We know in this age of “digital disruption” that staying up to date with technology is essential to running a successful business. For small and mid-sized businesses, taking advantage of digital platforms is crucial to staying competitive and leveling the playing field.
This applies to online marketing; if you don’t have a strong online presence, you risk being left behind.
New research shows that small and mid-sized companies are using digital platforms extensively, for everything from lead generation, brand building/creating awareness, communicating with customers and partners, and selling.
Among the 1,000 businesses surveyed:
- 84% use at least one digital platform to reach customers.
- 80% use at least one platform to show products and services, as well as to advertise.
- 79% use digital tools to communicate with customers and suppliers.
- 75% use these platforms for sales.
Statistics from 2016 show that Canadian businesses are following suit, with 83% of companies in Canada using social media engagement to connect with their audiences.
Focusing on Facebook
The first study looked at Facebook specifically, and how businesses are taking advantage of new features that enhance marketing and selling efforts: 60% of the businesses surveyed use Facebook to support marketing and sales processes.
Among those using Facebook:
- 32% built their businesses on the platform.
- 39% prefer to send customers to their Facebook page rather than their website.
- 67% said that the platform helps them grow.
- 56% said that Facebook has increased their sales.
In addition to boosting growth and sales, 42% of the businesses on Facebook said that since joining the platform, they have been able to hire more employees due to increased demand for products and services.
Obstacles to Implementing Digital Technology
Although businesses are increasingly using social media to connect with their audiences, there are obstacles: 57% of respondents said that lack of familiarity with the digital tools available is a challenge. With all the platforms available today, it makes sense that many business owners are unsure of how to use them strategically. You may be familiar with some of these hurdles yourself; whether it’s confusion about which technologies to use for what purpose, not knowing what kind of content to share, or simply not having enough time to devote to consistently executing a social marketing strategy.
The Impact on Your Business
As adoption of these powerful communications tools continues to advance, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to use them in a strategic way. Consumers are using social platforms to research and connect with companies—and if they can’t find you, or you don’t provide the information they are searching for online, they will look to your competitors.
With all the integrated marketing and selling tools available on platforms like Facebook, it’s more possible than ever for small and mid-sized businesses to build their brand online.
If you’re not already using social platforms to grow your business, now is the time to explore your options. The clock is ticking!
Core Online Marketing is an outsourced online marketing agency for small and mid-sized businesses. Contact us to accelerate your online marketing activities!
Self-assess your current online marketing strategies with our Online Marketing Audit Checklist.
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