This month local marketing firm Marketecture released an infographic that demonstrates the great potential that lies in Internet marketing for local businesses and the persistent gaps in how small business owners are using Internet marketing tools to their advantage. Specifically, the infographic looks at why businesses need an online presence, how a business’s online reputation affects consumer decisions, which online review sites consumers use the most, and the degree to which consumers are using mobile and social media sites to connect with small businesses.
According to the study, an online presence is becoming ever more critical to business success in today’s market. Of those consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device, 88 percent either call or visit that business within 24 hours. However, despite this strong connection between online presence and consumer trends, 60 percent of local businesses don’t have their phone number listed on their website, 25 percent of small businesses don’t show up in Google or Bing local search results, and 63 percent of businesses didn’t have a website in 2013 and instead relied on traditional advertising methods.
The infographic demonstrates that a lack of an online presence may end up being a critical oversight for business owners. In fact, 7 out of 10 consumers reported that they trusted online reviews as much as they did personal recommendations, while 5 out of 10 said they were more likely to use a local business that boasted a positive reputation. Of the current online review sites available, 78.2 percent of consumers reported using Google+ (400 million users), 62.5 percent reported using the yellow pages site (300 million users), 47.9 percent reported consulting Yelp reviews (102 million users), 28.3 percent relied on Citysearch (6 million users), and 16.4 percent resorted to reviews on Angie’s List (3 million users).
According to the Infographic, it’s estimated that by the year 2016 more consumers will be using mobile searches versus PC searches, making mobile advertising an important area to target (currently 3 out of 5 consumers search for local businesses on their smartphone). Social media is also becoming an important advertising forum, with 66 percent of consumers reporting that they had been influenced by their social network when making a purchase (86 percent by Facebook, 71 percent by YouTube, and 60 percent by Twitter respectively).
Wallace, Irma. “Local Business Advertising Over the Internet.” Infographic Journal. 8/7/14.