By Rieva Lesonsky
How does your small business’s digital marketing strategy measure up? A recent study from BIA Kelsey, Local Commerce Monitor Study, Wave 16 found that small businesses are expanding their digital marketing efforts. Some 40 percent of small and midsized businesses in the study say they plan to increase their digital spending budget in the next 12 months; just 3.7 percent say they plan to cut digital marketing spending.
Beyond spending more on digital marketing, small businesses are also expanding their reach into more channels. In 2007, small companies in the survey said they used an average of three media channels; in the latest survey, the average almost doubled to 5.8 channels.
Overall, small businesses’ spending on all kinds of advertising and promotion is holding steady, at about $3,000 annually. Given that limited budget, it’s probably not surprising that Facebook was the top digital channel for small businesses. More than half (52 percent) of small businesses use Facebook for marketing. By comparison, 25 percent use email marketing, about 20 percent use Google + for marketing, 17 percent use online videos for marketing and 14 percent use online ad banners. “Social media appears to be rapidly evolving into a core medium for SMB advertising and promotion,” the study reports.
While small business owners are mastering Facebook as a marketing tool, one area where they still have a long way to go is mobile marketing. Only 20 percent of small business owners had a mobile marketing strategy in place. About 50 percent have heard about mobile marketing, but either don’t know much about it or simply aren’t using it. Ready for the real shock? Thirty percent haven’t even heard of the concept of mobile marketing.
Given that local, social mobile marketing can bring huge advantages to a small business that relies on a local clientele, this knowledge gap is especially amazing. If you’re a small business owner with a community focus, you need to get your feet wet in mobile marketing or your business is going to fall behind.
Image by Flickr user FutUndBeidl (Creative Commons)