What’s Your Marketing Plan of Attack for 2014?

Is your small business getting ready to shift your marketing budget from traditional advertising to digital media?

According to a recent study by Borrell Associates, the balance of small business marketing spending still goes to traditional channels. For example, 22 percent of small and midsized (SMB) businesses’ marketing budget currently goes to newspaper advertising, while just 19 percent goes to digital advertising. But Borrell predicts by mid-2014, SMBs will spend more on digital marketing than on print.

Here’s some of what the study found, MediaPost reports:

  • Facebook is driving the shift to digital marketing. A whopping 83 percent of small businesses already use Facebook, Borrell found, and that number is projected to increase. That’s a significant climb from the 64 percent who used Facebook just two years ago.
  • Small business owners still rely on Google as a marketing tool, but while Google has become more of a staple in the marketing budget, Facebook’s share of budget is growing. A Borrell survey earlier this year found 53 percent of small businesses advertised on Facebook.
  • What’s not growing? The use of daily deal sites. Borrell found 77 percent of small businesses never use these marketing tools. Even among the small percentage that do, fewer than half are satisfied with their results.

How do your marketing plans measure up compared to the small businesses in Borrell’s survey? What should you do to keep pace with your competitors?

Investigate online advertising. If you haven’t already tested the waters, now is the time to try online advertising. As the survey shows, online pay-per-click advertising like Google AdWords is something many small businesses can’t do without. If you haven’t used these tools before, the good news is Google offers tons of tips and advice to make it easy. Plus, you can completely control your ad budget so you don’t end up spending too much. Cover your bases by using Yahoo! Bing Ads too so you can catch customers who don’t search on Google.

If your business is active on Facebook, Facebook ads are another affordable way to expose your business to new prospects. Facebook allows you to target prospects extremely narrowly—by region, demographics and many other factors, so you can pay only for the ads that are seen by people likely to become customers. You can develop ads based on specific goals, such as driving clicks to your website, getting more likes or creating website conversions. Finally, you can set a very specific budget to ensure you won’t go over your limit.

The best news about online advertising is it’s easy to measure results and see if your ads actually drive traffic to your website, increase your “likes” or otherwise get results. Use the free analytics tools that online advertising sites provide to review your results and tweak your ad campaigns as needed.

Need more help developing your marketing plan for 2014? Your SCORE mentor can guide you. If you don’t have a mentor, visit www.score.org to get matched with one today.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="http://www.growbizmedia.com/" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia">GrowBizMedia.com</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/rieva" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="https://www.score.org/author/Rieva-Lesonsky/all-posts" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


As for me, it is Facebook and

As for me, it is Facebook and Instagram. While Facebook has a growing number of active users, there is also an increasing number of mobile Internet users and Android/iOS users. Thus, I think Instagram will also make a killing this year.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question ensures you are a human visitor to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.