The great local business digital migration continues. Following up a year when small business pulled big bucks from print in favor of digital, biz owners are holding yet another digital bash in 2011 by increasing their online spending to market themselves by a stunning 29%, compared to a 4.5% increase for offline spending. So says a new report from the future-probing firm Borrell Associates, which feeds media titans with high-powered market research.
And you know all those sales calls you’ve been getting? Guess what. Other small business get ‘em too – an average of 22 calls per month. According to Cassino, small business owners answer or return less than 5 of those calls.
“The pitches from online ad sales reps have built to a cacophony,” says Kip Cassino, principal author of the Borrell report. “Business owners are being offered deals programs, online coupons, website banner ads, search engine optimization, splash pages, targeted Facebook ads, email ads, reputation management, online directory ads – all amounting to a totally new language bound to make their heads spin.” About 84% of small businesses plan some kind of spending this year to market themselves online.
And for more than half of them, the amount spent will represent an increase over last year. By comparison, while 88% still plan to advertise in local newspapers, the amount they’ll be spending is expected to drop. Last year the average local business spent about $12,000 on advertising; about 20% online.
The Borrell study also confirms a major small business move toward social media, even among businesses that do not have their own website. Apparently many business owners see social media participation as more important than having a storefront on the web.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.