In a study by American Express, more than half percent of small business owners surveyed reporting needing help carrying out their search marketing strategy. In association with SEO expert SEMPO, the credit card company found that 56 percent that plan to allocate marketing budgets toward search or social media advertising in 2011 said they needed assistance in implementing their actual campaigns. One in five claim to let a staff member handle their marketing activity in this area, in addition to carrying out other responsibilities.
The survey, which was conducted by Echo Research, asked 400 small US business owners who use digital marketing channels for their opinions on how well it worked for them. Results showed that businesses which plan on using online marketing this year anticipate spending on average $5,260 on search or social media advertising. Those businesses that do not plan to spend any of their budgets in this area made up 19 percent, while 66 percent reported new customers having found them through search engines, compared to 82 percent who attributed word of mouth as the main source of potential leads.
Of the businesses surveyed, three-quarters said plans are in place to add some kinds of online marketing this year, with 36 percent with plans to add a company website, 29 percent with plans for a social media strategy and 23 percent with plans to add some kind of search engine optimization strategy this year. The study found the most common online marketing technique was company websites at 86 percent; second was social media at 44 percent.