According to a new report by BIA/Kelsey and financed by Web marketing firm Surefire Social, 57.9% of franchise businesses use Facebook for local promotions. Similarly, national brands target consumers in local markets through social media before more conventional channels such as newspapers, sponsorship and email. 43.2% of national brands use newspapers and only 36.8% use email marketing for local promotions, according to the study. “Businesses are spending a lot more time and wallet share on owned and earned media, and the popularity of Facebook pages may be the best example of that,” said vice president of consulting and a senior analyst at BIA/Kelsey, Jed Williams.
Surprisingly, to reach consumers at the local level, 37.9% of national brands presently rely on Google sites such as Google Maps and Google Plus Local. Google’s sway among national businesses is particularly impressive, according to Williams, considering the search giant’s weak social strategy. “Google has effectively connected local businesses’ [investment in Google Plus and Google Maps] to SEO rankings,” Williams said. “Businesses, therefore, have a real incentive to invest in Google Plus.” Twitter meanwhile accounts for 32.6% of the pie.
According to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor study, three of the top five media channels and 12 of the top 20 used for local promotions by franchises are digital. BIA/Kelsey also projects that overall spending for locally targeted marketing and media will grow to $53 billion in 2017, from $45 billion in 2014. This includes national businesses, franchises, dealer and manufacturer networks, brands and other multi-location enterprises. That is over a third of the total advertising market at the local level. Local marketing has historically led innovations. “Their [local marketing efforts] are generally more advanced and sophisticated, which we’re seeing now in the form of social media efforts,” said Williams.
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