Gauging the Opportunity to Replace Local Merchants’ Websites

We asked respondents what they used their sites for, and, considering the functions they deemed most important, whether they could replace them with a list of suggested companies and platforms. Facebook’s company pages and Google’s enriched listings topped the list.

Most Local Merchants Unfazed by Facebook Controversies, Though Some Signs of Trouble

By now, consequences of the negative aura surrounding Facebook’s role in customer info abuse, fake news, and Russian political meddling should have started to take hold. Yet over half of local merchants we polled said they would continue to use Facebook as they had previously, and only one in five said they may use it less.

Local Merchants Highly Dependent on Social Media at Time of Uncertainty for Platforms

Well over half of the local merchants with larger budgets that we surveyed for a report last year indicated that paid Facebook ads constituted their top marketing tactic. That’s a pretty heavy dependence on a company that’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.

Street Fight Daily: How Much Ad Viewability Matters, IAB Eases In-App Measurement

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Placed Study Outlines Viewability’s Impact on Store Visitation… IAB Releases Tool to Ease In-App Ad Measurement… Snap Is Testing Commerce with Discover Publishers…

State of Hyperlocal: Attribution Is Top Industry Challenge and R&D Priority

Companies selling local marketing and technology and services continue to believe that online-to-offline attribution is the toughest challenge facing the industry, and it’s now their top near-term R&D priority. That’s what we’re hearing from a preliminary analysis of our annual State of Hyperlocal survey of Street Fight readers.

Lots of Facebook News — But Little Progress in Local

Instead of integrating multi-media news consumption with entertainment, community conversations, events calendars, advertising, and a buyers and sellers marketplace, Facebook is isolating them as components. While this is consistent with its separate apps approach, it likely won’t result in as much audience cross-fertilization as it should. Nor does it feel at all local advertiser-friendly.

Are All-In-One Marketing Suites Really the Best Solution for SMBs?

SMBs are starting to turn to third-party platforms to build highly specialized, best-of-breed martech stacks. By weaving carefully-selected tools together, SMBs can construct an enterprise-level toolbelt that’s affordable, top-of-the-line and easy to integrate.

At Cloud Summit, a Focus on the Transition to SaaS Services

ReachLocal’s CPO Kris Barton noted that SaaS churn is typically between 6 percent and 22 percent. Media churn is between 39 percent and 86 percent. The key is to provide an integrated marketing system, said Barton: “Sixty-four percent are more likely to use a marketing system when it is integrated with core business systems.”

Local Marketing on Alexa? The Real Estate Industry Gives It a Shot

There are almost 40 real estate “skills” currently listed in Alexa’s directory. This is greater than those related to lawyers/attorneys, doctors/dentists, and a host of other SMB categories, and overall there doesn’t yet appear to be much adoption of voice technology at the local business level.

The Shift in B2SMB: It’s All About Platforms

Major changes are coming to SMB marketing as the market shifts away from media towards cloud-based services, artificial intelligence, marketing automation and location marketing. This cluster of tech movements represent real opportunities to help SMBs target and engage customers, and become more efficient.

LinkedIn Focuses on Revving Up Its SMB Efforts

“There is a huge market of smaller companies, and it is a fast-growing segment. There is definitely momentum,” says LinkedIn’s independent agency head Ryan Wilson. “But they are often made to feel like second-class citizens. Enterprise companies have been getting all the love.”

Alignable Rankings Show Lead Generation, Hiring Categories Primed for Disruption

Small businesses are largely at the mercy of the online reviews published on sites like Yelp and Facebook, but now those business owners have turned the tables with some tough critiques for technology vendors in a new report published by the SMB social networking platform Alignable.

SMB Content Marketing: Avoid the Backward Approach

Whether a business is local or not, content drives the bulk of digital marketing. A successful content marketing campaign involves topics that resonate with the intended audience, creates buzz on social media and attracts high quality links. Yet, the approach that many people take to content marketing is backward.

How SMB Networking is Driving More Referral Marketing

Many small businesses have picked up on referral marketing options, but word-of-mouth referrals are an ancillary benefit of networking with other local business owners. “The entire business community needs a way to connect and have ongoing dialogue,” says Ro Prakash, co-founder of Townsquared.

The Usability Gap: Designing the Right Products for SMBs

Surely small business owners belong to the class of ordinary users. Expecting them to invest the time and energy to become power users is a good way to guarantee that your user base will remain small. This realization could lead to a very different and more fruitful approach to product design for SMBs.

Frustration With Digital Marketing Vendors Boils Over for One SMB

If it’s possible to distill the 30 million small business owners in the U.S. into a single persona, Marc Reisner strikes our columnists as a great candidate: “Marc has been disillusioned by past performance and that poor performance has understandably tarred the entire industry with the same brush.”

The Coming Polarization of the SMB Software Market

Strangely, despite the size of the opportunity you don’t find too many SMB companies in most VC portfolios. You see plenty of consumer and enterprise-focused startups, but much fewer on the SMB side. The reason for this is that it’s “hard” for companies serving SMBs to grow at the rate that can deliver “venture” returns.

Is There an SMB Analytics Market? And If So, What Should It Measure?

“I’m not convinced small businesses without a full-time in-house marketer really care about analytics,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly chat. “They certainly don’t have the time or expertise to dive in each week and change their marketing or customer service behavior based on what a dashboard is telling them.”

Vistaprint Continues Push Into Digital with Focus on Micro-Business Market

As the company’s platform expands beyond print to include a full-service digital marketing suite, it’s working overtime to change public perception and expand its role as an all-in-one service provider for small and mid-size firms.

Vistaprint Launches Platform to Connect Online and Offline Marketing

Vistaprint is expanding beyond its roots as a provider of custom printed products today, with a new suite of digital marketing tools for “micro” business owners. The company’s redesigned website building platform will include tools for social media marketing, local listings, email marketing, and business email, along with design services.