BIA Kelsey, the leading research and advisory company focused on local advertising and marketing, recently launched one of its two annual local advertising forecasts for 2016. This provides a complete overview of U.S. local advertising trends. While BIA/Kelsey’s forecast is primarily based on data gathered from large companies and advertising agencies, there are key takeaways for small businesses. Below are some highlights released from the forecast that local businesses should note as they plan their marketing efforts for 2016 and beyond.

Digital is Growing. Fast.

unnamed-6While BIA/Kelsey’s findings show that print and television media currently still make up the largest segments of local ad-spend, the firm estimates that over the next five years online/digital advertising ad-spend will grow by 11.7 percent, while traditional media spending will decline by 0.1 percent. The forecast reports an increase of 28 Billion US dollars in local digital ad-spend. This shows that In the age of the internet, digital forms of advertising are and will continue to be the best way to reach local audiences.

Don’t let your local business get left in the dust. The digital advertising world can seem overwhelming to small businesses, but there are tons of solutions out there that help keep SMBs up to speed. Signpost, for example, uses its unique CRM and email/sms remarketing platform to drive measurable outcomes for small businesses, automatically.

Mobile is on the Rise

One of the biggest local advertising trends BIA/Kelsey predicts for the future is a growth in mobile advertising spend, particularly in location targeted advertising. BIA/Kelsey predicts that mobile advertising will grab 11.5% of local media revenue by 2019. This stems from a year in which mobile search and browsing is heavily on the rise, as mobile search numbers have surpassed desktop

The projected rise in mobile search is great news for local businesses, as it means there will be more and more ways for businesses to connect with potential customers who are right near their door. But it also means that it’s more important than ever for local businesses to maintain an updated presence on sites and directories which are heavily frequented on mobile.

Because of its integration with Google maps, Google+ is a particularly important mobile network in this regard. Google search and Google maps are the  4th and 6th most frequented smartphone apps in the U.S., with the next most popular mobile map application (Apple Maps) trailing far behind at 11th. Luckily, marketing automation services like Signpost can help make sure that your business’s pages on Google+, Yelp, and Facebook (the most frequented mobile app) are up to date and glowing with positive reviews.  

General Local Ad-Spend Will Be Up

In general, BIA/Kelsey expects local advertising revenues in the U.S. to reach $146.6 billion in 2016, up from $141.3 billion this year. This represents a growth rate of 3.75 percent, and indicates an overall confidence in the local space, which is good news for small businesses and local advertisers alike. It also presents unique challenges for getting above the noise. One of our customers at Long Island Carpet Cleaners felt this same pain point. Here from him here!

Want to learn more about how Signpost can prepare your business’s marketing efforts for 2016? Schedule a demo today.