How did small business owners market their businesses in 2017—and what do they plan to do differently in the coming year? Infusionsoft’s annual Small Business Marketing Trends Report has some answers, including both good and bad news for small business owners.
Small business owners’ top marketing goals are getting new customers (31%) and retaining existing customers (25%). To achieve these goals, 38% will budget more in 2018 for social media management, 30% will budget more for digital advertising and search engine optimization, and 24% will budget more for website analytics.
But while entrepreneurs are “embracing digital marketing to some extent,” the report says, there’s still a long way to go if small business owners want to stay competitive. For example, more than one-fourth of small business owners surveyed (28%) don’t plan to increase their digital marketing budgets at all in 2018. What’s worse, 15% don’t plan to use any type of digital marketing whatsoever.
Even when small business owners do implement digital marketing strategies, they don’t always know if they’re getting results. Almost half (46%) of entrepreneurs in the survey say they aren’t sure if their marketing strategies are effective—and 17% admit they know that their marketing isn’t working.
The biggest challenge small business owners face when it comes to digital marketing is simply finding enough time in their days to handle it. Given the constantly changing nature of digital marketing, this isn’t surprising. It’s hard enough for marketing specialists to keep pace with the latest industry trends—much less a busy small business owner.
What specific digital marketing tactics are small business owners using?
Social media management—49.3%Website analytics—35.7%Search engine optimization/digital advertising—28.2%Email marketing service—26.8%None of the above—23.8%Customer relationship management—20.9%Marketing automation—11.9%
Converting leads into sales is the second-biggest challenge small business owners in the survey face. Perhaps that’s because so few of them use CRM and marketing automation tools, the survey suggests.