Smartphone owners are active news consumers, which can help drive traffic for small businesses.

B2C small businesses are facing an interesting new situation, as in-store shoppers often turn to their smartphones to research products they plan to buy. According to Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, 66 percent of smartphone owners said they do research on their handsets while in stores, and business owners who develop a strong online presence stand to convert in-store shoppers searching for additional web information.

Mobile search and social networks are among the most frequent channels consumers turn to while shopping. A web marketing strategy that includes both will help SMBs improve their appeal to these shoppers.

With Nielsen reporting that more than half of all mobile phones are internet-connected smartphones, the motivation to develop marketing campaigns that appeal to consumers with the handsets is growing every day.

According to Shapiro & Associates, 72 percent of those who indicated they use their smartphone while shopping do so to research facts and features regarding the products. Moreover, website content with item reviews attracts 52 percent of consumers.

Social media marketing can help SMBs appeal to the 17 percent of shoppers who conduct research on social networks. Many post questions or comments about potential purchases on these platforms, which SMBs can respond to directly to engage these audiences.

Monitoring conversations on the web can be difficult for SMBs with limited resources, and many have found the answer lies outside of their employee base. ContentLEAD recently reported that 30 percent of small businesses currently outsource all or part of their social media marketing activity.