Are Small Businesses Doing Enough to Market Themselves Properly?

Marketing a small business is often one of the biggest challenges that many independent owners find themselves running into, as they may not know the exact ways in which they can best connect with consumers in their areas. However, new evidence suggests that many are at least trying to do so these days.

More than 94 percent of small business owners say that they're engaged in some kind of online marketing and think it's very important to their enterprise, but only 12 percent consider themselves experts at it, according to a new survey from global email marketing software provider AWeber. In fact, almost three in 10 said they felt overwhelmed by the effort, and three in five think they're better at using certain types of marketing online than others.

"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."

However, it should be noted that despite these issues, many small business owners also say that they'll try to increase their efforts to connect with consumers online, the report said. That includes nearly nine out of 10 who say they're going to step up email marketing, about three-quarters who say they'll blog or use Facebook more often, and 60 percent who will bump up Twitter reliance.

Other social platforms might come into play as well
Of course, given the way consumer tastes are changing online, many companies are now focusing on the new social tools that have grown popular in recent years, the report said. That includes Vine, Instagram, and Pinterest. They were chosen by 22, 20, and 17 percent of small business owners, respectively, as the platforms they're likely to use more heavily this year.

In addition to worrying about marketing, most owners also pay a great deal of attention to their companies' revenues and expenditures. One way in which they can significantly improve their bottom lines is to shop around for more affordable small business insurance coverage. Reducing costs for policies such as liability insurance can go a long way toward saving businesses thousands of dollars per year.