Local Business Roundup: 75% of SMBs Say Online Marketing Is Effective

Small businesses believe in the power of online marketing

We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.

[Research] 75% of SMBs Say Online Marketing Is Effective

Source: Search Engine Land

BrightLocal’s latest SMB survey is in, and the trends show that local businesses are paying more attention to online marketing.

In terms of online marketing budget allocation:

  • 34% of respondents allocate less than 10% of their marketing budget to online marketing.
  • 50% allocate less than 30% of their marketing budget to online marketing.
  • 29% allocate more than 70% of their marketing budget to online marketing.

37% of respondents also plan to increase their online marketing spend in the next 12 months.

In terms of the effectiveness of online marketing:

  • 32% of respondents find online marketing to be “very effective” at attracting new customers.
  • 75% find online marketing to be “effective” or “very effective”.

Why It Matters: Small and medium-sized businesses have been slow to jump on the digital marketing train, but those who have are seeing excellent results. You can start with a small investment to start and continue to adjust your marketing spend as you discover what works for your business.

[Marketing] 3 Amazing Storytelling Campaigns

Source: Inc

The key to great marketing  is telling a great story that your readers, viewers, or listeners can connect with on an emotional level.

Three campaigns that employed storytelling in a very successful way in 2014 were:

  • Apple, “The Song”: If you didn’t cry while watching their “Our Love Is Here to Stay” commercial over the holidays, you’re probably a robot.
  • Dodge, “Ahead of Their Time”: This commercial about how John and Horace Dodge left Ford Motors to start their own car company is educational and fun.
  • Mark Ulriksen, “Giants Print”: Local artist Mark Ulriksen proves that great storytelling isn’t just for big-budget brands with his narrative overview of his signed prints celebrating the Giants’ 2014 season.

Why It Matters: Marketing doesn’t have to be an infomercial for your products or services. The type of content that resonates with people best are based on engaging stories. Consider how you can start to weave more stories into your marketing, whether it’s on your blog, in your email newsletters, or in your social media posts.

[Social Media] How to Create the Perfect Post on Any Social Network

Source: Social Times

It may be difficult to define the “perfect” social media post, but there are definitely guidelines you can follow to create consistently great posts.

Here are a few tips for creating posts on each major social media channel:

  • Facebook: Provide valuable information, include a link and a photo, and engage with your community.
  • Twitter: Make sure to leave room for retweets, use good grammar, include a call to action, shorten your URLs, tag other accounts by using their handles, and add photos and videos when possible.
  • Pinterest: Avoid human faces, pin images with multiple colors, use vertically-oriented images, and reduce the amount of background shown.
  • YouTube: Stick to a title with under 70 characters, customize your thumbnail image, add keywords to your description, include a call-to-action, and tag your content.

Why It Matters: Each social media platform has different constraints and best practices to consider. Using the tips above, you can make sure your content is optimized to have the greatest impact and reach with your followers. 

About the Author

Ashley Taylor Anderson

Ashley Taylor Anderson is a content developer and marketer who's spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, media producer, and pastry chef.

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