Small businesses have been putting their money where their advertising is, as digital spending dominates most advertising budgets with more than half going toward online campaigns. And those ad dollars are projected to trend upward in the years to come.
A recent article on streetfightmag.com talks about the Thrive Analytics’ Local Pulse Report that shows small and medium-sized business owners are planning to increase their local marketing budgets by seven percent over their 2015 numbers. Other key numbers that are going up in 2016 are:
- Online display (44%, up 11%)
- Paid search (44%, up 11%)
It seems strange that even though small business owners are spending more, they might not be getting their anticipated return on investment (ROI). That could be because they aren’t using tools to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. In fact, only 26 percent of small- and medium-sized business owners use some sort of measuring tool to see how their ad campaigns performed, according to the article. The majority of business owners (59 percent) are banking on customer responses to impromptu polls to decide the effectiveness of their online advertising efforts.
There are some online tools that measure the ROI of online campaigns for entrepreneurs who do not utilize a marketing agency, including these top 50 tools complied by LinkedIn.
Another challenge is the lack of budget to run paid digital campaigns, but a solution lies in free social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Many businesses use their social pages as their ‘go-to’ spot for their business’s information. In fact, 80 percent of small businesses surveyed in the report mentioned the greater use of social media, while only 60 percent of those same owners reported having a business website.
Sole reliance on social media to promote your business might seem fool-hearty to some, but the various platforms do come with the benefits of a widely used interface and accommodations for different levels of user comfort. Social media is a great place to beta test, especially when you don’t have the funds or skills to build or maintain a business website. There are many places to learn how to get the most out of your Facebook newsfeed, as well as other platforms.