Small Business Internet Marketing is Gaining Traction

BY Kathy Crosett
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Now more than ever, local small to medium-​sized businesses (SMBs) believe in the power of digital marketing. Before the pandemic set our economy back, The Manifest 2020 Small Business Digital Marketing Survey found that local operators, 76%, strongly believed that small business internet marketing was helping them achieve their goals.

These goals ranged from getting high quality leads (14%) to converting high quality leads (19%). Some of this lead activity will be generated by increased web traffic (17%) and increased customer engagement (14%). Going into 2020, SMBs had a stronger balance sheet than they probably have now. As your clients struggle to emerge from the historic shutdown, they are likely assessing how they can get the most return on their small business internet marketing investment.

Small Business Internet Marketing Fields of Interest

Social Media

For many operators, social media outreach is an affordable strategy. Over 80% of SMB owners currently use some form of social media. And this year, 26% of baby boomer SMB owners will increase their social media use, as will 31% of Gen X SMB owners, as part of their small business internet marketing plan. Social platforms allow businesses to inexpensively show off their reviews and ratings. And if any of those reviews are less than stellar, marketers can also show, in a very public way, how attentive they are to client concerns.

Email Marketing

The true workhorse of digital outreach in small business internet marketing continues to be email marketing. At least 54% of SMBs will ramp up email marketing this year. Overusing email, especially during the current pandemic, can turn off consumers. They don’t want to be flooded with messages that don’t benefit them personally. Sure, your clients want to boast about how they're supporting essential workers these days. But their message could be much more powerful if a customized email offer allows customers to choose exactly how they want their favorite vendors to demonstrate social responsibility when they purchase something. The benefit of email marketing for your clients is that they can keep costs down while engaging in promotional pitches.

Print Marketing

Because consumers have been overwhelmed with email messages, some businesses find that print marketing can deliver a solid return on investment. The Manifest survey indicates that 63% of SMBs use some from of print advertising — ranging from direct mail to flyers. Consumers who have been social isolating will appreciate finding something in their mailboxes and they’ll likely remember the business that is offering a limited time promotion when it’s time to shop.

The Power of Digital Marketing

SMBs are looking for ways to save money while they rebuild their cash flows that were dinged during the shutdown. They'll use the power of small business internet marketing to help in this process. For now, 63% are using in-​house staff members who are not subject matter experts. Another 36% use freelancers and 20% rely on outside agencies. You can sell them your digital marketing services, once you prove that your expertise will make a difference. To start, run a Digital Audit on AdMall by SalesFuel.