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Small Businesses Plan to Increase Digital Marketing Spending This Year

Digital MarketingMost marketers today know the importance of going digital to reach the modern audience, since sticking to only traditional media is no longer cutting it. Apparently, not all small business owners were previously aware of this, but the good news is that they’re getting there. According to eMarketer, a few recent studies found that small business owners plan to invest more money than ever into digital marketing this year. Here’s more on what those studies say about digital marketing spending in 2017.

Digital Marketing vs Traditional Marketing Spending

In January 2017, Thrive Analytics asked small businesses about their plans for digital marketing spending for the rest of the year. About 40 percent said they will increase their budget, while 57 percent said they will spend about the same as usual. When asked how their budget looks for traditional media, 30 percent said they will increase it, while 61 percent will keep it the same.

For this study, digital media includes online advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, online videos, and internet yellow pages. On the other hand, traditional media includes the yellow pages, radio ads, TV ads, newspaper ads, and direct mail.

Which Types of Digital Media Will SMBs Spend Money On?

In particular, the study by Thrive Analytics found that most small businesses will be focusing their digital marketing spending on paid search, video, and mobile marketing. About 47 percent will focus more on paid search, while 48 percent will spend more on video and over 50 percent will increase their budget for mobile ads.

eMarketer found that a similar study confirmed the Thrive Analytics’ results. In December 2016, Infusionsoft conducted its own study among small business owners. It found that the top marketing channel that SMBs will spend more money on is social media, with about 56 percent of survey respondents saying they would increase their budget on this tool. Of course, most businesses already use social media, with Facebook being the most popular option. Twitter and Instagram are the other platforms that are most popular among small businesses according to eMarketer.

Second on Infusionsoft’s list of marketing channels that will see increased spending this year is digital advertising. About 32.6 percent of SMBs plan to spend more on that this year. The others on the list include the following:

  • Search engine optimization – 31.5 percent
  • Email marketing – 26.1 percent
  • Print ads and direct mail – 21.2 percent
  • Content marketing – 19 percent

Clearly, most of these are some form of digital media, so you can expect to see more SMB budgets devoted to various online marketing tactics. Do your marketing plans for this year match the results of these studies? I’d love to know.


Eric Vidal
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Eric Vidal

Chief Content Officer at The Marketing Scope
Eric is the Chief Content Officer of The Marketing Scope and Editor at Converge, both BMG properties. He is also the acting SVP of Marketing at BMG and has ran marketing for companies of all sizes. He has extensive experience working to achieve measurable business results for organizations like IBM, Cisco, WebEx, Canon USA, Capgemini, adidas, Subaru, SAP and more. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn
Eric Vidal
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