound Marketing for Booker
Erin Stanley, 813-924-4090