Posts Tagged ‘small businesses’

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Daily Deals & Digital Coupons

Friday, August 8, 2014

While the daily deal craze has somewhat settled down over the last few years, there are still strong supporters of this marketing tactic.  And with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices, digital coupons are becoming more widespread and offer conveniences that paper coupons can’t.

Some marketers find that daily deal websites are ideal for introducing new products, brands or businesses to the market. People tend to be more willing to try something new if there is a deal attached to it, rather than pay full price for something they aren’t sure about.

All in all, people like discounts and here are some stats on how daily deals and online coupons are functioning in the marketplace:

  • 53% of SMBs said daily deals are the most effective technology tool in attracting new customers. (Constant Contact)
  • 80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial, in the near future. (Social Media Examiner)
  • More than 70% of digital coupon users will use a mobile device to redeem a discount in 2014. (eMarketer)
  • When asked about unplanned purchases, 21% stated they bought from daily deal websites and 28% claimed they buy products they had never bought before from daily deal websites. (Ryan Partnership)
  • 68% strongly believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a retailer’s brand. (RetailMeNot)

Be sure to check back next Friday for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Infographic: Number of SMBs with Mobile Optimized Websites Increases by Over 75%

Thursday, August 7, 2014

While there have been many studies documenting the lack of mobile optimized websites among small businesses, a new study from Constant Contact illustrates the contrary.  After surveying over 500 SMBs, the study found that SMBs with mobile optimized websites jumped from 34% in 2013 to 60% this year, a 76.4% increase.

In addition to becoming mobile optimized, SMBs are engaging in mobile advertising as well.  Around 21% said they advertise through mobile devices, with another 23% saying they have interest in doing so in the next six months.

What’s interesting is the way SMBs are going beyond marketing and advertising on mobile devices and using them to work more efficiently.  For instance, 61% of respondents use mobile storage apps, 58% use scheduling/calendar apps, and 51% use financial managements apps to help them manage their business.

Check out the infographic below or download it here.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: Acquisio

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This week we hear from Acquisio, a high-powered ad management technology that enables digital and local search marketers to optimize their search campaigns and report on social, mobile and display initiatives, all in one easy-to-use dashboard. With more than 90 Google Channel Partners and 500 agencies using the platform, Acquisio has allowed companies to automatically track, report on and manage a large number of local search accounts and ad campaigns.

We caught up with Marie Lossowski, marketing program manager at Acquisio, to learn more:

What local problems does Acquisio solve? How?
1. We help small businesses maximize their limited budgets.
Budget management is a big problem. A lot of companies struggle with spending a client’s entire budget without going over. With so many small accounts, local search agencies often pause campaigns before the month is over because they are afraid of overspending. That means their clients get less clicks and calls and end up disappointed and churn.

With our automated bid and budget management technology not only do we spend close to 100% of the budget, in local search we typically generate double the clicks. The reason for this is because our system updates every 30 minutes. The technology makes constant changes to ensure the campaign performs well and the budget is spent intelligently throughout the entire month, until the last few minutes of the contract, helping SMBs maximize their ad spend.

2. We save local search agencies time by automating their reporting.
When you’re a local search agency and have a large number of SMB customers you can’t afford to spend time preparing client reports. So we came up with a solution that creates a template for local search agencies to use each month. The reports are compelling and interactive, even allowing customers to listen to the calls that came in. Local businesses get great reports and agencies save time – it’s a win, win.

3. We help prove campaign value and provide actionable data to our local clients.
One way we provide valuable insights is with clear reports and filter tools that help easily identify opportunities to improve campaign performance, and another more localized solution we provide agencies with is call tracking.

Our platform integrates a large number of call tracking services from around the world and these integrations allow our clients to see which local ads and keywords are doing well based on the number of calls generated and the quality of those calls (which can be evaluated through call recordings). Then agencies can use our technology to act on the data collected and improve campaign performance.

What makes Acquisio innovative?
We create technology solutions that solve real world problems without requiring a lot of historical data to make decisions. We provide our clients with solutions that generate results from day one and that is something no one else is doing.

Our real time approach to bid and budget management is also unique – we are the only business in the industry that offers anything like it. And so far the results have been great, with automated campaign adjustments every half hour companies are seeing more campaign clicks and lower CPC.

How does Acquisio make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
We help local agencies automate and optimize their local search efforts, and the agencies help local businesses improve campaign results. That means when we deliver more value, optimize local accounts, and effectively spend ad money better than anyone else in the search industry, everyone in the local space is happy.

What is next in local?
Mobile is a huge issue and it starts with mobile landing pages. Figuring out how to build mobile landing pages for SMBs and driving conversions and calls through mobile is key. It should be high on the priority list for anyone involved in local. Local companies also need to learn how to effectively take advantage of display opportunities, that’s one of the next areas for innovation.

For more info, check out the video below, visit www.acquisio.com or call them toll free at 1-866-493-9070.

Yodle Survey: Small Businesses Underestimate the Importance of Online Reviews

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Although 9 in 10 consumers say they are influenced by online reviews, a large number of small business owners don’t recognize the importance of reviews in their customers’ decision process, according to the results of Yodle’s inaugural “Small Business and Online Reviews Survey” released yesterday.

Yodle’s December 2013 survey polled 300 SMB owners nationwide across a large array of service industries to get their perspective on online reviews.

The most significant findings include:

1. Only half (50%) of SMB owners think positive reviews are important.

  • In fact, almost one in four (23%) believe that it’s unimportant.

2. Most small business owners aren’t receiving or asking for online reviews.

  • 55% of SMB owners don’t receive any online reviews.
  • 19% of SMB owners receive an average of only 1-5 online reviews per month.
  • 24% of SMB owners don’t know if they receive online reviews.
  • Only 13% of SMB owners are approaching customers about posting online reviews.

3. A significant number of SMB owners aren’t responding to or monitoring for online reviews.

  • Only 20% of SMB owners respond to online reviews.
  • 68% of SMB owners don’t spend any time monitoring for online reviews.

4. SMB owners don’t effectively leverage customers’ online reviews.

  • Just 14% of SMBs post customer reviews to their websites.
5. Many SMB owners believe that the online reviews system is unfair.
  • 61% of SMB owners think that review sites favor businesses that pay to advertise with them, while only 10% don’t believe that to be the case.
  • 50% of SMB owners said they are unfairly impacted by negative reviews compared to larger businesses, while only 20% of SMB owners contradicted that opinion
  • 43% of SMB owners stated that online reviews are unfair because they don’t verify that people who leave reviews are actual customers.

The Yodle survey provides valuable perspective on the large gap between how consumers and many SMB owners view the importance of online reviews. For SMB owners to stay competitive with one another and with larger brands, they will need to adjust their marketing strategies to place more value on managing their online reputation through the reviews medium.

SMB owners who fail to encourage positive online reviews and/or address negative online reviews will be disadvantaged in winning over consumers in their path to purchase. While the online reviews system may not be perfect from the SMB owners’ perspective, they should nonetheless work to improve their presence in it rather than simply neglecting it outright.

For more information, read the full Yodle survey here.

Local Businesses Benefit from Including Yellow Pages in Local Strategy

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

As I indicated in my previous post, today we are releasing the 2012 results from our annual “Local Media Tracking Study,” conducted by Burke, Inc., which provides key insights into the reach of various local media sources. In this second of two blog posts – my first post discussed results related to local mobile usage and overall local media trends – I highlight the study’s results on Yellow Pages usage.

The study found that a majority of U.S. adults rely on Yellow Pages offerings to find nearby products and services, generating a strong volume of quality leads for local businesses and extending the reach of both online and offline local advertising. Additionally, in every category of local media measured, adding Yellow Pages advertising resulted in material gains to reaching local consumers.

(Click here to view and/or download PDF version of infographic.)

I believe these results speak loud and clear that Yellow Pages should remain an integral component of local businesses’ online and offline media strategy. Here’s why:

  • While the number of advertising channels has grown, print and Internet Yellow Pages are among the top media sources reaching consumers searching for local businesses. Both the combined reach and number of references for print and Internet Yellow Pages offerings demonstrate the combined offering remains one of the most visible in the local space.
  • Yellow Pages deliver quality leads – consumers who are ready to contact a business and make a purchase, often within the same days as their search. Approximately 75% of Yellow Pages searches resulted in a purchase or intent to purchase. The Burke study results have been consistently strong in this area over the past three years.
  • Print and Internet Yellow Pages are unique in that they boost both the visibility of offline and online local advertising, reaching consumers that other local media do not. So while it’s important for local businesses to reach consumers searching new media, it’s equally important for them to secure visibility in traditional spaces where consumers are searching and they otherwise would miss.

SMBs Help Facebook Achieve Advertising Milestone

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Facebook

Facebook announced last week that the social network has now reached 1 million active advertisers following last year’s major overhaul of its advertising program. Advertising now represents 85% of the site’s total revenue, with the majority of those dollars streaming from small businesses.

Last year, Facebook changed the way ads are displayed on user newsfeeds and streamlined the process by which advertisers purchase space, which many are contributing to the rise in small business advertisers on the network. And there is still strong opportunity for future growth. BIA/Kelsey projects that while more than 50% of small business owners use Facebook pages and groups to promote their businesses, only 16% of small businesses actually buy advertising on the site.

Facebook is working to increase the number of SMBs advertising on the network by reaching out through their incubator program, which guides business owners through the process and benefits of advertising on the platform.

The advertising overhaul seems to be a success for Facebook thus far. The company saw a 43% growth in advertising revenue last quarter, the highest rate posted since its peak in 2011, and a large improvement over the declining growth rates experienced in 2012. Small businesses seem to be happy with the updates as well, noting that advertising with Facebook is cheaper than other platforms and often more effective.

Local Marketing Experts Discuss Importance of Helping Small Businesses Win

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Google estimates that 97 percent of consumers seek information about local businesses via online search.  Yet, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are still difficult to find online. During the 2013 Search Starts Here Conference, industry analysts, experts and influencers discussed the tremendous opportunity to help these businesses with their digital marketing efforts.  Here is a two-minute video of numerous thought leaders talking about the value in helping SMBs win:

 

Facebook Receives Backlash from Small Businesses

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Change.org

One small business owner is calling for Facebook fan engagement to remain an even playing field, and she’s not alone. A change.org petition from a New Jersey business owner has made the Internet rounds over the past few weeks and attracted 500 supporters in just a few days.

The petitioner writes:

“All of the changes Facebook has made in the last 2 weeks REALLY, REALLY effects people with small businesses. Now our posts are seen by virtually no one except very, very devoted fans and family. I understand not “everyone” is going to see our posts, but this is outrageous. I have over 12,000 fans and I’m lucky to have a few hundred see our post”

Other business owners agree, and have shared comments on the site voicing their concerns.

Many small businesses that can’t afford paid advertising focus instead on organic marketing through engagement on Facebook. They feel that updates to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, which now includes paid posts from bigger advertisers, puts them at an unfair advantage.

There is only so much room on a newsfeed, and many small businesses think their posts are now going unseen by the followers they’ve worked to secure because they can’t afford to pay.

A Facebook rep told Huffington Post that the social network is aware of small businesses’ financial limitations and that the company offers both paid and organic posts.

What do you think? With all the new changes to Facebook is organic marketing still a viable option on the platform? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

CityGrid CEO Jason Finger to Speak at LSA Annual Conference

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We are pleased to announce our third and final keynote speaker for the “Search Starts Here” conference: Jason Finger, CEO of CityGrid.

During our fireside chat with Jason, he will discuss the current environment and future of “local” including merchant product offers and the investment landscape.  In addition, he will give a glimpse of what’s to come for CityGrid’s properties such as Citysearch, Urbanspoon and Insider Pages.

CityGrid is one of the largest content and advertising networks for local and small businesses.  Jason oversees the entire ad network in addition to all of CityGrid’s owned and operated websites that include Citysearch.com, insiderpages.com, Urbanspoon.com and GetFelix.com.

Prior to CityGrid, he cofounded SeamlessWeb in 1999 and was responsible for growing the company’s presence to 22 cities throughout the U.S. and London.  SeamlessWeb was acquired by Aramark in 2006 at which time Jason was responsible for setting and executing corporate strategy for 260,000 employees in 19 countries.

In addition to his success at CityGrid and SeamlessWeb, Jason has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year by the Corporate Executive Council of New York, and to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list of leading young executives.

Don’t miss out on this great discussion with Jason. Register for our conference today!

SuperMedia: Seeing Success

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Check out SuperMedia’s new “Seeing Success” ad campaign! The campaign highlights what local search marketing consultants can do for small businesses across local, mobile and digital platforms.

Take a look below, we think it looks great!