WSI, the world’s largest network of Digital Marketing Consultants, recently provided its network members an opportunity to attend a “Grow Your Business Breakfast” event, organized by one of its Global Partners, ReachLocal, in Mississauga, Ontario. The event that took place on a cold January morning featured interesting presentations by Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates, and Anthony Bratti, Vice President of Sales Innovation & Channel Partners, ReachLocal.

As several members of the WSI network, Home Office staff and Ontario-based WSI Digital Marketing Consultants interacted with ReachLocal employees and some of their other partners over steaming coffee and breakfast, there were some interesting conversations on advertising trends to look out for in 2018. This was in addition to presentations delivered by the speakers that provided expert insights and business tactics to help businesses grow to greater heights. Topics of discussion also included “prospecting and closing” and “trends in local marketing.” The host of the event, ReachLocal, introduced the audience to its product suite, specifically “SweetIQ” a local listing management platform that they have recently acquired. If there was one big takeaway from the event, it was the importance of local advertising and the role it plays in the success of a business.

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In their presentations, the speakers highlighted some key takeaways to present their views on the importance of local advertising via digital channels. They also explained the concept of local search, and why it is essential for all businesses to leverage this search function to its highest potential. They quoted numbers extracted from various sources, including Borrell’s 2017 SMB survey, a study by Local Search Association, searchengineland.com, and others.

Here are 11 of the top local advertising trends in 2018 that we found interesting:

  1. Local advertising is growing steadily at 5.3%. However, not all media is the same, and the forecast for 2018 will show a negative decline in non-digital local advertising.
  2. And yet, there will be a 7% increase in local digital advertising!
  3. Digital is often a combo buy. As per Borrell’s 2017 SMB survey, 74% of advertisers in the response group used digital and traditional media together. 22% used only traditional methods and 3% concentrated solely on digital media.
  4. 2% of Canadian advertising budget of $9.2 billion is allotted to online media. Out of this, banner ads took the massive chunk of 41% followed by paid search at 27%, email at 20%, and online audio/video at 12%.
  5. The priority for 82% of marketers is acquiring new business. Other priorities include maintaining current business (52%), building brand reputation (48%), and providing education/information about their products and services (43%).
  6. The survey numbers placed social media as most effective in acquiring new business, maintaining current business, and building reputation!
  7. About $10.3 billion worth of potential annual sales are lost because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local business information.
  8. It’s crucial that local businesses are present in every potential platform that prospects are likely to be looking for them.
  9. One-third of mobile searches are local and growing 50% faster than overall mobile searches.
  10. Mobile devices used before or during shopping trips influenced 28% of in-store sales.
  11. Consumers’ intent to purchase increased 116% for all businesses that responded to their reviews.

The WSI Digital Marketing Consultants in attendance left the event with several options and tips to help clients grow in their local marketing efforts.

If you want to find out how your business can benefit from local advertising best practices, book a no-obligation consultation with a WSI Digital Marketing Consultant in your area today.

About Monpi Neog Lobo

Monpi loves fiction, beer, and her job. One more than the other on certain days. She is the Content Marketing Specialist at WSI.