Small businesses, those with less than $1 million in annual revenue, are so focused on sales growth that they’ve lagged behind larger businesses when it comes to developing their digital marketing drycleanergoodexpertise. The State of Digital Marketing for SMBs, by Vocus, finds that SMBs have conquered a few digital marketing tools. However, the leaders are learning that expertise in custom content, paid search, social,  and mobile will help them stay ahead of the competition.

All SMBs surveyed for this study say their top digital tools and those with the most effectiveness are:

  • Website 86.6%
  • Social media 77.3%
  • Email for promotion 65.8%
  • SEO 53.8%

In total, these companies spend under $100,000 a year on marketing. The percentage of the total marketing budget that is assigned to digital breaks out as follows:

  • Under 10% 21.7%
  • 10%-24% 16.1%
  • 25%-49% 11.4%
  • 50%-74% 14.4%

To back up their effort in digital, about 36% of SMBs with over $1 million in annual revenue are assigning between 2 and 5 staff members to these tasks while the average for all companies in this group is 1 staff person.

Vocus analysts report that 90% of surveyed SMBs intend to increase digital marketing over the next 3 years. Some experts believe the increase will be substantial, “doubling in the next three to five years.”

The survey revealed that larger SMBs, those with over $1 million in annual revenue pay closer attention to metrics and benchmarks. These enterprises want to know how many leads are generated (43%), the number of unique visitors (47.7%) and total leads converted (44.2%) as a result of their digital campaigns. The analysts say that when SMBs focus on these details, sales grow. In addition, they encourage SMBs to expand their social efforts and leverage these connections to increase sales. The “personal connection” …”delivers a customer experience previously unattainable with traditional marketing.”

If you’re working with SMBs, do you agree that they lag behind larger businesses when it comes to effectively using and monitoring digital formats like social media?