BY BRIAN CUTSHALL
Greene County businesses are forecast to spend $1.9 million for some form of online advertising in 2012, according to Borrell Associates executive vice president Pete Conti Jr., who spoke in Greeneville this week.
Borrell Associates is a research and consulting firm based in Williamsburg, Va. It works with more than 1,100 local media companies throughout North America and publishes regular analyses of major trends in local advertising and marketing.
Local online ad spending here would "more than double" by 2017 to $3.9 million, as Web use increases "by leaps and bounds," Conti said.
Conti addressed representatives of 28 Greeneville-area businesses in one-hour programs on the topic of "Successful Digital Advertising for Local Businesses," hosted by The Greeneville Sun on Monday and Tuesday at the Greeneville Comfort Inn.
"While we've seen increases in online advertising at the national level, we're also starting to see great growth at the local level," said Conti.
Conti presented Borrell's "Compass Report," which details local online advertising spending by community and business type.
For example, Conti said that Greene County healthcare businesses spent $1.4 million for all their advertising in 2011. Of that amount, $140,000 was spent on some form of Internet advertising, he said.
The Greeneville Sun obtained Borrell's Compass Report to share online spending trends with its local advertisers.
"Compass lets our advertisers know how much their competitors, as a group, are spending on local Internet advertising everywhere, not just at The Greeneville Sun," said Brian Cutshall, the Sun's director of online operations.
"It helps them compare and determine ad budgets," he added.
Local online advertising across the nation has multiplied nearly 10 times since 2003, according to Borrell reports.
In the U.S., total spending for national and local online advertising is expected to reach $68 billion this year.
Online advertising spending "has already surpassed billboards, magazines, Yellow Pages and radio," Conti said.
After the programs, Sun representatives discussed three new advertising packages at GreenevilleSun.com to help businesses brand themselves, generate sales leads and increase traffic to their businesses.
Ranging from $299 to $699 per month, each package includes ads on GreenevilleSun.com, an enhanced "mini-website" on GreenevilleMarketplace.com and production of an online video about the business.
Other options include online contests, deals, Facebook "like" promotions and business profile articles.
Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors named GreenevilleSun.com the best newspaper website in its division in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Visitors view nearly one million pages on GreenevilleSun.com every month, according to reports from Google Analytics.
Last year, GreenevilleSun.com posted more than 2,300 news and sports stories; 1,100 obituaries; 44,000 photographs; 100 breaking news and weather alerts (usually with e-mail distribution) and 120 news videos, Cutshall said.
The site's companion GreenevilleMarketplace.com delivers information on about 2,000 businesses, churches, schools and organizations in Greene County.
GreenevilleSun.com and GreenevilleMarketplace.com are part of The Greeneville Sun.
For advertising information, contact Ad Director Artie Wehenkel at 423-359-3160, Brian Cutshall at 423-359-3109 or (webmaster@GreenevilleSun.com)