Going local doesn’t mean avoiding the Internet anymore. Internet advertising, which was traditionally the domain of geographically unrestricted firms that benefited from its global reach, is now being embraced by local businesses targeting a local audience.
In fact, by 2015, local online ad spending will make up nearly one-quarter of all advertising by local businesses, according to BIA/Kelsey, eMarketer Digital Intelligence reports.
Within local online and interactive advertising, Borrell Associates estimates that by 2015, two-thirds will come from mobile ads on tablets, smartphones and GPS-enabled laptops, the report said.
Currently, small businesses seeking to reach a local audience have focused on localized search engine marketing, such as Google Places and Yahoo! Local, a MerchantCircle survey found.
Going forward, however, local small businesses are also staking out more territory on social media, with 70 percent already using Facebook, 58 percent using LinkedIn and nearly 40 percent using Twitter, the eMarketer report said.
According to Merchant Circle, local businesses report search engine marketing and social media are the two most effective forms of local advertising as of February 2011.
Here’s how business owners ranked their overall local advertising in terms of effectiveness:
1. Search Engine Marketing
2. Created Profile on Social Network
3. Email Marketing
4. Other Online Methods
5. Coupons or Direct Mail
6. Print Yellow Pages
7. Print Newspaper
8. Online Yellow Pages
10. Banner/Display Advertising