A new survey of small businesses has found that the majority plan to spend more on marketing next year than they have in 2018.
The study of 500 small business decision-makers, conducted by 1st Choice Marketing, has found that social media is set to be the most important marketing tool for small firms next year.
The survey shows that the top six marketing priorities for UK small businesses in 2019 are:
- Social media (39%);
- SEO (35%);
- Paid search (27%);
- Email marketing (25%);
- Public relations (19%);
- Influencer marketing (18%).
However, the findings also show that more than two-fifths of SMEs admit that they are not confident about their marketing strategy. Reflecting on their marketing activity in 2018, 43% said that they were struggling with it. When asked why, 31% put it down to not spending enough and 22% felt it was due to being unsure of what they were doing.
The majority of those polled (89%) said they plan to spend more next year on marketing activity; the average increase in marketing budget is set to be 52%, according to the findings. Only 3% said they do little or no marketing activity.
The survey has also found that 54% of businesses currently outsource some aspects of their marketing activity, either to agencies, consultants or freelancers, whilst 43% handle everything in-house. However, 77% said they plan to outsource the majority of their marketing activity in 2019.
Matt Bott, founder of 1st Choice Marketing, said: "To see that people intend to invest more heavily in marketing in 2019 and to discover that social media and SEO will be the top two priorities is really interesting; social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide such an opportunity for businesses to reach out to their target audience and, in this digital age, getting your SEO right makes you more visible and is key to increasing traffic to your website."