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AWeber Survey: Online Marketing Tactics Widely Used, Not Widely Mastered By Small Businesses

A survey of small business owners and marketers released today by global email marketing software provider AWeber found that while more than 94 percent said online marketing was very important to the growth of their business, only 12 percent identified themselves as online marketing “pros.” Additionally, 29 percent said they were a bit overwhelmed by online marketing, while 60 percent said they were better at using certain channels more than others. The survey, conducted in December 2013, included 1,486 respondents gathered from the AWeber customer base of small business owners and marketers.

Despite their apparent lack of expertise, small businesses marketers remain eager to increase their use of online marketing channels in 2014. Among the findings of the survey:

  • 89 percent said they plan to increase their email marketing efforts
  • 74 percent said they'll blog more
  • 76 percent plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing
  • 60 percent will increase their use of Twitter for marketing

“We know that small business owners have a lot on their plates and that despite their best efforts, many aren't professional marketers,” said Erik Harbison, CMO of AWeber. “That's why we try to deliver more than just a great product. We provide our customers with educational tips and tools on our blog, website and through our Customer Solutions team to make their marketing efforts the most effective and as easy as possible.”

Of those surveyed, more than 91 percent said that their owner or CEO primarily fulfills the marketing function for the company. Additionally, 96 percent of those surveyed have 5 or less employees including themselves.

Among the additional findings, some small business marketers indicated they plan to explore more visual social media tools this year.

The top three tools chosen:

  • Vine (22 percent)
  • Instagram (20 percent)
  • Pinterest (17 percent)

But when asked to rank what marketing channels drive the best return on investment, email marketing and word of mouth beat out social media tactics and turned out to be the top winning marketing strategies.

About AWeber

AWeber, headquartered in Chalfont, Pa., helps more than 120,000 businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers increase sales and profits through its suite of web-based email marketing software. The privately held company was founded in 1998. For more information, visit aweber.com, subscribe to the AWeber blog or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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