More than one-half (52%) of surveyed small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say they use social media to promote their businesses, and 49% purchase online advertising (including SEM products) themselves, directly from websites, according to a new report by BIA/Kelsey.

Overall, SMBs surveyed are shifting more attention and resources to online marketing, particularly to self-serve advertising and other promotional channels such as video, social media, and search engine marketing (SEM), the study reports.

Below, additional findings from BIA/Kelsey's ongoing survey of small and medium-sized US businesses.

On average, SMBs surveyed say they plan to allocate 26% of their advertising and marketing budgets to digital media over the next 12 months. That level is up nearly 2 percentage points from the 24.3% allocated as of the fourth quarter of 2011:

On average, SMBs spend $3,041 annually on all media (traditional and online) as of 4Q11, down slightly from $3,176 spent one year earlier:

Other key findings among SMBs surveyed:

  • 87% use online marketing, down 3 percentage points from the 90% that did so in 4Q10. 
  • 22% plan to have a video on YouTube over the next 12 months.
  • On average, SMBs use 4.4 types of media channels, down from 4.6 a year earlier.

About the data: The Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) is BIA/Kelsey's ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses conducted online with research partner ConStat since 1999. LCM Wave 15 was conducted among 300 SMBs via online survey in November 2011.

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