Since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, consumers are not flocking into the showrooms, storefronts, offices, or dining rooms of Southwest Florida small business owners. It turns out, though, social distancing has not proven to be an impediment to shopping.
Fort Myers-Naples consumers are still spending money despite the chaos imposed by the pandemic, according to Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell & Associates. His company specializes in the collection of marketing data from business owners across the country.
"During depressions, recessions, floods, hurricane, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, commerce goes on," Mr. Borrell told members of SWFL's small business community during a recent teleconference.
To prove his point, he shared research from IBISworld which, indicates spending continues despite a plunge in consumer confidence.
With limited access to brick-and-mortar transactions, Fort Myers area consumers have been gravitating online in a big way to research, compare, and purchase goods and services from area small business owners.
According to Analytic Owl, a web traffic attribution service, since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, many SWFL businesses have seen a significant increase in the number of website visitors. This includes a diverse range of categories, including auto body repair, landscaping, home security, hardware, and pet care, among many others.
As the importance of online-traffic replaces store-traffic as a key performance indicator during the current crisis, many small business owners are shifting their advertising and marketing resources into increasing the number of visitors to their websites.
Perhaps the most powerful tactic a business owner can use is advertising on Fort Myers radio.
Each week, more consumers are reached by Fort Myers radio than all other media in SWFL. More than local TV. More than social media. More than Pandora and Spotify. According to research from Nielsen, radio's reach has remained little changed during the current crisis.
Nielsen also has discovered that of all the media elements associated with an advertising campaign, the number of different consumers reached by an advertising campaign has the most potent effect on sales lift. Reach also plays a vital role in driving website visits.
Analytic Owl has the technology to attribute increases in a company's website traffic directly to radio advertising.
For instance, for the SWFL business categories showing significant growth during the Corona crisis, local radio, historically, has shown the ability to positively affect web traffic within eight minutes of a commercial airing.
During 'normal' times, improving online traffic has been important to the growth of Fort Myers area small businesses. During this time of chaos, driving web visits is critical to a company's survival.
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