What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
|Chris Crum has been a featured writer with the WebProNews.com team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Chris writes for Small Business Resources about social media, search, and what’s new for small business. Hundreds of publications link to Chris’ articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.|
Small Businesses Find Little Time To Enhance Their Online Marketing
A new report has come out finding that small businesses are struggling to keep up with the fast pace world of online marketing simply because they just don't have enough time.
Local marketing data company Thrive Analytics conducted a survey among 1,100 Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs), and found that 77% of them feel they lack time or knowledge to manage digital media effectively. 70% of them say they wish they could take advantage of digital media to help them expand their businesses and reach more customers, but they just don't have the means to accomplish this.
Businesses, according to the findings, largely don't feel like current marketing providers have their best interests in mind.
"Owners often feel marketing providers push 'flavor of the month' products on them and don’t bother to learn what they actually need," says Thrive Analytics' Jason Peaslee.
60% believe providers are falling short on product performance. 55% think they're delivering poor service levels. These, Peaslee says, are contributing factors to high digital product churn rates, which can be as high as 40% depending on the product. They also contribute to the low satisfaction scores businesses are giving marketing providers.
So why don't SMBs have time to get marketing right? Well, they're dealing with the daily activities of running their businesses. SnappyGeekDigital explored some other reasons, and they came up with businesses not knowing where to find content, not scheduling their social media posts, not knowing how to use social media, not knowing how to measure results, and generally being unorganized as the biggest problems.
Unfortunately, those trying to do the marketing themselves aren't doing a very good job. Just 55% have websites, and 40% of those that do don't have them optimized. As few as 31% say they have a strategy to attract mobile consumers. 58% of those that do manage their own websites are only updating them every six months or even longer.
Still, over half have a positive outlook on the business for the next twelve months, and 31% are willing to increase their budgets and invest in online marketing solutions if they make sense to their particular business. That means they're going to be choosy, and are going to need a clear idea of how a marketing product will help their business.
SMBs plan to increase spending over the next 12 months in the following areas, in order: company website, Facebook and/or other social media sites, mobile advertising or marketing, online display advertising (banner ads), paid search advertising (AdWords), SEO and organic search visibility, online video, email marketing, direct mail, blogging, outdoor advertising, traditional newspapers, television, magazine advertising, press releases, radio, Internet yellow pages, and print yellow pages.
The biggest areas of focus are indeed online channels.
Another recent report from BrightLocal found that over the course of the year, 59% of businesses that have 21 or more people plan to increase their spending on online marketing. For the most part the amount gets smaller the smaller the headcount. It's 49% for those with 11 to 20 employees. It's 35% for single-person businesses.
Businesses can't afford to ignore online marketing channels, and things aren't getting any less complicated (which is probably why more and more are looking for automated solutions). As more consumers turn to their mobile devices for the bulk of the internet use, marketing is only getting more complex. Businesses aren't finding the time to address everything they need to address, but they really need to find ways to fix it if they want to survive.