Formerly known as Yellow Pages, YP wants to remind people it's a good source for local advice online as well as in hulking-book form. To do so, it's been rolling out a word-of-mouth campaign with the help of online influencers.
The business directory began more than 130 years ago and rebranded in 2010 to promote a more digitally focused future. It left parent company AT&T Interactive in 2012 and has since been working to establish a reputation for local, online recommendations. To that end, YP recently launched the "Make Every Day Local" campaign, which is rooted in digital content created by neighborhood influencers. The initiative was crafted by barrettSF.
"The campaign was really to dive into the heart of our mission, which is to connect great local business with consumers," YP CMO Allison Checchi said.
It includes online documentaries featuring celebrities Giuliana and Bill Rancic, country music artist Jake Owen and ESPN anchor Hannah Storm, who recommend fun things to do in their cities. In the latest video, released Monday, Storm shows off her favorite places in New York.
Not all influencers are national names. Sometimes the most sought out advice can come from a local hero. YP also worked with food bloggers Lena Katz (New York), Tammy La (Los Angeles), Amy Sherman (San Francisco), Erica Key (Atlanta) and Kristin Luna (Nashville) to share their favorite spots to eat.
"Food and restaurants are the top search category on YP," Checchi said. "It's also one that is often very social. People want to talk and share about that."
YP hopes to expand the local influencer content to cover other businesses, like home improvement, later this year. Checchi says not only do the bloggers have that key audience, but it also helps foster relationships with businesses that directly serve that community. Potentially, that could mean advertising dollars.
"We wanted to tap into content," she explained. "Bloggers at the local level already have people that they influence in their communities. We wanted to know, how do we extend YP further to the bloggers' passionate followings? It's really about finding those people who are passionate about their local communities, and then it gets us to everyday people."