Nearly 20 percent of small businesses expected to make greater use of email blasts
While many small and medium-sized businesses have been quick to embrace free postings on social media networks, one-fourth of those active on social networks expect to spend more money to advertise on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in 2014, according to the recently released Small Business Marketing Forecast by Ad-ology Research.
Nearly 80 percent of social small and medium-sized businesses plan to spend the same or more advertising on social media networks. While nearly 41 percent do not currently use promoted posts or sponsored tweets, 13.8 percent of small business owners plan to spend more on these platforms in 2014.
"The larger the business, the greater the use of advertising and targeted marketing tactics like email blasts," says C. Lee Smith, president/CEO of Ad-ology Research. "Small businesses with at least 25 employees aren't necessarily using social media to avoid advertising. They're more likely to actually advertise on these networks," he says.
Email marketing continues to be a priority among small and medium-sized businesses. More than three-fourths (78%) sent email blasts to clients and prospects in the past year, and nearly 20 percent plan to send even more in 2014. Use of an email service/platform (Constant Contact, MailChimp, et al.) continues to rise, with nearly 42 percent using an email platform - up from 31 percent last year.
Nearly 4 out of 10 small and medium-sized business owners who spend at least $1,000 per year on advertising indicate they will invest more in advertising in 2014. Nearly 21 percent of small and medium-sized businesses say they will allocate more funds to direct mail. Other forms of advertising expected to see the greatest increases in 2014 include: Display banner ads, online video, mobileadvertising, and suburban/community newspapers.
Other findings from the study show there is room for improvement in some areas
31.1 percent of small and medium-sized businesses still don't have a website; of the nearly 70 percent that do, more than 60 percent of them are not optimized for smartphones
Only 8.9 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are currently using online/mobile video
Nearly 40 percent have no plans to use customer testimonials in their marketing efforts in 2014
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