When it comes to marketing, many SMBs still see value from such traditional methods as direct mail, door hangers, flyers, brochures, giveaways and newspapers. The average “core” SMB, in fact, is still spending $1,134 a year on such advertising and promotion, according to market researcher BIA/Kelsey.
But the appeal of digital (and mobile) increasingly beckons – especially for newer SMBs being started by millennials, who are getting closer to “digital only” in their personal consumption of media and commerce. Many of these SMBs are focusing more on digital channels – especially social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.
One reason: they provide free or cheap options, and are relatively easy to buy. BIA/Kelsey estimates that over 57.4 % of SMBs, for instance, are maintaining Facebook Pages; 28.7% maintain LinkedIn profiles; and 20.9 percent are up on Twitter.
HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill recently noted that “the young hotshots are a different breed" than the older SMBs in their 40s and 50s, who continue to buy print media and other traditional channels. The "hotshots" require a full arsenal of digital tools, he says.
But is it too soon for newer SMBs to go digital only? It probably is. As BIA/Kelsey has noted, “New businesses have a strong need to build their brand in local and companies who offer them direct targeted products will grow with them as they move from new to established businesses who spend more on advertising.”
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