The SMB latest Internet Marketing Survey from BrightLocal shows the continued value that small and medium-size business owners place upon internet marketing. The marketing company’s annual survey of businesses with 1-to-50 employees shows that 75% believe internet marketing is either effective or very effective in attracting new customers. This compares with only 68% of those surveyed in the 2013 survey. The results of the 2014 study show that internet marketing is becoming a critical element in the marketing campaigns of growing small businesses.
SMBs a Rich Area of Potential Business for Search Marketers
One figure from the survey that surprised many in the marketing industry was the number of SMBs currently engaging in online marketing. One third of the small business leaders surveyed still allot less than 10% of their marketing budgets to the online marketplace. This represents an area of potential growth for search marketing agencies, and shows that targeting and prequalifying candidates for online campaigns is the ideal approach for success in the coming year. And this area of rich potential is highlighted by the fact that 37% of those surveyed said they would be increasing their online marketing budget in the coming year. This figure compares with 21% who said they would be increasing their online marketing budget in last year’s survey. It appears that many brands are becoming more aware of the value of online marketing campaigns.
Search Ranking Still a Critical Success Metric
When asked about the success metrics with which they were most concerned, small business leaders said that search rankings and online traffic were second and third only to phone calls to their business. The number of walk-in customers is now lower down on the success metric scale than these two web-based metrics. Again, this data points to the value of the services offered by search marketing agencies and highlights a growing recognition of the connection between rankings and online business success.
In reviewing the latest data from the BrightLocal survey, it’s clear the growing companies are placing greater emphasis on the online marketplace as a source for new business. With this increasing awareness of the online market and its value, marketers are now in a position to work with local companies to help them achieve online prominence using the latest search marketing strategies.