How to Offer Punch-Card Check-Ins to Market Your Business with Bing
Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, is jumping onboard the location-based marketing game by giving businesses a chance to list themselves in the Bing Local business directory and by offering promotions to market to customers.
Bing Places for Business is free and works just like Google Places for Business. One difference with Bing is that it offers customer support via live chat between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Saturday. You can “talk” to a representative about claiming your listing or offering promotions.
Once you’re listed on Bing Local, you can market your business with Microsoft adCenter, which is the rough equivalent of Google AdWords.
To get started, go to Bingplaces and click Get Started. When the Find Your Listing page appears, search for your business. If it does not appear, click Add New Listing. You’ll need to sign in with your Hotmail or Microsoft account, or create a new one. After you sign in, you go to a page that functions as a dashboard and lists any businesses you have added to Bing.
Adding your business is easy. Go to the dashboard page and make sure the my Businesses icon is selected. Then click the plus sign (+) next to the search box in the left column. Fill out the form with your information and click Search. If your business is found, you’re already in the Bing directory. If not, fill in the details in the dashboard and verify you are the owner.
First, click your business name on the left side of the screen. A set of options appears: Details, More, Profile, Mobile, Photos, Preview, Verification, and Create. Click each of these options and fill in your business details to create a full Bing listing. In the Verification section, you verify that you are the owner of the business.
Once you have claimed your business, you can offer deals. Click the business you want to promote, and click the Deals icon in the dashboard. You can offer either group deals or basic deals for a business. Group deals are Groupon-like promotions that take effect only if a certain number of consumers signs on to them.
Basic deals can be promoted with a loyalty program. A mobile app is available that allows people to click a virtual “punch card” whenever they check in to your business. This enables you to offer promotions that take effect only when a certain level of loyalty has been reached: when someone has checked in five times, for example.