With so many new marketing tools available for cheap, and even for free, you should be near the front of the line when it comes to utilizing these new trends. But if a recent study is any indication, the opposite is the case right now for many smaller companies.
Most small businesses operate the old-fashioned way, with little recognition of the internet as a channel or a source of leads. Many small business owners are not even aware that they have an online profile that they could be actively managing on many popular sites.
The results from the study are alarming, and if they're at all accurate, small businesses have fallen dangerously behind larger companies in adopting digital marketing strategies. Some of the findings include:
- Small businesses allocate just 3 percent of their advertising budgets to their online campaigns. By comparison, the results found that companies throughout the U.S. dedicate 15 percent of marketing expenditures to digital strategies, indicating that larger firms are spending a lot more in this area.
- Only 15 percent of small business owners are aware they have a free Yelp page, and only 11 percent of these respondents said they frequently manage their Yelp pages.
- Even social media and email advertising, which owners claim to be investing in, still account for a tiny portion of small business marketing budgets.
Small businesses need marketing attitude makeover
If you're a business owner, there's a list of elements that your company must have. You need products and/or services that separate you from your competitors, effective sales and marketing teams, quality management at the top, and so on and so forth.
In this day and age, it's safe to put digital marketing campaigns on that list. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, online marketing has become a must.
If you're worried that you can't afford to delegate any more funding to your internet strategies, you might be surprised at how little funding will have to go toward digital campaigns. There are several extremely effective tools you can employ that will cost you neither money nor a lot of time.
Let's look at some of the now:
- Yelp and other free pages. Yelp is a user-based site that allows consumers to rate and review any business or restaurant. Take over your business's Yelp page to make sure the information about it is accurate. Google Maps is another quality free tool that companies should use, as it will allow shoppers to find your store easier.
- Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. All you need is one person to manage your Facebook or Twitter page. And if you don't utilize these sites, recent polls have indicated that it could hurt you from a business standpoint.
- Email blasts to mass audiences. If you think this has already become an old-fashioned technique, think again. Email ads are still very effective at producing a follow-up action from customers.
If you're a small business owner, it's understandable that you're hesitant to adopt new marketing strategies. But if you don't invest in these methods, you're likely standing in the way of your own future business success.