The increase in Internet usage and proliferation of mobile devices to find purchases, consumers are no longer sitting still or contained by geographic limitations.
Connecting with an ever-moving target can be a difficult task, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
While advertising is a great way to establish relationships, the cost and time commitment often associated with managing a campaign can be a burden for large companies, let alone for smaller enterprises..
Despite the challenge, there is a silver lining for small businesses.
Advances in technology have created both opportunities and challenges for small businesses in how they reach and engage consumers.
Digital advertising can help reach potential customers 24/7 and despite some misconceptions, can be a cost-efficient investment.
Three ways businesses benefit from digital advertising are:
Offers Reach Among Key Audiences – At the heart of digital advertising is location. Digital advertising provides small businesses with the ability to reach a wide range of consumers whether online or on a mobile device, but can also narrow in on nearby consumers looking to make an immediate purchase. It’s critical (and often free) to make your business visible among these consumers. According to the latest YP Local Insights Digital Report, the closer users are to a business the more likely they are to engage. However, there is a “sweet spot” at 1-2 miles that yields the highest engagement.
Provides Access to Information – By including clickable links, small businesses have the ability to convey important information 24 hours a day. Those hyperlinks can connect consumers to websites, videos or downloadable content, which immediately provides added insight into product or service details. In addition, the simple inclusion of a business location can increase discovery among mobile consumers searching near their current location.
Is Measurable –SMBs may be surprised about how much they are paying for a lead and how big the range can be. It’s important to take advantage of products that allow easy tracking of traffic and leads. Through the use of analytics tools, small businesses can follow the progress of a campaign to measure effectiveness and calculate the return on investment. A recent study by Altman Vilandrie & Company tackles the topic of cost-effectiveness between digital advertising options.
For small businesses, the benefits of adding digital to a marketing campaign are limitless because it is an effective way to extend reach, offer access to more information and analyze measurability. As we approach 2013, digital advertising will increasingly be a priority to SMBs looking to establish connections that drive new business and increase brand awareness.
Chuck Lee is an Executive Director at YP.