Channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn have made it more difficult recently for businesses to find success on them. But that hasn’t stopped the enthusiasm that small businesses have for social media marketing.
According to Infusionsoft’s annual Small Business Marketing Trends Report, social channels remain the marketing tactic of choice. They are where owners want to focus their time and money.
The report surveyed 1,000 small business owners from around the country. In the Executive Summary section of the report, Infusionsoft calls attention to the fact that digital marketing is a challenge for them, as 21 percent find it difficult to break away to do it or allocate the resources for it. Unfortunately, this is a growing trend, too. The number of owners who feel this way is up over 3 percent from 2016.
Converting leads is another hurdle for these companies. In fact, 19 percent say it is their biggest concern.
With these challenges, it’s no wonder that growing the business is the top priority for over 30 percent of owners. They hope social media marketing can help them do that.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is the online marketing tactic of choice for small businesses. Over 49 percent use it, and 71 percent plan to use it to get more customers.
When asked what their digital marketing tactic of choice was, nearly 75 percent said social. The next popular tactic is digital advertising at 40.9 percent and search engine optimization (SEO) at 40.8 percent.
A large percentage of owners, 38 percent, also plan to spend more on social media marketing, compared to 30 percent will budget additional funds for SEO and digital ads.
When asked about the type of content that is created to attract new customers, a whopping 71.1 percent reported they create content and post it on social channels! Indeed, this trend has grown considerably, increasing by 13.3 percent since 2016.
The second most popular tactic to get customers was emails at 39 percent, followed by blog posts with 33.3 percent.
Video content was only used by about 27 percent of small businesses. Considering its effectiveness, this is a missed opportunity.
The social channel of choice for these companies remains Facebook. Seventy-five percent state that the platform will be a part of their social media marketing plans. Instagram, a Facebook owned photo app, was second with 37.6 percent.
There has been some doubt about the cost-effectiveness of using Facebook recently. The social giant received criticism for cutting organic reach for business pages earlier this year. But the site can still be effective for those businesses that create engaging content and are willing to set a budget for boosting posts.
Digital Marketing Trends
There is a growing trend toward automation in marketing today. While they would help alleviate some of the time challenges that small business owners face, they might find the price tag a bit high.
There are also many direct-to-consumer tools available to small businesses that will help with the marketing funnel. They are fairly simple to use and affordable. If finding the time to set these up is an issue for owners, hiring a third is also a cost-effective option.
The use of social media marketing continues to grow for small businesses. While they recognize the potential benefits, many are unsure just how effective their efforts are. Nearly 46 percent say they don’t have a clear understanding of what the impact is of their social activities.
If you have questions about using social media marketing effectively, call Social Flair Marketing today at 513-237-5530.
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Bob Turner is an Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair Marketing in Cincinnati, Ohio.