Small Businesses Eye Digital Media Marketing
E-Mail Marketing Highly Popular
While most small-business marketing dollars still go to traditional media, spending on digital media is substantial and poised for growth, according to a recent study from BIA/Kelsey, an independent market researcher. Data showed that small and medium-sized businesses spent an average of 29% of their marketing budgets on digital media in the third quarter of last year. That's up from 26% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
While digital media spending isn't limited to online ads, studies have shown that such ads are growing in popularity with businesses. Digiday, a digital media company and community, found that 64% of U.S. advertisers plan to boost the amount they spend on social media ads, for instance. In another analysis conducted earlier this year, Borrell Associates found that ads on Facebook and run-of-site banner ads were leading categories for digital advertisements.
An older tech-age technology – e-mail marketing – is highly popular, too, data shows. Nearly 27% of respondents to a survey from Ad-ology Research said that e-mail was the medium on which they spent the biggest share of their ad budget. That percentage was far ahead of other digital media.
Despite the interest in digital, traditional methods remain the most trusted means of marketing among small businesses. A November 2012 analysis from Bank of America indicates that 87% of small-business owners believe word-of-mouth and customer referrals serve as the best marketing tools. Networking with other small-business owners and advertising through print, broadcast and radio were deemed the second and third best marketing initiatives – ahead of e-mail/direct mail and social media.