Where We Think Small Businesses Are Spending Their Marketing Dollars in 2024
The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be tough for small to mid-sized businesses to know where to invest their marketing dollars. But don’t worry, the staff at Make It Loud has been hovering around our crystal ball and we’re ready to make our prediction about where business owners are planning on spending their budgets in the coming year.
Could we be wrong? Yes.
Are we willing to take the risk? Also yes.
So, let’s get a jump on our competitors. Here’s where we think people are most likely going to invest:
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and drive profitable customer action. It is one of the most effective ways to market your small business, and it’s only going to get more important in 2024.
According to Aaron Webb’s article, 62% of small businesses plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2024. This is because content marketing is a long-term strategy that pays off over time. When you create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience, you attract visitors to your website and build trust with potential customers. This can lead to more leads, sales, and revenue.
With the flood of AI tools on the market, we think you’ll see some businesses try their hand at content marketing themselves or hiring in-house, but ultimately, they’d be better off leaving it to the professionals.
The problem with using AI writing tools is that while they produce content in quantity, there are still issues with quality. You can rest assured that Google is paying close attention to all the AI content being generated. They have tightened on what they consider “helpful content” to be.
Content for the sake of ranking in the search results isn’t considered so helpful. That’s why it’s essential that your content is useful to your target market.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because most people start their online search for products and services on Google.
John Hall’s article on Forbes states that 50% of small businesses plan to increase their SEO budget in 2024. This is because SEO is a great way to get your website in front of potential customers who are already searching for what you have to offer.
The confounding variable here is what Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) will do to the search results. SGE is Google’s answer to Bing adding ChatGPT to their search results. It will allow the user to open up a section in the search results and “converse” with Google about whatever they searched for.
While you can go to Google Labs and sign up to experience this for yourself, this feature hasn’t been released yet. In fact, it’s uncertain when it will be part of the general search process.
What’s also uncertain is whether or not people will actually use this. Currently, we’re seeing the SGE show up for roughly 60% of searches and frankly, it’s been my experience that it hasn’t been all that useful. As of this writing, some of the results in this section are confusing, redundant, and frankly, weird.
That being said, once SGE is released, it makes sense that it could reduce the number of clicks sites get in the organic section, but it’s highly unlikely that SGE is the “SEO killer” some early fearmongers predicted.
Eli Schwartz who is a well-known SEO expert has written that Google needs SEO as much as SEO needs Google. His point is that Google wants to present the best links in the search results so more people will use Google and they can charge more for their ads. Given this, Google needs SEO experts to continue to work on making their client’s websites “page one worthy.” That’s why we don’t think SEO is going anywhere.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and others to connect with your target audience and promote your products or services.
According to Aaron Webb’s article, 48% of small businesses plan to increase their social media marketing budget in 2024. This is because social media is a great way to reach a large audience with your marketing message. It’s also a great way to build relationships with potential and existing customers.
The reality is that Facebook announced this week that they are planning to offer an “ad-free” experience to users in the UK for a monthly fee. We’ll see if and when that catches on here in the United States, but we really don’t think social media advertising is going anywhere.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Google Adwords or PPC advertising is a type of online advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. It’s another way to get your business seen on page one of the search results.
If Google owned the world (and we’re not completely sure that they don’t!), they would have everyone pay them for AdWords. It’s where they make the bulk of their money. Even so, businesses are finding ways to make a nice pile of money with their AdWords campaigns.
John Hall’s article on Forbes states that 45% of small businesses plan to increase their PPC advertising budget in 2024. This is because PPC advertising is a great way to get immediate results. When you create a PPC campaign, you can choose which keywords you want to target and how much you want to pay per click. This gives you a lot of control over your budget and results.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Google gives you so much data that it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re running your campaign yourself. We see a lot of business owners make mistakes and lose money which sours them on this entire marketing vehicle.
Video marketing is the use of videos to promote your products or services.
Aaron Webb’s article on LinkedIn states that 40% of small businesses plan to increase their video marketing budget in 2024. This is because video is a very engaging form of content. People are more likely to watch a video than read a blog post, and they are also more likely to remember information that is presented in video format.
The reality is that video converts more than the written word. Why? Simple, we’re lazy. We like to watch someone tell us about stuff rather than read it for ourselves. Businesses should absolutely include video in their marketing efforts if they want to take things to the next level.
These are just a few of the areas where small to mid-sized businesses are expected to spend their marketing budget in 2024. If you’re a small business owner, it’s important to make sure that you’re investing in the right marketing channels for the best return on investment. By focusing on content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, PPC advertising, and video marketing, you can reach your target audience and grow your business.
If you need help developing and implementing a digital marketing strategy for your small business, contact Make It Loud today. We’re a digital marketing agency in the north suburbs of Atlanta, and we specialize in helping small businesses grow. We offer a variety of services, including content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, PPC advertising, and video marketing. We can also help you develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will help you achieve your business goals.
Contact Make It Loud today to learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your small business.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.