MediaPost: SMBs Up Ad Budgets For Digital Media, by Gavin O'Malley

By Gavin O'Malley, Feb 28, 2012

Showing power in numbers, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) continue to increase their share of digital advertising.

Over the next 12 months, SMBs plan to allocate 26% of their budgets to digital and online media, according to Local Commerce Monitor, BIA/Kelsey's 15-year tracking study of SMB advertising spending, media usage, Web presence and sales channels.

As a whole, SMBs are particularly interested in self-serve advertising and promotional tools, including video, social media and search engine marketing.

"SMBs love the easy-to-use tools, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and self-serve advertising," according to Matt Booth, SVP and program director of Interactive Local Media at BIA/Kelsey. "We are on the verge of a real revolution in marketing platforms that serve SMBs, in particular around digital presence."

According to LCM Wave 15, nearly half of respondents -- 49% -- reported that they purchase online advertising, including SEM products, directly from a Web site -- either with or without live operator assistance.

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