Small businesses are way past the point of ignoring digital. Nearly all have a website, and many are even getting on board with more recent trends in digital marketing like using tech to automate email and other processes. eMarketer has curated this Roundup, presented by Citrix ShareFile, to help small businesses and their partners understand where they fit in to the digital landscape.
According to July 2016 research by RevLocal, nearly two in five small businesses in the US planned to increase their marketing budget over the next year, while just 5.4% had plans to cut marketing spending. Based on other research into effective marketing platforms for these businesses, digital will see significant spending increases, says the report.
Expected Change in Marketing Budget According to U.S. SMBs, July 2016
% of Respondents
Stay the same
Source: eMarketer.com, July 2016
Websites and word-of-mouth are the top ways small businesses promote themselves, according to June 2016 research from Endurance International Group. Nearly 90% of small-business professionals surveyed around the world said they had a website, and 76% said word-of- mouth was key to promotions, pointing up the value of both digital and traditional forms of marketing for SMBs.
In the Endurance International Group survey, 65% of respondents said they used social media marrying traditional word-of-mouth with the digital world.
Facebook and LinkedIn are the top social platforms for small businesses in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and US, according to June research from The Alternative Board (TAB). That survey found that 82% of respondents used social media for marketing, and nearly two-thirds used Facebook and LinkedIn, says the report.
Social networks like Snapchat had only been taken up by tiny shares of SMBs, while 11% used Instagram and 9% had latched on to Pinterest.
It was the older networks that respondents pointed to as most effective. 38% named LinkedIn, and 32% cited Facebook, as the best for advancing their strategic goals. Just 1% each pointed to Pinterest and Instagram, sticking to where the largest share of their customers are.
Small Businesses Worldwide that Have a Social Media Presence, by Platform,
% of respondents
Source: eMarketer, Small Business Marketing Roundup, June 2016
Based on polling by marketing automation platform Salesfusion, reports eMarketer, more than two-thirds of B2B marketers in the US with less than $100 million in revenues were investing in marketing automation to enhance their ability to nurture leads. That made lead nurture the No. 1 reason for these B2B SMBs to spend on marketing automation technology.
Marketing automation promises to help SMBs handle leads better all around, from capture through nurture, down the funnel to a conversion and beyond, says the report. According to LinkedIn research conducted by to Market Cube in January 2016, relationship-building tools, and sales intelligence tools, were the most effective technologies for increasing revenues. Along with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, they came in ahead of technologies like productivity apps and email tracking tools.
Reasons for Investing in Marketing Automation According to U.S. B2B SMB Marketers, March 2016
Investing in Automation
% of respondents
Ability to nurture leads
Increase lead volume
Improve lead quality
Automate lead scoring and management
Improve ability to show ROI of marketing activities
Gain insight into buyer's journey
Consolidate marketing processes and tools
Increase lead velocity
Source: Salesfusion, "The SMB Marketing Automation Blue Book," May, 2016
Lead nurture campaigns are getting better, with improved personalization and targeting, and they’re almost universal, says the report. According to July 2015 research, 81% of U.S. B2B marketers of all sizes had early-stage lead nurture campaigns. Later research, conducted in November 2015 by DemandWave, found that 57% of U.S. B2Bs also had email nurture programs for leads that were not yet ready for sales.
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