Small Business Owners See Value of Digital Advertising But Don’t Always Use It Effectively, Says New Study

Marketing software leader Ripl offers coaching and content

Small businesses in the U.S. are increasingly integrating digital advertising into their marketing mix, but many of these companies aren’t yet reaping the full benefit of their investment, according to a new Ripl, Inc. survey. The maker of affordable marketing software and subscription services for small businesses polled 800 such entities across the U.S. to study their online ad usage and spending. In response to these findings, Ripl will soon roll out specialty content, features and tools to demystify the process for owners and help them create quality, high-performing ads.

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“While it is well known that many major brands have fully embraced online advertising, there has been very little research available to date on small business usage and satisfaction in this arena,” said Ripl Head of Customer Insights Theo Walker.

The Ripl study offers several key insights into digital advertisng usage by small business owners. For example, almost half of the small businesses surveyed are currently paying for digital ads to help market their products or services. The majority of those polled said they intend to maintain or even increase their spending for online advertising. “Targeted social media and search advertising by small businesses is on the upswing, despite the pandemic-driven challenges these independent businesses have faced over the last year,” said Clay McDaniel, CEO of Ripl. “The vast majority of U.S. small businesses who are already advertising online intend to keep spending the same amount or more on these ads in the year ahead. At Ripl, we anticipate seeing many new small businesses just start to fire up social and search ads in the 2nd half of 2021 as well.”

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While the survey shows these business owners clearly recognize the necessity of online advertising, it also shows a shortfall in perceived success, especially among those who are spending the least. According to McDaniel, many small business owners are still on a learning curve when it comes to digital advertising. “Too modest a spend may mislead them to think an ad was not effective, when in fact is was just not seen. In other cases, owners are simply confused by the process and create ads that get rejected by Facebook or Instagram, or don’t understand the metrics,” he adds.

Ripl’s new content, features and tools will be available by Q4 of this year and will focus on helping small businesses create ads that meet platform standards, get seen in the right places, and resonate with target customers.