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Locally targeted ad spending by U.S. national brands is projected to grow from $54.4 billion in 2014 to $68.9 billion in 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast. More than two-thirds of the brands surveyed by BIA/Kelsey say they already invest in local marketing initiatives.   Consumer demand for online local information is driving much of this growth. Four in five consumers now use search engines to find local information, according to Understanding Consumer Local Search Behavior, a research report published by Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased in May 2014. The vast majority of those consumers – 88 percent – search on their smartphones. continue reading

The power of social media

Every 60 seconds, there are more than 510,000 new Facebook comments, more than 98,000 new Tweets, more than 600 new YouTube videos, 3,400-plus new Instagram images uploaded, 694,000 new search queries, and 168 million new emails.   This adds up to an overwhelming amount of activity from consumers in social media channels, but also to a great deal of noise that marketers need to deflect or rise above in order to reach consumers with the right message at the right time.   continue reading
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, sales in 2012 from eCommerce were $186 billion, and sales at physical stores in the U.S. totaled $4.3 trillion.*   As a growing number of local networks and directories appear in the local search ecosystem, multilocation businesses and big brands are challenged to accurately optimize and distribute their business listing information. It is vital to local businesses and national brands alike to have placement not just in the search engines, but to understand how each data aggregator can enhance distribution efforts and to embrace social marketing opportunities. To assist with automating these challenges, there are a number of best practices, analytics and automation tools available to marketers that will be described in this report. continue reading

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