NB: This is a guest article by Dave Elchoness and Angus Shee, co-founders of Tagwhat.
Traditional tour guides have made a living for centuries sharing the stories about locations.
In some cultures, there is a rich history of telling these narratives only through the spoken word. But now that there are billions of pages of web content with every imaginable story about a location, isnâ€™t there a more efficient way to deliver this information?
With beautiful, location-aware devices like the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 stapled to our palms, interesting stories about the world around us should just pop up everywhere we go.
Hey, Robert Redford used to work as a custodian at that pizza joint down the street. Also, theyâ€™ve got happy hour in 20 minutes.
Hey, the “Iâ€™ll have what sheâ€™s having scene” from When Harry Met Sally was filmed at Katzâ€™s Deli over there. Hereâ€™s the movie clip and place an order forÂ a massive pastrami sandwich while youâ€™re at it.
Best… tour guide… ever.
So why isnâ€™t everyone running into Dumb & Dumber scenes or cool historic stories while eating half-priced tapas wherever they go?
Because the web isnâ€™t organized by location. The volumes of interesting stories, blogs, videos, and social media weâ€™ve created over the past 20 years arenâ€™t geo-tagged. The When Harry Met Sally video clip doesnâ€™t know it belongs at Katzâ€™s Deli.
But today, products like Google Field Trip and others, like our service, are making it possible to geo-tag the web and deliver this content at real-world locations. These companies are giving mobile users instant access to actionable content in the context of their daily lives.
For traditional tour guides, this means your customers might actually have more information at their fingertips than you do.
Even so, thereâ€™s a tremendous opportunity to help your customers navigate through the stories you find most interesting. Weave your own narrative supplemented by the vivid images, video, and audio that these products deliver and become the curator of your neighborhood.
For customers who havenâ€™t heard of geo-tagging tools, you will be their knight in tech savvy armor. And thanks to you, theyâ€™ll have a powerful tool to take everywhere they go.
Getting content to the right people at the right place and time.
B2C marketers are spending 28% of their budgets on content marketing (blogs, social media, articles, videos, etc). And a staggering 90% of small businesses actively post on Facebook.
But none of this content reaches the real-world locations where people are most likely to act. Now, organizations, businesses, and tour guides can tether their content to real-world locations. They can add FacebookÂ pages, Twitter streams, and Foursquare pages to their geo-tagged content.
After all, people are much more inclined to “like” your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, and engage your brand if youâ€™re delivering valuable content in the context of where they are and what theyâ€™re doing.
Already, universities, media companies, bloggers, destination marketers, small businesses, and local publications have started using these products to re-purpose their content and drive real-world engagement at the places theyâ€™re responsible for.
Exploring the worldâ€™s interesting stories has never been easier.
Now donâ€™t get me wrong, it can be extremely comforting to have the warm presence of a local guide with you everywhere you go. Companies like 500 Startupsâ€™ Vayable, Techstarsâ€™ SideTour, and Keith Petriâ€™s iGottaGuide (whose experience was well-covered in Tnooz) can (or could) help you out.
But thereâ€™s no denying that the way we access the web is changing.
Organizations with content on one hand and physical destinations on the other, like tour guides, need to ask themselves how people are finding their content in the real-world.
If the answer is: “Theyâ€™ll just google my website”, or something similar. Then, itâ€™s time to re-think your approach.
Desktop tools will not survive in a mobile world. Mobile users want content experiences at their fingertips. No thinking, just there.
The good news is, theyâ€™ll act. Let us remember that 94% of smartphone users search for local information andÂ nine out of ten of these searches result in action.
NB:Â This is a guest article by Dave Elchoness and Angus Shee, co-founders ofÂ Tagwhat.