GetResponse, an online marketing platform with more than 350,000 customers in 182 countries, just wrapped a commissioned study looking at digital marketing strategies from 200 small and medium business execs during the holiday season. The key finding? The most popular marketing tool was Facebook ads.
The study examined digital marketing strategies among U.S.-based SMBs during the 2016 holiday season. GetResponse focused on several areas, identifying the most popular marketing channels and how they are used, as well as the most prevalent campaign challenges small business owner must navigate.
According to a statement from GetResponse Founder and CEO Simon Grabowski, “SMBs recognize the growing importance of digital marketing in engaging customers and prospects.” In fact, “holiday budgets have increased 60% among those polled [which] underscores the value of digital for driving sales and revenue.”
Facebook Tops the List
While return on investment is still hard to figure out for many small business owners, they are spending money on social media platforms to advertise their stores, services, and products. When done properly, reports show that Facebook ads can help boost sales.
Among those surveyed, 33% named Facebook advertising as the digital marketing channel they primarily use to “promote or increase holiday sales.” “My website” (17%); “email” (11%); “YouTube” (8%); and “Google Pay-Per-Click” (7%) rounded out the top-five.
“Facebook has proven to be an impactful marketing platform for companies of all sizes,” added Grabowski. “Third-party research has confirmed it delivers the best ROI of any social media network. For that reason, it’s no surprise that SMBs are relying primarily on Facebook advertising.”
If you haven’t done so already, check out Facebook Businesses for resources, best practices, and success stories.
Digital Video is Important
In total, 76% of those polled said that digital video was “important” to their holiday marketing strategy. Among that group, 47% said that video was “very important,” and 29% said it was “somewhat important.” Alternatively, only 11% said that video wasn’t important to their plans.
“Digital video has quickly become a critical asset for SMBs,” noted Grabowski in a released statement. “They are acting accordingly, incorporating more video-focused initiatives into their marketing mix.” When asked what might be holding them back from embracing digital video as a bigger part of their holiday campaigns, resources (61%) and timing (38%) were cited as the primary roadblocks. Video is a resource-intensive asset, per GetResponse, it can require a considerable production process, which is usually outsourced to third-party agencies or creative shops. This raises costs.
Audience Targeting is Biggest Challenge
Asked to select the biggest marketing challenges, identifying target audiences was the top pick by more than a quarter at 26%. Followed by attribution and transparency, 19%; content creation, 16%; data collection, 14%; and channel education, 10%.
“As audience attention has fragmented online, identifying targets is harder than ever,” continued Grabowski. “A growing number of self-serve tools and automated marketing technology platforms have emerged that streamline that process while enabling improved results.”