Phone Calls from Mobile Search to Top 73 Billion in 2018

In 2018, mobile search results will generate over 73 billion calls to businesses, according to BIA/Kelsey’s latest mobile local media forecast. This means a more than doubling of the 30 billion calls from mobile search in 2013 and marks a huge opportunity for businesses – but also a necessity to get ready.

BIA Kelsey Local Phone Calls from Search

In a report titled “Phone Calls: The New Currency of the Smartphone Era,” BIA/Kelsey researchers explore methods of capitalizing on call monetization and the value of phone calls as a lead form for paying advertisers.

Phone calls have become increasingly important as call analytics have become more sophisticated, allowing local businesses to better measure call quality and take strategic insights away from phone activity. In fact, SMBs recently indicated to BIA/Kelsey in another survey that phone calls are their most valuable source of incoming leads.

“We’re still early in the evolution of monetizing incoming phone leads. And it will be a major force in the multi-headed beast that we all call ‘local,’” said Michael Boland, report author, senior analyst and VP of content, BIA/Kelsey.

“Calls have always been highly valued by small businesses and now the notion of calls as currency has accelerated in the smartphone era, where search has fused with the phone. Businesses that get in front of consumers with the right messaging and calls to action, like mobile click-to-call, can drive high-quality leads and achieve high return on ad spend. Tech and media companies that can help them get there are likewise well positioned.”

Marketers should look into options like Google AdWords click-to-call ad extensions to make it easier for consumers to get in touch. The extension adds a clickable phone number to ads that appear on smartphones. Clearly, consumers are indicating this is a preferred method of contact and any barriers to connecting should be removed where possible.

Each year in the U.S., advertisers spend approximately $64.6 billion across media on localized ads to generate calls to their business.

The full Phone Calls: The New Currency of the Smartphone Era report is available to download from the BIA/Kelsey website.

Tumblr Sponsored Posts Now Showing Across Yahoo Network

Tumblr Sponsored Posts, a native advertising format available on the microblogging platform, are now being promoted across the Yahoo network, as well.

Though not entirely unexpected given that Yahoo purchased Tumblr last year, it’s good news for advertisers using Tumblr. Their ads now have access to both the Tumblr and Yahoo networks, with a combined 800 million average monthly visitors.

Tumblr Sponsored Posts are now integrated with and offered through Yahoo Gemini, the company’s mobile search and native advertising marketplace.

Yahoo Gemini integrates Tumblr Sponsored Posts

Consumers will still be able to take action on the ads by clicking through, liking, reblogging and following. However, their ads will also appear across the Yahoo network in content streams, on article pages, in image galleries and digital magazines – all across desktop and mobile.

We’ve always believed in the power of creative brand storytelling, and data shows that advertising is more memorable and impactful when it is as good as the content around it,” wrote Mike Kerns, senior VP of homepage & verticals at Yahoo.

Yahoo is already claiming early successes in increased unaided brand awareness, brand consideration and tagline recognition with limited testing of the integration of Yahoo and Tumblr.

Yelp Adds Direct Messaging to Local Business Listings

Yelp has just announced a new messaging feature for businesses using the local marketing platform. Now, customers can message business owners directly from the company’s Yelp listing.

Business owners will receive an email when they get a message from a visitor to their Yelp profile and can respond directly from the email. The owner can also set an average response time, which will be displayed to consumers as they leave their message.

Yelp adds direct messaging for local business owners

While some customers prefer to pick up the phone, others would much rather communicate via a keyboard, so this feature adds one more way to reach out to businesses, while giving business owners another opportunity to close the loop and receive even more leads,” wrote a Yelp product manager in the official announcement.

Business owners who do not want to take advantage of Yelp’s messaging feature can simply disable it from within the admin dashboard.

To date, there are over 57 million local business reviews spanning 27 countries on Yelp.

SMBs Spend $6,800 a Year on Online Ads – But Where?

Only a third of small to mid-sized businesses buy online ads, spending an average of $6,800 of their annual marketing budget on banner ads, PPC (paid search) and paid social advertising. Which platforms and ad types are they choosing to invest in?

SCORE, a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses launch and grow, has released an infographic illustrating findings from their recent study into SMB online advertising spend, performance and audience insights.

Among them: [Read more...]

54% of Consumers Will Leave You Over Lack of Relevant Content

State_of_Content_retail_reportFifty-four percent of consumers say they will consider leaving a relationship with a retailer if they don’t have tailor-made, relevant content delivered directly to them, according to the new State of Content Marketing: Retail report from Contently.

Aspirational brand stories drive long-term success more in retail than in any other industry, they say, making creative and original brand storytelling mission critical for retailers. Smart retailers have to look past pushing conversions; mobile apps packed with sales copy simply drive higher abandonment rates.

What’s a retailer to do in the age of spoon-feeding consumers information and potentially blowing the budget on relevant content? Try these quick tips from Contently: [Read more...]

Marketing to Millennials: What 18-33 Yr Old Consumers Want From Your Company

Millennials are on the road to affluence and will begin to hit their peak earning years in 2020. Even today, the roughly 80 million millennials in the US alone spend approximately $600 billion a year.

If your small business is trying to get in front of this potentially lucrative audience, take note of these findings from Adroit Digital’s Millennials: The New Age of Brand Loyalty report.

Adroit Digital Millennials

Looking forward, marketers should expect increased loyalty from millennial consumers, 64% of whom consider themselves just as brand loyal as their parents, or more so. [Read more...]