Just when you thought there weren’t any more worlds to conquer in the local listings game, Apple messes around and gives us a whole lot more work. On January 11th, Apple introduced a new tool to the digital marketing ecosystem in Apple Business Connect.
The free tool allows businesses of all sizes to customize the way their information appears across Apple apps.
For a while now, 30 Lines has been seeing the value in utilizing local listings like Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) as an additional platform for marketing efforts. Not only are these local listings mainstays of SEO & search strategy, but as they evolve, they provide new opportunities for meeting prospects and residents where they’re looking.
Apple is now wading into these waters with the introduction of Apple Business Connect (or ABC).
Apple Maps vs Apple Business Connect
Apple Maps has been the go-to directions app for iPhone users for over a decade and until very recently it was a fairly closed-loop system where once your business or property was verified within Maps, you could safely leave it alone. Apple Business Connect is going to unwrap a new medium for properties from brand images to another platform to post from.
ABC will allow properties and management companies to take a more active role in their marketing from a few important tactics:
- Showcase posts – these will function just like a Google Post that allow businesses to update users on specials, events, and other useful info
- Calls to Action (CTAs) – we will now be able to direct users to specific actions like “Schedule a Tour” as well as provide links to the desired locations to take those actions (in this case a tour scheduler or page).
- Branding – ABC has more options for imagery regarding the business so we can take a more active approach to branding on Apple Maps.
What’s the point?
ABC won’t just be a new place for marketing managers to have to remember to put business info. A new, more robust local listing out on the internet provides unique value for SEO’s and marketers. For starters, additional links, images, and copy provide more opportunities to be found and therefore to boost your website visitors from search engines. Search engine traffic or organic traffic is typically 60%-70% more likely to convert than other types of traffic. The more tools we can bring to bear to increase this type of traffic, the better off performance will be.
Implementing Apple Business Connect also gives us a leg up on logistical problems when they arise. Having a more complex direct line to Apple Maps allows managers to tackle map pin errors, links, hours, etc with more urgency which can reduce user confusion, bad reviews, and other hassles that take time away from more lofty work.
What to do next
If you haven’t created an ABC account yet, this is your inspiration to do it. The features afforded to this new tool make it totally worthwhile to get a Business Apple ID and set up your properties if you haven’t already. Just like with Google Business Profile, management companies should be a the top of the hierarchy in these accounts to have direct control and be able to delegate access and directives to partners like 30 Lines and other agencies.
It’s also important to note that while services like Yext and Birdeye sync content to Apple Maps and Apple Business Connect, Apple themselves haven’t built out agency functionality yet when it comes to these syndication services. All this means that extra features like Showcase Posts can’t be handled through automation yet, although the functionality is set to be built in 2023.
How Can 30 Lines Help?
We’re here to help! Right now, clients with SEO or RentPress Local are having data and location data synced with ABC already. We’re also available to help organize/create ABC property listings with instructions and hands on help as needed. We also have the infrastructure created to start syncing additional 3rd party info as soon as Apple builds out the functionality later this year. Not only that but we can help ensure that your ABC info matches your current CRM and listing info so you can be sure that all users (even Apple users!) see your brand as you intend.
Have questions? We have answers. Let us know how we can help today!