Local Search Highlights in the 2015 Internet Trends Report

Jon Schepke (with Search Engine Watch) pulled some great insight from Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report – and, in reading between the lines – could see that all lines point to… Mobile & Local Search.  So if you’re still on the fence about mobile and local search marketing & optimization strategies, you might as well hand in your Marketing Badge right now.  Here were his key take aways;

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 8.58.44 AM

Optimizing for Mobile is TABLE STAKES

  • Mobile searches have overtaken desktop search (sooner than projected)
  • Mobile use has also overtaken desktop use, on a daily basis (see the chart above).
  • 73% of the planet has a mobile phone
  • “if your local search strategy fails to address the mobile consumer, you might as well not have a local search strategy”
  • See Google’s recent release of Micro Moments noting that ‘near me’ searches have increased 34 times in 2011 (in Q4 2014, 80% of those searches were conducted via mobile devices).
  • See Forrester’s push of Mobile Moments, by definition, “a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.
  • See Facebook’s Retailer Beacons for businesses to offer deals & content for consumers in store via Place Tips.
  • In most cases, mobile (and mobile search) is the MOST direct connection between your company & consumer demand.

Get Ready for MOBILE WALLETS

  • “Brands that convert ‘near me’ searches into revenue through appealing mobile wallet offers are solving for the “last mile” of local search.” (truly creating a full circle consumer behavior).
  • Whole Foods has seen mobile payments surge by 400% since adopting Apple Pay.
  • Pep Boys has seen a seven-figure sales result from mobile wallet.

Facebook Video Ads

Facebook is aiming for more of brand budgets NOW WITH VIDEO (thanks, ZOG Digital). This Facebook Video Ads blog post (linked above) goes over an internal Facebook presentation/document that was shared by TechCrunch on Facebook video initiatives

Leaked Facebook Video Ad Pitch Deck Reveals Plans To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars

…and now -it appears that they moved up the launch date of Video Ads because of this TechCrunch article. These featured ad units are a limited beta for Facebook’s top 1% of existing advertisers, and will be available and visible for that group starting this Thursday (12/19/2013).  Given Facebook’s past experience, I’d give it another 6 months before this program rolls out to all advertisers (if it sticks).

Why Market in Facebook?

Why do any marketing in Facebook?  …because that’s where the people are.  You go to where the people are, you don’t make them come to you.  Take a look at the time spent metric.  People stay logged into Facebook, they conduct their social life there, their business there… go where the people are.

FB Store – BigBrands in Soon!

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — More than 20,000 mom-and-pops and small retailers have started hawking real goods on Facebook in the past five months, thanks to an e-commerce platform called Payvment. And with a $1.5 million investment the big brands are coming soon, said the startup’s CEO, Christian Taylor.

Payvment is a Facebook e-commerce app that lets any user — businesses and individuals alike — download a storefront and set up shop for free. Since it launched in November, small and midsize retailers have taken notice and put 125,000 products up for sale and 500,000 Facebook users (out of nearly 500 million total) have shopped with the app, which transacts “tens of thousands” of dollars per day, said Mr. Taylor, who declined to provide specific sales figures.

Today, the e-commerce provider announced $1.5 million in new funding led by Blue Run Ventures, the venture-capital firm that originally funded PayPal. What’s more, Mr. Taylor said a beta program with well-known retail brands is under way, and the startup plans to launch tools for larger brands in June.

“All these brands are giving budgets to launch Facebook pages,” said Mr. Taylor. “But what’s the value of fans? Couldn’t they be converted into paying customers?”

Plugging into distribution
Most retailers have complex distribution systems and Payvment is developing plug-ins that can port Facebook sales into existing data and shipping systems. “Any large retailer is going to have their own systems for conducting e-commerce,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst on Facebook. “It has to sync. It can’t be yet another layer on top of what they already have implemented.”

Payvment also aims to amass all sales on the social network into one marketplace or searchable shopping mall that spans all retailers. For example, a search for “shirt” within the Payvment store turns up a variety of brands.

While this isn’t the first time brands set up shop on Facebook, the attempt to try to network all sales on the platform is new. Payvment is angling to become the “de facto shopping cart” for all purchases on Facebook.

That diverges from brand sales apps currently on Facebook, which are often created by third-party developers or agencies. Minneapolis-based developer Alvenda created an e-commerce Facebook app for 1-800-Flowers early this year, and has since followed with commerce apps for Avon and other brands. In a partnership with Synapse, a Time Inc. division that sells magazine subscriptions, Alvenda will also be launching a tool to sell print without leaving Facebook.

Tech at right time
Payvment’s storefronts are completely free for now — Mr. Taylor says he won’t worry about business model until the concept is proved out — and completely automated. Retailers download an app from Payvment’s Facebook page, upload products and price points and users can start shopping on their pages in a “Shop Now” tab. (Mr. Taylor said it takes a retailer roughly five minutes to set up a storefront.)

“Today it’s about the right tech at right time,” he said. “And then we’ll throw it out there and put a price tag on it.”

F8’s Custom RFID Chips

Today at Facebook’s f8 conference in San Francisco, the company have given all attendees a small RFID tag attached to their conference badge. This tag is a part of something called “Facebook Presence” which allows you to “check-in” at various places around the conference simply by swiping your badge. Yes, it’s location.

This is actually the same thing Facebook uses for its infamous keg bot at its headquarters. Employees have been using this for a long time, now they’re letting the rest of us in on the fun. To use it, you go to this page and manually type in your tag number to link it to your Facebook account. Then, everytime you swipe your badge somewhere, it goes right to your profile. Apparently, you can also tag yourself in photos this way.

While we’ve known for a while that Facebook would use QR codes as a part of its location strategy, it’s not clear if this is actually something Facebook plans on using more widescale. Certainly needing to carry around a tag with you is a barrier to entry — as is getting venues to install these readers. Hopefully we’ll hear more about this during the conference today.

Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/21/facebook-presence/#ixzz0oTPXxGxk