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Survey Shows Small Businesses are Going Digital

TMCnet Feature

May 14, 2014

Survey Shows Small Businesses are Going Digital

By David Gutbezahl
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Websites: the big businesses all have them, but what about the small businesses? To get attention today, a small business may need to be online. Whether it is just to provide basic information about their company, or to publicize deals and offers, digitization seems an important step in properly marketing a business. Webs, a subsidiary of Vistaprint N.V. that provides small businesses with a digital marketing platform, recently conducted a survey of 2,292 small businesses owners that revealed that small businesses are indeed jumping onto the digital bandwagon.

The “Webs Small Business Digital Usage Survey” revealed that 63 percent of those surveyed are indeed using digital products in order to market their businesses. The survey did not focus just on websites, though, as many use social media as their digital platform for marketing.

Sixty-one percent of small business owners said that they use, or plan to use, their own website. There were a few interesting finds among those who do have their own websites. It seems, most likely due to a desire to keep costs low, that small business owners take a strong DIY stance when it comes to running a website. 59 percent of those surveyed said that they created their small business' website with DIY tools. An even higher number is the amount of small business owners who act as their own webmasters. According to the survey, 80 percent of small business owners are their own webmasters.

Websites aren't just an afterthought for many small businesses either, as 43 percent of website owners admitted that they already picked the name of their website before or at the time of starting their own businesses.

Websites aren't enough though, as people need to be attracted to them. One of the important tools for doing so is through social media. Using social media, businesses are able to build brand awareness, without spending a high amount. Forty-six percent said that they use, or plan to use, a social media profile for marketing.

Among the most popular social media platforms, Facebook (News - Alert) seems to dominate the mind of small businesses. 88 percent said that they use Facebook for marketing. Following far behind in order, were LinkedIn (39 percent), Twitter (News - Alert) (31 percent), and Google+ (22 percent). Facebook also offers a targeted advertising platform that businesses can use. Sixty-five percent of those using Facebook for their social media marketing stated that they use or have considered using this advertising platform.

According to Webs' survey acceptance of digital marketing seems to be growing among small businesses. Most of those businesses (63 percent) state that their motivation in using digital tools is to draw in more customers. An interesting question not addressed by the survey is if these small business owners actually feel that digital marketing is working. Have they seen an increase in their clientele since they went digital, or are they just jumping on a bandwagon?

Edited by Alisen Downey

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