Nearly half of businesses in the US spend more than $500k on digital marketing

Almost half of businesses invest at least $500,000 in digital marketing every year, according to a new survey. The research, from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website, found that forty-one percent (41%) of businesses spend at least $500,000 on digital marketing annually, and 81% spend at least $50,000.

The survey of 500 digital marketers from across the US asked about their digital marketing habits and found that:

  • Nearly all businesses (99%) plan to increase their investment in at least one digital marketing channel in the next year.
  • Nearly half of businesses (41%) invest more than $500,000 in digital marketing every year.
  • More than half of businesses plan to spend more time and money on social media marketing (64%) and a website (55%) in the next year.
  • Businesses plan to spend less time and money on display/banner advertisements (19%) and paid search advertisements (18%) in the next year.
  • Most businesses devote either 26-50% or 51-75% of their overall marketing budget to digital marketing.
  • Businesses use a variety of resources for help with their digital marketing efforts: in-house staff (69%), software (59%), a digital marketing agency (50%), and a freelancer/consultant (32%).
  • Nearly one-third of businesses (32%) that don’t use a digital marketing agency and/or a freelancer/consultant plan to outsource their digital marketing efforts in the next year.

Investment in digital marketing is likely to increase every year, experts say. “There’s been a significant uptick in digital marketing spend because it’s where consumers are,” said Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency in New Orleans. “If you’re trying to be in front of your customers, the screen is the place to be.”

Ninety-Nine Percent of Businesses Will Increase Digital Marketing Spending by Mid-2019

Almost every business plans to invest more time and money in digital marketing. Among businesses that use digital marketing, nearly all (99%) plan to increase their investment in at least one channel in the next year.

Businesses place considerable value in digital marketing and want to invest more in it because customers spend much of their time online.

“Everyone is online, all the time, and digital marketing is crucial in reaching this huge audience where they are,” said Aylin Cook, head of content marketing at digital marketing agency Single Grain.

Businesses Will Spend More on Social Media and Websites

Most businesses plan to increase their investment in a combination of digital marketing channels, with social media (64%) and websites (55%) topping the list. Experts say both channels are easy investments for businesses and deliver clear returns.

“[Social media marketing and websites are] the strategies that business owners are most comfortable with,” Zaiger said. “If you’re trying to make a decision that will at least guarantee some sort of results, chucking money at social media or your web designer will make something happen.”

Businesses want to invest more in social media and a website because they are easy investments with measurable results.

One Third of Businesses Plan to Outsource Digital Marketing

Among businesses that rely solely on in-house staff and software for digital marketing, nearly one-third (32%) plan to outsource their digital marketing within the next year. Outsourcing digital marketing can help a business receive essential external perspective, experts say.

“[Companies] should be getting an outside perspective because sometimes extra minds can be a really big bolt to someone’s system,” Zaiger said.

Overall, the survey indicates that businesses across all industries value digital marketing and will continue to spend more on it every year.

The Manifest’s 2018 Digital Marketing Survey included 501 digital marketers from US companies with more than 100 employees.

Source: Net Imperative

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