LOCAL BUSINESS SUCCESS CENTER

Tips, trends and marketing advice to help you grow your business.

Here's a highlight of some of the top local-business-related news of the week:

[Advertising News] Mobile to Drive 50% of Google Ad Clicks by 2015

Source: Search Engine Land

A new report from Marin Software projects that Google’s mobile search advertising revenue will increase 30% over the next 3 years, rising from 19%of its total ad revenue in 2013 to 50% by the end of 2015. Last year, paid search clicks from mobile devices almost doubled between January and December, indicating a big shift in consumer behavior toward mobile search.

The report also projected that mobile budget share will rise to more than 1/3 of paid search budgets by the end of 2014 as mobile begins to overtake desktop as the dominant search marketing channel.

While cost-per-click (CPC) remained lower for mobile advertising than desktop in 2013, it rose 20.8% over the course of the year. Conversion rates are still lower on smartphones (4.4%) than desktops (5.3%) or tablets (5.5%), but that percentage is increasing at a higher rate than desktop: Smartphone conversions grew 57.1% year-over-year and tablets grew 66.7% compared to 35.9% growth on desktops.

Key Takeaway: Consumers are increasingly turning to to mobile to perform searches, and advertising behaviors are shifting as a result. If you’re planning to run paid search campaigns in the future, you would be wise to include mobile searches in your ad plan; otherwise, you may be missing out on a valuable consumer segment that tends to act more quickly on searches than desktop users.

[Social Media] Sevenly Wins Most Social Small Business Award

News Source: Mashable

Media news site Mashable recently ran a contest to select America's Most Social Business in America. Out of 32 socially-savvy small businesses, they deemed cause-oriented apparel company Sevenly to be the winner.

Sevenly took the top title based on a number of factors, including:

  • Activity on social: The company maintains active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
  • Audience involvement: Sevenly has involved customers in its brands processes from the beginning, creating a culture of transparency that has remained during the brand’s growth.
  • Company mission: From day 1, Sevenly has made social causes a part of their company mission. They’ve been able to share with customers on social the impact that their $3 million of donations have had on over 1 million people around the world. Inspiring stuff!
  • Community building: The brand hasn’t just built a community of fans—they’ve been able to curate a global community of followers who believe in their mantra, “People Matter”.

Key Takeaway: Sevenly’s story reminds us that social success isn’t about selling a product, or about growing your follower base just to add numbers. Great companies bring like-minded people together around a shared interest or cause, and help them engage in meaningful conversations. 

[Technology News] Mobile Devices Help Brick & Mortar Stores Bridge the Customer Data Gap 

Source: The Next Web

Small businesses know that certain in-store techniques such as promotions, events, and free samples drive sales. To date, it’s been difficult to quantify the impact of these offline tactics. However, a new study from Millward Brown predicts that “the notion of online and offline marketing will cease to be meaningful in 2014.”

Mobile devices are contributing to 3 improvements that will help small businesses bridge the gap between offline actions and online data, making it easier to improve in-store experience and drive repeat business:

1. Real-time feedback: Apps such as OwnerListens allow customers to provide in-store comments to business owners so that problems can be addressed immediately. This prevents irritated consumers from posting negative reviews later on or missing out on valuable feedback that can help improve operations instantaneously.

2. Cross-platform connections: Mobile device usage will allow small business owners to sync up offline behaviors and online behaviors, gleaning new trends about what their customers want.

3. Profit maximization: POS systems like ShopKeep allow businesses to track consumer behaviors and preferences as they happen so that staff members can make on-the-fly recommendations that will increase profits.

Key Takeaway: Figuring out what motivates customers and what they like and dislike is a challenge, especially offline. Mobile devices are primed to help small businesses bridge the gap so that they have a clear understanding of consumer behavior both online and in person. This will help business owners adapt more quickly to meet their customers’ needs and make better use of real-time tactics and recommendations that contribute to increased profits.

Other news catch your eye this week? Leave a comment and let us know! 

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