Analysts confirm that small businesses are poised to spend more on marketing in 2011 than in 2010. Although this can be partially attributed to uptick in business as American companies crawl out of the recession of recent years, another giant factor is the growing need for digital and social media. More small businesses are looking to use external marketing specialists to build their websites, begin social media campaigns and engage more thoroughly with online communities.
According to an online poll by VistaPrint.com, 88% of small businesses (ranging in 1-10 employees making less than $100,000 per year) are expanding their marketing efforts in 2011. This is compared with about 29% of small businesses that said they planned to increase their marketing efforts for 2010, according to Ad-ology. About 34% of those expanding their marketing efforts are focusing on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, noted VisaPrint.com; meanwhile, Ad-ology reported that 45% of businesses polled were looking to expand their online video efforts and 35% felt ready to foray into mobile marketing.
Some advertising experts claim that the expenses may either not be warranted or not provide the ROI that a small business may be expecting. In some instances, the appeal of social media is its low overhead and general accessibility. For example, an in-the-know intern who’s ready to actively and smartly engage with a company’s online audience may be able to garner just as much, if not more, success and presence with online marketing efforts as a professionally organized marketing campaign.
The plus side for small businesses that expand their marketing budget and finance professional social media campaigns is greater accountability, measurability and the ability to integrate social media elements with a comprehensive marketing campaign that also factors in traditional media such as local radio, television or print ads, out-of-home engagement and word-of-mouth efforts.
Learn more about the dos and don’ts of social media and online marketing next week. In the meantime, if you’re a small business looking to expand your marketing efforts this year – on the Web or not – don’t hesitate to Contact Us. As a small business that’s been successfully operating in South Florida since 1992, we know a thing or two about your specific, small-business needs.