Survey Results: Why Invest In Content Creation, Social Media For Small Businesses

Forward Push surveyed 100 American business owners (50 employees or less) to learn more about whether the benefits of content creation, automation and technology, social media for small and medium businesses, and other areas warranted a budget increase in 2015. This article is part of a series to take a closer look at the results, including the decided emphasis on content and technology.

Question: From content creation to social media, what areas will you increase your marketing budget in 2015?

Participants were asked to rank their multiple-choice answers from top to bottom. Based on average ranking, the overall results for small and medium marketing budget increases were as follows:

  1. Content Creation: 3.07
  2. Social Media Marketing: 3.11
  3. Email Marketing: 3.35
  4. Online Paid Advertising: 3.78
  5. Data & Analytics: 3.82
  6. Marketing Automation: 3.87

Analysis: Benefits Of Content Creation, Social Media, Online Tools

From a score perspective, these six items actually drilled down to three groups of very similar scores:

  • Group 1: Content creation and social media marketing
  • Group 2: Email marketing
  • Group 3: Online paid advertising, data & analytics, and marketing automation

content-creation-social-mediaGroup 1 and Group 2 focus on engaging potential and existing customers through different avenues. Content creation can mean many different things: online articles, blog posts, infographics, etc. Putting it at the top simply means that the benefits of content creation as a whole are apparent to the majority of small and medium business owners — that in the digital age, content is what drives customer engagement.

Social media provides similar opportunities for engagement, though on a more back-and-forth scale. Through social media, anything from quick bites to shared links to full online conversations with customers can take place. Like content creation, much of this drives customer engagement and promotes stronger brand awareness.

Though coming in third, email marketing is actually the most reliable online marketing method. Email accounts are tried and true, and while social media platforms vary based on trends, email accounts can stay with people for years, if not decades. Thus, Group 1 and Group 2 combine for a smart umbrella of building a brand.

Group 3’s choices are all based around online technology, and perhaps the reason why these are at the bottom stems from that very fact. Small and medium business owners have very little time as it is, and learning new tools (i.e., Google Analytics or a marketing automation system) can create a barrier to entry. Fortunately, most marketing firms should have a solid grasp of using and implementing these tools, either as a guiding hand for uncertain business owners or as an administrator for the technophobic.

Looking Ahead: Reap The Benefits Of Content Creation, Social Media

This survey shows that many small and medium business owners understand that the benefits of content creation and social media include stronger customer engagement and brand awareness. Forward-thinking business owners will execute on these areas swiftly in 2015, as today’s digital business world turns at a fast pace, meaning that mere weeks can help to make or break a brand.

Increased 2015 Spending Show Benefits Of Content Creation, Social Media is one of four parts breaking down Forward Push’s 2015 small business owners marketing survey. To learn more about how small and medium businesses are approaching their 2015 marketing needs, download the full guide.

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