An increasing number of small- and medium-sized business owners (SMBs) are recognizing the importance of going digital – and are thus increasing their digital spending budget as the migration from traditional to online media continues.
In a study that reflected the growing business trend towards online marketing, BIA/Kelsey’s “Local Commerce Monitor” (Wave 16) found that 40 percent of SMB owners are planning to increase their online advertising and promotion budget within the next 12 months. Only 3.7 percent, in fact, said that they were planning on decreasing their digital spending budget.
The study also found that SMB owners are looking to diversify their use of online media channels; on average, they are using 5.8 different media – the core of which is social networking site Facebook. 52 percent said that they use their Facebook pages as one of their digital marketing channels; 21.3 percent, meanwhile, use online reviews and recommendation service Google+ Local (formerly Google Places). Online videos on websites (17 percent) as well as online banners (14 percent) are also increasingly being used.
(Check out: “Google+ Local Tips and Tricks for Your Business”)
Also gaining traction are mobile platforms and apps, online review aggregators and ratings sites, and online deals (daily deals, flash sales promotions, instant deals). In fact, 26 percent of SMB owners indicated that they are either “extremely likely” or “very likely” to participate in online deals in the next six months.
In a separate report – this time by Nielsen – results showed that in the first half of 2012, businesses’ ad spend for the Internet increased by 7.2 percent, while ad spend for magazines decreased by 1.3 percent. The growth of online advertising was particularly notable in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.