With the internet continuously growing and expanding, local businesses have to continually find creative ways to market themselves. People use the internet to search, find, learn, shop, share, and network. Adults and children of all ages use the internet.
Statistics show that in the United States, approximately one third of the population spends nearly three hours online each day. These statistics show that the amount of time the US population is online include:
- Online 180+ Minutes = 35%
- Online 60-79 Minutes = 33%
- Online 1-59 Minutes = 14%
- Never Online = 19%
The internet has come so far that instead of doing everything that we once did offline; we now do it all online. It’s becoming more and more alien to use snail mail because sending email is so much faster. When trying to find things, people search the web via search engines. Though schools and colleges still enforce using books for research, more research is done online. Who needs a newspaper delivered to their door when they can get online to read what’s happening? With home delivery available at nearly every store, people don’t go out to shop anymore unless it’s to purchase groceries. Why keep in touch with people over the phone or in person when there are social networking sites to connect with people and have real-time video chat?
With this information being true, local business marketing online is becoming more and more important every day. This is a realization that many local businesses have, thus they are changing some of their strategies.
Today, many business-to-business marketers are changing their budgets to inbound marketing. In 2011, over half of marketers increased their inbound marketing budget. In 2009, the average budget spent on social media and company blogs was approximately 9%. In 2011 it is at 17%. Within two years the average budget spent has nearly doubled.
The traditional local business marketing is outbound marketing. Though this is true, inbound marketing is actually often more cost-effective compared to outbound marketing. Plus, inbound marketing generates both leads and revenue.
With inbound marketing, such as blogs, social media, and search engine optimization, compared to outbound marketing, such as direct mail, telemarketing, and trade shows, inbound marketing costs approximately 60% less per lead. Thus, outbound marketing costs more. So basically, if you want your local business to be successful, it would be wise to start using inbound marketing techniques compared to outbound marketing techniques more often.