Following our latest Hot Topics debate, this blog wanted to look further in detail about the initial digital marketing boom and how it will affect small business marketing over the next 12 months.
It is true that 2012 has been an insane year for SMB marketing on the Web. With more multi-platform devices available, and BYOD culture taking precedence in most companies, there will be an expected 40% spend increase over the next year. Who’s excited? Digital marketing and PR agencies, certainly.
Lind Fulkerson, KDH Digital Services operations coordinator, is from one of the many developing digital agencies, and believes small business owners need to market themselves accordingly and online is the way to do that: “We want to teach small-business owners how to present the right message to the right audience at the right time.”
By reading some statistics, it is obvious why there are so many digital agencies popping up with 91% of online adults using social media regularly, 73% of smartphone users accessing social networks at least once a day and almost 50% of B2B companies using LinkedIn actively. These figures show that hitting the right audience is key.
As a small business owner, you should take time to learn about social media and how inbound marketing can help business grow. Building a strategy is fundamental, and then executing that strategy is even more worthwhile. With limited funds, targeting a specific area can be worthwhile such as social media.
The growth in local digital media services has increased the audience fragmentation. While a local business could put an ad in a Yellow Pages book (Remember them?) and be confident that they were going to a hit a big percent of its market, today local markets have to cobble together media buys across multiple channels to get the same audience. Loads more work, but it can be rewarding.
Many communication platforms are available to aid small businesses to achieve better results and awareness. Many of communication, marketing and sales challenges faced by small businesses is resource and the ability to communicate.
However, there is a downside. With more digital spend and execution, it will mean more digital problems. Plan ahead. Especially with the ever-increasing mobile platforms.
Many small business are falling behind in mobile commerce as well as other mobile platforms. The bottom line is companies are ill equipped to capitalise on the growing mobile commerce opportunities being driven by consumer mobile usage and smartphone proliferation.
“Some experts are predicting smartphones and tablets will account for around one-third of all website visits this coming holiday shopping season,” said Umesh Tibrewal, CEO, vSplash. “According to our current data, nearly all SMBs will be challenged to capitalise on this mobile commerce opportunity due to their incompatible websites.”
SMB marketing could be made even easier with its cross-collaboration on devices. This makes Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 even more exciting. The new software can be used across all devices, meaning that social media monitoring, sending emails and sharing documents can be made even easier.
What do you think? Is SMB digital marketing on the up? How big will it get? Comment here or interact with us through Twitter - @MicrosoftSB