Small businesses have unique marketing challenges.
Here are 24 small business marketing facts that may surprise you… and change that way you approach marketing for your small business.
Close, But No Cigar
Many small businesses aren’t bringing their “A” game to their marketing. They may have good intentions but lack the resources (time, budget or know-how) to really succeed.
1. Most small businesses have small budgets – or no marketing budget at all. Forty-seven percent of small businesses spend less than $10,000 on digital marketing.
2. Almost 71% of small businesses do all of their own marketing in-house. But, according to Forbes, the small businesses that are happiest with their marketing performance hired outside agencies to handle it for them.
3. The less-than-stellar results many small businesses see from their in-house marketing efforts may be due to the fact that 58% of the small businesses using in-house help only assign 1-2 employees to handle their digital marketing. Often, this is not enough manpower to get the job done right.
5. A website is essential for every business. Period. In our digital world, customers expect businesses to have a website. However, as of 2015 60% of small businesses did not have a website!
6. 30% of small businesses without a website cite cost as the reason. But, with so many inexpensive options for building a website these days, cost should no longer present a barrier.
7. And, 35% of small businesses without a website feel their operation is too small to warrant a website. Customers will beg to differ. Consumers not only expect businesses to have a unique website design, they view a website as a sign of credibility.
Small Business Marketing Focus
These facts reveal many small businesses’ marketing priorities. Do they align with yours?
8. Small businesses put their faith in the power of word-of-mouth. 28% of small businesses believe that word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective way to attract new customers.
9. 20% of small businesses claim that search engine optimization is the most effective way to attract new customers. Note that both word-of-mouth and SEO techniques are organic in nature.
10. Increasing sales continues to be a top priority for small businesses. At 51%, driving sales is small businesses’ top digital marketing priority.
11. Small businesses are determined to get their name out there, too. In second place, 48% of small businesses cite building brand awareness as their top digital marketing priority.
To learn more about naming your company, read 10 Tips for Naming Your Startup or Small Business. To learn more about logo design and branding, read Powerful Branding Lessons From The World’s Best Brands (That Actually Work For Your Small Business).
12. If you’re wondering where to focus your social media marketing efforts, Social Media Examiner notes that Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are the top three social media marketing platforms for small businesses.
Social media marketing continues to be an ideal and cost-effective way for small businesses to reach and build relationships with their audiences.
13. Almost all small businesses have realized the value of social media marketing. According to Social Media Examiner, 96% of SMBs say they use social media in their marketing strategy.
14. And, most small businesses agree that social media marketing pays off. Almost 90% of marketers report that social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business.
15. Social media doesn’t only increase exposure. It has also shown great results in driving online traffic – a great way to generate leads. 75% of marketers claim that social media marketing has helped to increase traffic.
Many small businesses may be losing their way because they don’t have the data needed to make smart marketing choices, adjust or improve their strategies.
16. Small businesses are having a hard time tracking their marketing ROI (return on investment). Less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking or coupon codes. And without knowing what’s working, it’s hard to craft a smart marketing plan.
17. While social media continues to be a very popular marketing platform for small businesses, 6 in 10 small business owners are not able to track ROI from their social media activities.
18. Worse than that… 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything. Tracking your results is essential to making informed marketing choices and improving your strategy.
19. Forty-two percent of marketers cite lack of quality data as their biggest obstacle when implementing successful lead generation campaigns. Prioritize gathering the data your small business needs to plan and execute smart marketing campaigns.
Positive online reviews (and the way that your business handles its negative online reviews) can either be a major marketing strength or a major weakness.
20. 63.6 percent of consumers say they’re likely to check Google reviews before visiting a business.
21. While consumers are placing more importance on online reviews, they expect businesses to do the same. According to a survey by ReviewTrackers, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to their online reviews within a week.
22. However, 63% of consumers say that a business has never responded to their review. So, despite customer’s expectation that businesses respond to their negative online reviews, many businesses do not. That’s a lot of disappointed customers.
23. But, the time and effort needed to respond is well worth it. 45% of customers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.
24. Finally, don’t go chasing waterfalls. A study by Power Reviews and Northwestern University reveals that shoppers are more likely to purchase products with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5. The 4.2 -4.5 range even beats out a perfect 5 stars. We know there’s a lot on your plate. And, marketing can feel like just another thing that you’re “supposed” to do.
But, marketing your business – and doing it well – is essential to your small business’s success.
We hope you use these facts and statistics as a leaping off point for a more informed, targeted and successful marketing plan for your small business.