It often proves true that small and medium sized businesses have the hardest time reaching their customers, especially with their individual customer bases being much smaller than those of the world’s big businesses. For SMBs, some of the more popular advertising solutions that can be found on the web might not bring quite as much success as they would for a larger business. Most of the popular web advertising techniques work best for bigger businesses because of the sheer size of their customer bases. What SMBs need is a way to reach specific individual customers, and local digital ads allow for just that.

An article from eMarketer reports the contents of a Borrell Associates report entitled, “2013 Local Advertising Outlook: Get Ready for the Rebound.” Borrell Associates is a research and consulting firm that focuses highly on local advertising. The company has predicted in their report that by the end of 2013, local digital advertising in the United States will reach as high as $24.5 billion, which will account for 25% of all local advertising budgets. When compared to actual numbers from 2012, the prediction makes up a 31% increase. It also quadruples the company’s prediction for ad spending growth overall.

In the article, eMarketer tells us;

Local digital budgets will go primarily to targeted display ads and paid search, which together will account for 60% of total local digital advertising. Social media was not broken out in the study, but included in targeted display and search spending.

Although the study did not go far into detail on social media in local advertising for 2013, it is definitely one of the most important local digital formats of today. The article points out that social will be important in local advertising because of the information that it provides regarding user’s interests and locale. Also, when a businesses or advertisement is Liked by a user or a friend connection, it could be incredibly valuable for another local advertiser. Of course, Facebook stayed up as number one amongst SMBs in the United States for social local advertising, and about three out of ten of these small and medium businesses reported plans to place ads on the network.

Here is the breakdown of how the SMBs in the study are planning to spend their local ad dollars in 2013:

Ads directly placed on Facebook: 28%

Run-of-site banner ads: 25%

Sponsorships: 16%

Geo, behavioral or other targeted display ads: 13%

Streaming Video ads: 10%

Display with audio: 9%

Video within ads: 8%

Other: 5%

No plans to spend on online ads: 42%

So, clearly there are still many SMBs that are very interested in local advertising, but still are not ready to change things up and place ads on the web. Small and medium sized businesses can often get away with having very little online presence, but the world is now a digital one. Therefore, the 42% of SMBs that have no plans for online advertising may end up rethinking their decisions before the year is up, because just as marketing is now a digital game, so is a huge chunk of consumer behavior.


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