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Manifest Survey: Small Businesses Plan to Increase Investment in Social Media Marketing This Year

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Manifest Survey: Small Businesses Plan to Increase Investment in Social Media Marketing This Year

Manifest Survey: Small Businesses Plan to Increase Investment in Social Media Marketing This Year

social media

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of small businesses intend to increase their investment in social media marketing this year, according to a recent survey from The Manifest. In fact, the findings show that more businesses plan to invest in digital marketing than in traditional marketing:

survey small business

The survey found that most small businesses (89 percent) invest in marketing in one form or another. Thirty-five percent prefer digital marketing, compared to 31 percent who prefer traditional channels.

"Traditional marketing involves print, billboard, direct mail, flyers, TV, or radio ads that easily reach large target audiences. Businesses can specify who sees their traditional marketing efforts by distributing and airing advertisements in certain areas and based on specific interest groups, such as who reads a magazine or watches a TV show," explains The Manifest in its report. "Still, traditional marketing has become less mainstream due to cost and delay. While digital marketing has the advantage of sending at the click of a button, traditional marketing takes time to create and distribute."

Ninety-five percent will increase their spending on digital marketing this year. The Manifest sees this as an indication of higher return-on-investment for digital.

Beyond the 63 percent increasing their investment in social media marketing, 54 percent intend to increase spending on website efforts. Thirty-five percent will increase the amount of dollars allocated to search engine optimization (SEO).

Roughly three-quarters (73 percent) of small businesses are already investing in social media, the survey found. That compares to just under half (49 percent) for SEO. This suggests that businesses aren't finding as much value in SEO compared to other digital marketing channels. Only a third (34 percent) are investing in video marketing, which many have viewed as a major rising force in digital marketing in recent years. Just 27 percent intend to invest more, although The Manifest notes that video marketing can be "extremely lucrative" for small businesses.

The only digital marketing channel that is currently rivaling social media for small business marketing dollars is website marketing (also at 73 percent). Email marketing is still a major channel as well, with 57 percent of small businesses investing in it.

survey advertising

Separately, The Manifest released results from a survey on advertising, which found that over 90 percent of small businesses will increase ad spend this year. Currently, over half (57 percent) spend less than $50,000 annually on advertising. Millennial business owners spend the most, with the survey finding that 61 percent of them spend more than $50,000 on advertising annually, while 52 percent of baby-boomer business owners are spending less than $10,000. The discrepancy is attributed to millennials having grown up being exposed to both traditional and digital advertising, making them more willing to spend on both channels.

As a whole, small businesses will increase spending on various advertising channels. Fifty-six percent plan to spend more on social media advertising, and 41 percent will increase spending on Google search, banner, and retargeted ads.


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