Despite all the negative publicity of fake news serving up in social sites, Facebook has managed to remain in the good graces of many marketers during the holiday season. One study cites the social site as the favorite media in which to run campaign ads.
Findings released Wednesday show that 33% of marketers at small to mid-sized businesses cite Facebook as the primary digital marketing channel they use to promote or increase holiday sales. Some 17% of SMBs name their Web site; 11%, email; 8%, YouTube; and 7%, paid search, according to the GetResponse study of 200 SMBs released Wednesday.
The commissioned study examined digital marketing strategies among U.S.-based SMBs during the 2016 holiday season. Conducted between November 28 and December 1, 2016, the study focused on identifying the most popular holiday marketing channels and how they are used, as well as the most prevalent campaign challenges that SMBs must navigate.
"Increases in spending on video and social media and especially mobile advertising pushed estimates higher for all the industries" covered in a recent report from eMarketer. The research firm updated its benchmark estimates for industry-specific digital advertising outlays, noting that broad trends lifted spending across all sectors in 2016.
Overall, 60% of SMBs participating in the GetResponse survey said their digital marketing budgets grew this year, compared with 33% who said budgets remained the same, while 7% said budgets declined.
Most marketers will tell you that Facebook seems easier to manage, but when asked to cite their biggest challenge, identifying target audiences came in at No. 1 with 26% of the vote. Attribution and transparency followed at 19%, with content creation at 16%, data collection at 14%, and channel education at 10%.
Some 36% of those surveyed cited email -- the third-most popular holiday marketing channel among SMBs surveyed -- as the favorite channel to promote new product and services. Some 32% said they use email to share information on deals and discounts, while 13% use it to promote social accounts, 8% use it to share content like blogs and newsletters, and 6% use it to curb shopping cart abandonment.
Meanwhile, 76% of those polled cite digital video as being important to their holiday marketing strategy. Among them, 47% said video is "very important" and 29% called it "somewhat important." Only 11% said video was not important to their plans.