America’s Smallest Businesses Get Hands-On with Digital Marketing

DIYAs more MarComm activities increasingly migrate to the web and to social media platforms, small businesses are increasingly taking a DIY approach in their marketing programs.

That’s the major takeaway from a survey of nearly 2,600 small business owners conducted by Insight By Design for Webs, a subsidiary of Vistaprint.

For purposes of the study, small businesses were defined as those having 10 or fewer employees.  The results of the field survey, which was conducted in the spring of 2014, were published in Vistaprint’s 2014 Digital Usage Study.

vistaprint-logoTwo-thirds of the small business respondents reported that they are actively using digital products to market their businesses.  Of those who have websites for their business, nearly 60% of them created their own websites using DIY tools.

An even larger proportion — 80% — act as their own webmasters.

Small businesses consider customer acquisition and generating new customer leads as the most important reasons for maintaining a web presence.

In the social media realm, Facebook is the most popular platform for promoting small businesses — so said nearly 90% of the survey respondents who are active in social media marketing.

Facebook is viewed as not only a vehicle for building brand awareness and acquiring new customers, but also for building a network of followers and engaging with them over time.

The survey’s respondents reported that all of the other major social platforms lag far behind Facebook in importance:

  • Facebook: ~88% consider it to be a highly important social media channel for their business
  • LinkedIn: ~39%
  • Twitter: ~31%
  • Google+: ~22%
  • Pinterest: ~20%
  • YouTube: ~17%

In line with its perceived importance as a marketing channel, about two-thirds of businesses that have Facebook business profiles are also engaged with paid advertising campaigns on the social platform — or are considering doing so.

No question, small businesses have concluded that social media marketing is the best way for them to create brand awareness and expand their reach in a very low-cost yet effective manner.  So don’t look for any slowdown in the adoption of social strategies going forward.

One thought on “America’s Smallest Businesses Get Hands-On with Digital Marketing

  1. … and speaking of do-it-yourself online marketing, I suspect do-it-yourself coding is around the corner.

    I recently saw it posited that the ability to code was now THE essential workplace skill; it purportedly separates those with a bright future from those headed down a dead-end road.

    Maybe.

    But my guess is, if they’re not already here, there soon will be Wix’s and Squarespaces for all sorts of IT applications. There’s already DWNLD.me that lets you build your own apps. Joe Doe won’t need to learn how to code to build, say, a formidable online database. Or his own LinkedIn. Joe will simply need to know what he wants to construct and what he wants it to look like. After a few hours with a tutorial, he’ll be able to build it himself. Or he’ll be able to tell his computer what he wants and sit back while the whole thing is built in front of his eyes. There will always be places for brilliant coders in Silicon Valley. But my guess is most people won’t need that skill set going forward.

    It won’t be too long before coding will suffer the same fate as web design.

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