What the Latest Google My Business Update Says about Local for Brands

Posted by Amber Kazalbash on Jul 25, 2017 3:05:27 PM

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Image via Mike Blumenthal
Back in November of 2016, Google began experimenting with the concept of including a messaging feature within Google My Business. With the hype of messaging taking full force, this month’s confirmation for a full roll-out of this by Google indicates several noteworthy things about why local marketing is more important for brand now more than ever.

The Update
Google has strategically begun rolling out the new user-to-brand messaging feature for desktop, mobile browsers and the Google Search app for Android. Managers or business owners can use the feature, but at this point those with communication level privileges do not have access to the roll out. 

At this point, App Preview Messages, SMS and Google Allo are supported for brand responses to user messages. And as far as metric and KPI tracking goes, Google is providing the following insights for marketers to use to better understand local customer concerns:
- Number of clicks on the message button 
- Number of conversions with customers number of messages with customers

Customer Service On Demand
We know that real time customer response and feedback on review channels and social media are essential to becoming a brand that keeps the customer experience at its core. But more so than that, Google is increasingly powering My Business signals to get found in the local pack as well as localized organic rankings. Herein lies the opportunity to outpace competitors when it comes to real-time customer feedback, delivery and response.

Enterprises that scale past hundreds or even thousands of locations now have a real-time channel, encompassed within a channel that users naturally flock toward, to make an impact and present an individual location as the single source of tried and true location information. Delivering accurate, updated and real-time information to address customer concerns is sure to become the only way to become top of mind to this furious local searchers.

Messaging as a Norm
The choice to include messaging within the Google My Business platform is more than understandable; it shows Google’s shift toward intelligent brand-to-customer communication and gives brands more accessibility to customers past social and review channels.

Messaging is becoming a norm. Facebook had a pulse on it early on, when it separated its messaging platform into its own app and began building a use case for brand pages to become more accessible to customers by using the messaging tool. In fact, this year the Messenger app hit 1.2M monthly users, showing that 1-1 communication between brands and online searchers is here to stay.

IBM Watson, Alexa and other AI-driven technological interfaces are all utilizing messaging as an opportunity to make brands more keen to customer concerns, and more prepared to serve the next customer. It is clear that messaging integrations are no longer an option with this new Google My Business roll out, and brands who adopt this into their strategy early on are sure to retain a solid share of voice over their competitors’ locations.

Learn more about the IBM Watson, local messaging for bots and the Google My Business messaging roll out by contacting the Brandify Labs team today.

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Topics: Chat Bots, Voice Search, AI