A report from Pew Research found that consumers looking for local information are increasingly relying on the internet - especially the mobile web.
A survey from Pew Research found that the internet plays an increasingly large role in providing local information for 79 percent of online Americans. For marketers, the survey reveals the need to vary content marketing campaigns to target each demographic, as well as the value of local SEO.

Pew measured 16 topics and the media consumers rely on to access information related to each. The results demonstrate the internet is the primary source of information for five of the 16 fields. Among online users, the internet was one of the top two resources in 15 fields. While local newspapers are still a major resource for consumers seeking hyperlocal news and information, the population is adopting technology more, which increases the opportunities for local digital marketing to produce substantial ROI. As such, it seems the value of locally-oriented news content marketing stands to similarly rise.

Finding information about businesses in their community is among the most common uses of the web, Pew reported. Twenty-eight percent of survey respondents use the web to find data related to local restaurants, and another 28 percent reported using the internet for information regarding other kinds of businesses in the area.

While the survey was not specific in terms of which web channels consumers are using, the growing popularity of search represents an avenue that could be a boon for businesses. For example, a social media marketing campaign aimed at any local demographic can increase traffic to a website, while also boosting search rankings.

The rise of smartphones and tablets has also made a multi-faceted, local-friendly web presence a competitive necessity. According to Pew, 47 percent of adults get at least some local information from smartphones or tablets. As mobile devices become more capable and popular, optimizing websites for mobile access, launching engaging social media marketing campaigns and including local search terms in an SEO strategy should all move to the top of CMOs’ priority lists.

Mobile search is an increasingly critical element of marketing strategies for all businesses. Brafton reported recently that the Google mobile search application is one of the most popular and useful tools for users of Android-powered smartphones.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.