2017 and the budget shift
According to a January 2017 study conducted by Thrive Analytics, 40% of small businesses in the US plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year–and this could be their key to massive growth.
The modern customer journey begins with an online search. A business can be right down the street, but without a solid presence online, it might as well not exist. Getting that competitive edge online comes at a price, putting many small businesses at a disadvantage.
Things are looking up
Encouraged by the current state of the economy, small business owners have been more willing to loosen their purse strings and leverage the power of the world wide web.
Recent research reveals that SMBs (small to medium businesses) will be pouring more of their overall marketing budget into all areas of digital marketing–from social media to mobile, video, and search engine marketing.
Social media is already one of the most widely used marketing methods for small businesses, and 56% of SMBs plan to up their social media budget this year. However, more than 30% are also going to focus on digital advertising and search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you’re a dentist, a realtor, or a traveling theater troupe, chances are your prospects are looking for you online–88% of US adults (not just Millennials) used the internet in 2016, and that number has only been growing each year.
The struggle to go digital
Money isn’t the only obstacle between SMBs and digital marketing. All of the time and effort involved in developing a successful online strategy are also hard to come by.
According to InfusionSoft, 49% of small-business owners are doing all the marketing for their business, and only 22% have hired marketers.
Even with room in the budget, tackling a whole new vein of marketing and advertising is difficult with a limited staff, especially without a full understanding of what exactly needs to be done: 10% of small business owners say the most challenging part about digital marketing is understanding tactics and trends.
Leap of faith
Sometimes the best way to learn something is just to jump right into it, and for many small businesses, the stable economy is just the push they need. For those that are making the leap into digital marketing this year, here’s the breakdown of their main focus areas:
Mobile: more than 50%
Online video: 48%
Paid search: 47%
Event marketing: 47%
With the right approach, a little money can go a long way. Looks like 2017 will be a big year for small businesses.