Search advertisers face a conundrum as they try to find ways to keep media-buying options simple, but expand from directories into Bing's Google's and Yahoo's networks. ypSearch, a local buying platform for search engine marketing that launched Tuesday, will now support small companies through one integrated platform. It relies on automation, machine learning, and reporting that tracks phone calls and triggers real-time notifications.
"Some of the same people around at the time paid search first began built the core to this platform," said Darren Clark, CTO at YP.
The platform rewrite gives small businesses access to search advertisements running on a marketplace under YP's ad inventory, allowing the company to combine the traffic and extend it out to Google's, Bing's, Yahoo's networks, and other high-quality sites. The combination gives advertisers an audience of about 80 million monthly visitors, per YP data from September 2014.
The move replaces the Internet Yellow Pages platform, which just ran traffic across YP's properties. Historically, companies had to purchase media on Internet Yellow Pages and YP Search. Now advertisers tell YP their budget, which provides the most cost-effective package.
ypSearch could become more of a self-service platform, as the next generation of local small business owners up their use of advertising and marketing services, Clark said.
Advertisers can access ypSearch leads on the go with the YP for Merchants app available for Android and iOS devices. For more in-depth performance reports there's the YP’s online customer portal. YP integrated phone call recordings, unanswered call notifications, and alerts into the mobile app.
Focused on local businesses, earlier this month YP launched the local social campaign "Make Every Day Local," a new celebrity-driven marketing campaign featuring news anchors and reality stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic supporting Chicago, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm for NYC, and country music artist Jake Owen for Nashville. They are being produced by barrettSF and directed by Christian Sorensen Hansen of Society, which has also shot work for Audi, Travel Oregon, and Boston Scientific.