In a business climate where online presence is more and more important, small and medium size businesses (SMBs) are targeting more money to be spent in their web presence in 2014, according to a recent study by e-Marketer.
The Top Priority for SMBs in 2014
Research has indicated that an increase in the online presence of companies, including even basic things like setting up online stores or websites in 2014, was a top priority for about 30% of SMB professionals who were surveyed.
The second highest priority for SMBs was automating marketing email function.
Only about 13% of companies were focusing on mobile optimization.
Everyone’s Doing It - Social Media Management
As a rule, managing a company’s social media presence, even with all the buzz in this area, does not account for the largest share of company money spent in their online presence. A low percentage of the budget in most companies is spent in social media management. We believe this is largely because of the difficulty of proving ROI from social activities as opposed to other digital marketing strategies like PPC and SEO.
While many SMBs are using social media more, they are not eager to bring in outside partners. Large companies assign social media and SEO to existing staff members or hire outside experts. Small and medium businesses, even with smaller budgets, have been projected to remain in play for online agencies, along with others, for some time.
Paid search engine advertising was a lower priority for many companies. Websites for smaller companies were the only places where most businesses planned to increase their spending in 2014. This may be because 50% of SMBs cite company websites as their most effective marketing or promotional method.
SMBs Spend More on Sites than Optimization for Mobile Users
Even as SMBs focus on company websites, they still struggle with sites that are not mobile-friendly.
70% of SMBs studied by Thrive Analytics had websites that were not optimized for mobile users.
Only about 27% of small businesses in the US offer a mobile version of their company sites for smartphone users.
As SMBs begin seeing improvements in the websites of their companies, a larger number of sites are expected to be optimized for potential customers who tune in on mobile devices.
Digital marketing efforts are only one place where SMBs tend to lag behind larger companies. In 2014, SMBs state that they plan to focus on building their online presence. It is not known exactly how long they will take to catch up with some of the newer technologies, including mobile.
For those Who Are Going Mobile
When SMBs do go mobile, almost 70% say that they will be using Facebook for the purposes of mobile marketing. 43% stated a similar interest in Twitter.
Over 45% of the population in the US will use mobile Internet at least on a monthly basis in 2014. This is predicted to rise to almost 66% by 2017. Smaller businesses are slower in going mobile, not only in advertising but also in basic areas like the creation of mobile-optimized websites, which would make the companies much more available to consumers who are always on the go.