Yeah, yeah – we all know the saying “You gotta spend money to make money.” Unfortunately, for many, this is a tough motto to follow for many smaller companies when they’re considering their annual budgets.
This is when it’s time for them to take a good hard look at their financial status and figure out how they can spend less and profit more, and online marketing for SMB’s (small to medium-sized businesses) often gets wrongly ignored.
The question is: Where will SMB’s invest their marketing budget in 2017, given all their budget priorities?
I own a small business myself, and I know very well how vital it is create an accurate plan that can strictly regulate my business’s finances.
In my years of owning and operating an online marketing business, I’ve realized that building a practice for budgeting concerns is the absolute most effective way to keep your company’s finances in check.
It’s so important to remember, even when times are rough, how imperative the marketing portion of your budget is for your company’s guaranteed survival.
The key is to never ever stop promoting your business, even if your finances turn out to be much more limited than you expected.
If your marketing budget is minuscule, you have to make intelligent choices when it comes to your priorities in determining how much of your budget should be allocated to marketing; not just in general, but focused on the critical factors of marketing online.
To achieve success in the competitive and cramped markets of today, we have assembled three reasons why online marketing should be a priority for SMBs in 2017.
1. Competition in online marketing is rapidly increasing.
While more and more businesses allot their cash for marketing online, radio and television, the competition online is growing and getting more and more fiery.
A recent Survery Report from CMO revealed the fact that spending on traditional advertising is on the decline, while spending on digital marketing is on a rapid increase.
Additionally, a survey by StrongView and Selligent on marketing trends was done late 2015 and discovered that even though marketing budgets were raised overall by business leaders for 2016, online marketing channels were higher on the spectrum compared to traditional.
Under 14% of the companies that were surveyed had a plan to increase their marketing spending for print, radio and television advertisements, meanwhile the better part of companies surveyed had a plan to increase their budgets in the four key areas: social media, email marketing, mobile marketing, and online display advertising.
A staggering 42% of those surveyed had plans to budget a larger amount to marketing search (PPC and SEO).
The budgets for social media marketing are on the incline as well. Social Media Examine released their 2016 SMMIndustry Report, and if deciphered that more than 63% of companies and marketers alike had a plan to increase spending on Facebook and YouTube marketing.
If you own a SMB and plan to compete with the big boys, you need to take a long hard look at your budget and see just how far you can stretch your online marketing money, while maintaining a special focus on creating customized content for your clientele.
While businesses go on designating more and more spending towards digital channels, these areas will be rendered that much more competitive.
2. The bountiful benefits of online marketing for SMB’s.
Compared to traditional advertising, online marketing can open up worlds of advantage for your business.
It can offer a high return on investment, much higher than traditional approaches because of its generally low cost of channels online like socials, and also the capability to adapt based on the data collected from social platforms and Google. Additionally, compared to traditional marketing, online marketing reaches a much larger number of consumers at a much lower cost to you.
Let’s think about other perks to online marketing as well. Specific metrics can be easily tracked on each of your campaigns, to grant very valuable and specific feedback.
However, no matter what size, any business can prove to be a solid competition with a strong marketing plan. This is again because of the low cost of online channels, and also the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing on search and socials.
You can gain quick advances to your SMB’s business through these, compared to the long down out waits that usually come along with traditional.
We should also never undervalue the viral aspect that comes along with the internet. With traditional marketing one must wait around to pass out their flyers, for their ads to be made public on tv and in the newspapers, etc.
In the case of social media, you have things like share buttons, that can instantly connect you and your business to potential consumers in mere seconds.
3. Online marketing a huge draw for SMB’s.
Some SMB’s are still abstaining completely from marketing online, why is this? In a recent survey of 300 SMB’s done by LSA, it was discovered that the main reason is simple; a measly budget.
When they were asked how they’d carry out marketing given a higher allowance, the preference towards digital marketing was top in the priorities list, with SEO and PPC (paid search) the biggest focuses.
This survey also concluded that half of SMB’s would sink their budget into SEO if they had twice their budget, while about 40% of them would have sunk it into PPC.
Out of the leftover channels, 37% of SMB’s claimed they would devote more to websites, 29% said they would invest in social media, and 28% said they would lean towards CRM tools.
These results actually mirror the behaviours of consumers, since search engines and websites are considered the driving forces for potential consumers searching locally.
Finally, as all the SMB’s are settling on their budgets for 2017, they will most likely discover the numerous advantages to investing more of their advertising budget in marketing, as opposed to more short-term benefits that apply from reducing it.
As more and more SMB’s move their money over to online marketing, they will surely see more devoted customers visiting their websites, reading and rating their services and products, purchase them, and also provide them with feedback that is beneficial to the market.
It won’t take long at all for digital marketing to create great publicity and have a positive impact on the future of your blossoming business, as well as give you an impressive return on investment.
Recently, a survey of 200 retail marketing exec’s in charge of budget decisions proved to prefer online marketing. More than three-quarters logged a higher ROI through online advertising compared to the traditional.
If your SMB budget grants you the opportunity to invest in a few things, keep in mind that quality content on your websites, blogs and social media, ranks highest.