Many small business online marketing strategies are not performing optimally because of a lack of monitoring and uncertainty about the value of newer tactics such as social networking.
These are some of the findings of a Pitney Bowes in its Small Business Marketing Survey. The company's vice president of global small and medium businesses digital strategy, Justin Amendola, said he was surprised at the number of organisations that fail to track content marketing messages, particularly those sent via email and direct mail.
Specifically, nearly three-quarters of the Pitney Bowes small business customers surveyed fail to consider their email marketing metrics.
"This is a big missed opportunity for businesses who could instead help their business grow by using any of a number of affordable, easy-to-use communications tools to deliver and measure their marketing programmes," he added.
The researchers also noted reluctance among some small businesses to incorporate social media into their strategies, which could mean they get left behind their competitors.
Email marketing remains the most widely used communications channel for small businesses, but Pitney Bowes suggested many are still not taking full advantage of the channel as part of their marketing strategies.
Most survey respondents said they tended to use email for communicating their ongoing business activities, with only a "fairly low" number sending email for sales and marketing purposes.
Integrate email and social media marketing
Email marketing should work hand-in-hand with social media in order to maximise its effect. Campaigns should be integrated so that, from the outset, promotion on each channel supports the other.
At the most basic level, email marketing should contain links to social media profiles, ideally with a one-click option to follow the brand on various channels.
Brands should also remind their social media following from time to time to sign up for regular email marketing so that they never miss out on important updates or other content.
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