Infographic: Trends in Small Business Marketing

Small businesses, as we’ve witnessed time and again, are the most agile businesses out there. In their marketing and advertising efforts too, they’re quicker to latch onto solutions which cost less, and provide more business value. But they’re also the ones that experiment the most at times.

The Manifest conducted a survey with more than 500 small businesses in the US and the trend and patterns are clear; SMBs are thinking about future proof, efficient, digital methods to conduct marketing and advertising activities. In fact, a lot of them have quite unsurprisingly started acting on them, learning from other small businesses and entrepreneurs in their networks, and converging around solutions that are more promising.

Look at the infographic below to get a good picture of what steps your small business should be taking to maximize ROI on advertising. 

Small businesses are planning on increasing expenditure on digital advertising. Traditional advertising methods such as radio, tv, banners, and events can cost a lot. If the advert doesn’t get a lot of eyeballs on it, and events fall flat, that can be good investments gone down the drain. With the decline of print mediums, it makes less and less sense to bet on getting leads from print ads. Paid social media ads aren’t cheap either, but posting honest, helpful, and visually appealing content often doesn’t cost a lot, and allows small businesses to build their brand, get more website views, get actionable leads. 

37% SMBs spend less than $10,000 on advertising. Small business marketing is about using finances in the best way possible. On average a big business might spend at least 8 times that on advertising. This means a small business might invest more in resources, to be able to do all marketing inhouse. Trends show that there is a movement towards digital marketing, with social media being the most widely used, and then online ads coming in second.

43% of small businesses say that social media helps them achieve most of their business goals. These can take the form of brand awareness, website hits, or sales conversions. Facebook business marketing takes the lion’s share of such efforts, where small businesses employ paid, or unpaid marketing plans to help them get attention, engagement, and drive traffic to their commercial platforms. 

Related: Learn to set up Facebook for business in 7 simple steps.

These three statistics paint a clear picture; small businesses are clever spenders, who are moving from traditional forms of marketing towards digital marketing to bring get recognized, and bring in more customers. At the same time, digital marketing allows them greater transparency, cheaper ads, and often does not require external help to employ. 


Even though small businesses can experiment more and adapt quicker, they need branding, marketing, and advertising that is efficient, and effective in terms of ROI, and actionable leads generated if that is the goal. This by no means says that traditional marketing forms are extinct; their usefulness takes on different forms in the business landscape. Flashy ads in magazines and newspapers need repetition to have recall, which can cost quite a lot. Events, brochures and banners might always be effective based on footfall, but the edge digital marketing will have in being able to optimize ad placement based on analytics available on consumer behavior is something traditional marketing will struggle to match.

In any case, there is a right balance to be found for small businesses, which can always be different for different types of businesses, but the trends are clear.



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