In the last couple of months, Apple Maps has been stealing the show in digital marketing. The reason? They have been launching and upgrading features in an effort to compete hard with the leader in the industry, Google Maps.
Apple Maps currently provides turn-by-turn spoken directions, real-time traffic information, public transit routing, interactive 3D views, and flyover features. Soon after its launch, the app presented some issues like giving out wrong directions or not identifying the right address, which led users to opt for an alternative app. The announced changes aim to make the app easier to use and to provide users with relevant information not only about locations, but also the directions to get there.
In previous articles, we have highlighted the importance of having a strong presence online and making sure your brand marketing efforts are consistent nationwide, no matter if you have two local partners or thousands of them. People need to know where to find your brand. This is why Apple Maps is a strong addition to your directory listings strategy.
Getting listed in Apple Maps can help increase your local partners’ presence in a market that no other directory or data aggregator may be covering. According to Comscore, 61% of iPhone owners use Apple Maps, and there are 5 million map enhancement requests each week. The app is used 3.5 times more than Google Maps -- and this is only U.S. data. Currently, the Apple Maps business listing feature is available in over 40 countries.
What were the biggest announcements?
One of the most popular announcements was the inclusion of public transit information into the app. This will allow users to access public transit schedules, find the nearest stops, and figure out how long it will take to get to their destination by bus or train. The app also integrated Siri into the turn-by-turn navigation. This feature enhancement allows users to find a local business and get audible directions without getting distracted by looking at a map.
In one of the biggest attempts to compete with Google Maps, Apple Maps has been sending cars out to get photographic data around the world to provide live views. The data collected will be expected to be publish in future updates for the app, and we can expect it to be similar to what Google Maps currently has.
The upgrades aren’t limited to end user experience features. Apple Maps has formed business partnerships aiming to improve accuracy in multiple countries and compete in the directory listings market. Apple Maps has partnered with Yelp, TripAdvisor and Booking.com to get business reviews into map listings. We’ve discussed the importance of online reviews for brands before, so for online reviews to be integrated into Apple Maps is a big deal. Your customers now have an extra channel for finding out about your local partners’ reputation before making a purchase decision.
Given these recent announcements, it’s clear that Apple Maps is becoming a bigger player in the local marketing industry. As a corporate marketer selling a brand through local businesses, you need to take advantage of every tactic that makes it easier for customers to find your product or service. Integrating Apple Maps into your directory listings is a smart way to get in front of customers right when they’re looking for you.
If you’d like to learn more how directory listings impact your brand, let us know. We’re here to help!
About the Author
Vicky Bolivar is the Digital Production Coordinator Team Lead at SproutLoud, where she strives to help local businesses improve their online presence. Vicky has worked in traditional marketing for a communications agency and in business market intelligence analysis within the energy sector. She enjoys digital marketing very much because of the potential and the way the field changes constantly, keeping her interested with continual learning and improvement.More Content by Vicky Bolivar