Last week we wrapped up a survey of our 15,000 users. In the survey we wanted to learn more about how these small businesses are marketing themselves online, who is doing the work, how much time they are spending on their online marketing in hopes of finding new ways to help them become more efficient with their time and money.
In the next few weeks we will deep dive into the results, but today I wanted to shared with you 4 high-level takeaways we see in the data:
1. 86% of small businesses do not use data to make smarter decisions
When it comes time to decide what content to write about in blogs, emails, social media and press releases – most respondents told us that gut feel guides their strategy.
In today’s age of high technology – this is a surefire way to miss out on customer opportunities. When you take advantage of tools like BoostSuite, you can gain the upper hand over your competition by only spending your time creating content on topics that the data shows working.
2. 81% of small business create different content for their websites, newsletters, and social media
Spending time to create unique content in each of these channels is really not required as a small business. 58% of respondents told us they spent over 2 hours creating each new piece of content.
That is almost an entire day for an email newsletter, a blog article and some social posts.
To be smarter with your online marketing – create blog articles each week, make your social posts about your blog articles and create your email newsletter with those articles (an intro paragraph, plus blog headlines, short intro blurbs and links to the full text of each article makes for a great and efficient newsletter). Do these regularly and you will find the time spent on your online marketing will be less – with improved results.
3. 74% of small business have never worked with a partner
Nobody likes working by themselves – and your online marketing should be no different. DIY is dead – DIT is the new way (Do It Together).
Your online marketing is more efficient when you can reach beyond your core audience to those of other businesses with potentially overlapping customers. Let’s say you are a wedding planner and your friend is a baker who makes wedding cakes. Creating content for your friend’s blog about wedding planning benefits you both. It gives her fresh content and it exposes her readers to your business. You both win.
Think about who you know that has a business that complements yours. Reach out to them and agree to trade content on a regular basis – once a month or so at least. Then watch as your website traffic grows!
4. Email isn’t dead – but 35% of small businesses think it is
89% of respondents post a new piece of web content at least once a month and 85% post to social media each month too. However only 65% do email marketing in any given month.
Email is still one of the most effective and low-cost channels to use with your online marketing. Your email marketing list consists of people who have either purchased from you in the past or have signaled an interest in your products and services by opting into your newsletter list. In fact, you should consider the recipients of your newsletters to be the best leads your business has.
By not communicating with them on a regular basis, you are missing out on a great opportunity to grow your online marketing. See # 2 above for any easy way to create your email newsletter each month with your existing website content.
Did our survey results give you any ideas about how to be smarter with your online marketing? Let us know in the comments field below.
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