One of the many things that makes the Golden Isles so special is its sense of community. It’s a place where people still know their neighbors, and value long-lasting relationships.
No one knows that better than Beth Lane and The Island Directory, a print and digital local business and phone directory distributed on St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea islands for the past 32 years.
Lane and her parents, Jay and Teddie Martin, who founded the directory, know the importance of local business relationships and the impact of shopping local.
“The great thing about The Island Directory is that we’ve always been the champions of mom-and-pop businesses,” Lane said. “You can open up the directory and find a local plumber with a local number in seconds.”
Those local connections are part of the fabric of the Golden Isles. It’s what makes a stroll through Pier Village inviting to both residents and visitors, and it’s what keeps the unique characteristics of the islands alive.
“All of the listings in The Island Directory are local,” Lane said. “We know these are all hardworking entrepreneurs in our community, and we want them to succeed. When they succeed, we all succeed.”
That’s why The Island Directory offers affordable, hometown pricing and a variety of options for advertising. Every local business already gets a free listing in the directory, but they can bolster their chances of being noticed by upgrading their listing. That might mean putting the listing in bold, or adding a display ad that stands out on the page and can include logos and more detailed information.
“We also have a new option this year that’s called ‘knock-out white,’” Lane said. “That’s a new feature that gives your display ad a white background on the yellow page. It’s a real eye-catcher and we’re excited to start offering it.”
But the knock-out white isn’t the only new offering that has Lane excited this year.
The directory is getting ready to launch a brand new website that will be available when the new print directory is released. The Island Directory is partnering with the St. Simons-based firm Marketing Strategy Coaches to give advertisers a new way to reach customers, and Lane encourages advertisers to “get in on the ground floor,” she said.
“We’ll be able to use the website to offer a hierarchy of ad options, including adding video content, premium placement on the website and lots of other really distinct options,” Lane said.
Just like the print edition, the new website will also feature local businesses, and can help locals weed through the clutter of other online listings.
“Sometimes when you go online and search for, say, a caterer, you wind up drowning in advertisements and a lot of those probably aren’t the type of local business you’re wanting to support,” said Lane. “Our new website can help people ‘chase less squirrels’ online and have a lot less distractions.”
And for businesses, the new website will offer a wide variety of enhanced advertising, whether that’s detailed service descriptions, restaurant menus, videos or other compelling content.
Just because The Island Directory is branching out and enhancing its online presence doesn’t mean the print edition won’t be as good as ever, though. All of the staples Islanders have come to know and love will still be there.
“Of course we’ll have the tide charts for the whole year, the menu section, and other important information for newcomers, hurricane preparedness, local history, points of interest and a whole lot more. We’re also adding a whole new Golden Isles Bucket List section” Lane said.
The opportunity to get the most out of your business’ listing in The Island Directory only comes around once a year, though. Time is running out to customize your ad and make sure your business stands out to Islanders wanting to shop local.
“The deadline is coming up,” Lane said. “But there’s still time to get in.”
For more information about advertising opportunities with The Island Directory, contact Lane by calling 912-638-7873.