LocalVox, the local marketing platform built by hyperlocal publisher NearSay, has launched a white-label advertorial publishing tool. The widget will allow larger hyperlocals and vertical niche publishers with existing sales and marketing teams to host and syndicate advertorial content from their clients across the LocalVox publishing network — and will help them push that content to social media outlets.
“We didn’t build this thinking ‘white label’; we built it to use it,” said NearSay CEO David Pachter about the new product, which his company has been using internally for months. “The platform existed, so it was a natural extension of what we were doing to make it available to larger publishers who already had sales and customer service teams.” He said that the company is already negotiating with a handful of publishers interested in the service.
Pachter says his team thinks of LocalVox as Yellow Pages 3.0: “Those first generation directories are great if I want to pull up a map or phone number for a particular restaurant, but it doesn’t help me [as a merchant] get found.” The LocalVox service is built around the idea that the functionality of a flat-directory format simply does not translate to the increasingly communication-oriented web.
“We live in a micro-publishing world,” says Pachter, “so the extent that a business can become a publisher and has the ability to distribute that message will determine if they will be poised to win.”
A major selling point for the LocalVox’s service is its all-in-one functionality. “What is frequently overlooked in investment communities,” Pachter explains, “is that as you develop great tools and applications for local businesses you have to keep in mind that they are inherently not a self-service-oriented purchaser.” The message resonates with a growing sentiment amongst providers of local marketing solutions that tech-heavy products will fail to catch on with most small merchants.
With a round of funding in the works, LocalVox has laid out a fairly well-defined product plan, says Pachter: “We are headed down the road of listings management, social media reputation tracking, and storefront enablement for local businesses.”