Conference to Discuss Small Business Digital Marketing Trends

Three-day event will highlight findings of new study.

New Orleans – BIA Kelsey will be hosting its LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing conference at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans next Monday, Sept. 22 through Wed., Sept. 24.

During the conference, highlights of the group’s "Local Commerce Monitor" (LCM 18, July 2014), an ongoing study of the advertising behaviors of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), will be discussed – among which are that 74.5 percent of SMBs reported using social media to promote their businesses—more than any other category of media.

Facebook dominates SMB usage, with 55.1 percent of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for business use, and 20 percent reporting they have run a Facebook ad or promoted post. At the same time, strong showings by other platforms, including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter's promoted tweets, indicate the social space is highly robust for SMB marketing.

"It's evident from LCM 18 that social media has become a pivotal platform for SMBs," said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "Social media is not only number one in terms of utilization by SMBs, it is also number one in share of SMB media spending."

Indeed, SMBs reported spending 21.4 percent of their total media budget on social media in the past 12 months, according to LCM 18.

The survey covers over 35 different media and platforms used by SMBs for advertising and promotion. These media fall into 10 top-level media categories: online (e.g., search, display ads, blogs); traditional (e.g., direct mail, newspapers); mobile (e.g., search, SMS, display); local coupons (print and online); social (e.g., Facebook, Twitter); video (e.g., website videos, YouTube); broadcast; local directories (print and online); giveaway items; and community sponsorships.

The LCM 18 survey report is available for purchase in its entirety or by media category. For details on purchasing LCM, contact Steve Passwaiter at or (703) 818-2425.

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