How do small business owners’ marketing priorities compare to those of midsized and larger companies? A study by j2 Global, reported in eMarketer, reveals that small business owners are struggling to keep up with bigger companies when it comes to new marketing technologies.
The top overall marketing priority for small businesses this year is a general increase in online presence. That includes setting up a business website or adding ecommerce capabilities to a site. The second priority is automating email marketing to reach customers more easily and effectively.
However, where small businesses are lagging behind is in mobile marketing. Just 13.4 percent said this was a priority, while for larger companies, it has been one of the key areas of focus.
Mobile marketing is something you can’t afford to ignore. Already eMarketer estimates that more than 45 percent of the U.S. population will use the mobile Internet at least once a month in 2014, and by 2017 that percentage is expected to rise to nearly two-thirds. Clearly, this is an area of huge opportunity. However, eMarketer notes, not only have small businesses been slow to adopt mobile marketing, but many haven’t yet taken such simple steps as making their business websites mobile-friendly.
The one area where small businesses are taking action when it comes to mobile is using mobile social media apps for marketing, the j2 Global study reports. More than two-thirds (69.8 percent) of small business owners either have used or plan to use Facebook mobile apps for marketing this year; 42.9 percent have used or plan to use mobile Twitter apps; 34.3 percent have used or plan to use mobile YouTube apps; and a surprising 16.4 percent have used or plan to use mobile Instagram apps.
What can you do to put your business on a level playing field with bigger companies?
- If you haven’t already got a business website, get one now!
- If you do have a business website, assess whether it’s still current and effective, or outdated and in need of a makeover.
- Is it time to add ecommerce to your website? With more consumers shopping “omnichannel”—both online and offline—these days, adding ecommerce can only help your business grow.
- Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tactics for small business owners, so focus on fine-tuning yours to drive sales.
- Don’t neglect mobile marketing. Start by making sure your business website and email marketing messages are mobile-friendly. Once you have these bases covered, move on to using mobile social apps, then explore mobile marketing methods such as SMS and location-based marketing.
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