Mobile usage by consumers has a direct impact on small businesses’ decisions to use mobile advertising channels — specifically location based advertising. With nearly 90% of US consumers having a phone, small businesses are increasing their use of mobile advertising over other media — including social. While social continues to be a big part of small businesses’ marketing ecosystem, mobile showed the largest growth in advertising use by small businesses, especially location based ads. There are several reasons for this shift by small businesses.
1) Brands’ use of location-based marketing to engage consumers is providing targeting opportunities, personalizations that are also accessible to small businesses. 50% of small businesses in our survey said the reason for increase in mobile spend is due to better ad reach and targeting along with increased consumer usage.
2) App usage is down among consumers. Marketers need to provide curated and loyalty based communications to keep consumers on their apps. Small businesses are able to easily send offers and announcements to their users with the use of messaging applications. Small businesses in our survey reported that 50% of their customers use their smart phones in their business or store.
3) Data speeds and technology are contributing to the use of mobile phones for activities including watching videos. Video is the most popular form of online content, according to HubSpot. Small businesses are creating and using video more than before on their digital properties including mobile. 72% of small businesses in our survey created a video for advertising/marketing purposes in the past year and most (66.6%) created it themselves.
Small businesses indicated they are going to continue to invest in mobile advertising in 2018. In our Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) survey a third to half of small businesses that use mobile advertising are planning on increasing spend. Consumer usage of smartphones beyond calls and apps continues to increase. Emarketer recently reported that a study by Return Path found that more than half of all emails are read on mobile phones. Mobile usage will continue to change how brands and small businesses communicate and personalize their offers to consumers.