54% of female business owners say their website is very important to their 2013 marketing investment plans, and another 31% say it’s somewhat important, per results from a study conducted by Web.com and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). For now, websites are a more valuable piece of the marketing equation than social media presence (70.7% rating very or somewhat important) and SEO (68.7%). But when asked what they consider to be the future of small business marketing, 44.4% chose social media marketing and SEO, while 15.4% pointed to web design and maintenance.
It’s not clear why social media marketing and SEO were separated for the marketing investment question, but grouped for all other marketing questions. Nevertheless, current marketing investment plans appear to follow perceived value. That’s because 87.2% of respondents said that web design and maintenance is very (52.2%) or somewhat (35%) valuable to their bottom line, compared to 74.9% who said the same about social media marketing and SEO.
Email marketing also shows up as quite influential – believed to be at least somewhat valuable to the bottom line by 66.1% of respondents. What’s more, female business owners are quite confident in their abilities in this area: 73.4% said they’re at least somewhat confident in their ability to implement email marketing for their business, second only to web design and maintenance (77% expressing confidence).
- Respondents ranked LinkedIn as their most valuable social media site, followed by Facebook and YouTube.
- While about 6 in 10 respondents are confident in their print and direct mail (grouped) abilities, less than 4 in 10 said those marketing channels are valuable to their bottom line, and only 1.6% consider them to the future of small business marketing.
About the Data: The survey was conducted online within 552 NAWBO members between December 14, 2012 and January 4, 2013.