WA businesses embrace digital marketing

A new report has highlighted the importance small, medium and large Western Australian businesses place on digital marketing, and the challenges they face.

Bang Digital’s Digital Marketing Report 2017, which compiled the findings of nearly 300 businesses in the state, found using social media was the most popular method of marketing, with 90 per cent rating it as important; search engine marketing and website analytics were close behind at 88 per cent each.

During the past three years, Facebook has been the preferred social media platform for the majority of WA businesses to assert their digital presence, with LinkedIn and Twitter also becoming more favourable social media websites.

“Facebook is the most popular presence with three quarters of small businesses having a presence on Facebook and half of small businesses surveyed using it as an advertising platform,” Bang Digital said in its report.

“Small businesses, like other businesses, also place a high priority on SEM/SEO, website analytics and content marketing.

“The emerging trends for small business revolve around content marketing, including video content.”

According to the report, businesses measure their success using web analytics and increased sales.

“Social media is an important platform for these companies to have a presence, with the majority active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter,” it said.

About 60 per cent of small businesses said they were increasing their spend on digital marketing this year, while 67 per cent of medium businesses and large businesses are doing the same, with the balance maintaining their digital spend at the same level as last year.

“The three sectors have also all shown increases in the percentage of their overall spending that is dedicated to digital marketing, with small businesses leading the charge with 2 per cent increase on last year to 42 per cent.

That’s also up 6 per cent on Bang Digital’s 2015 survey.

Medium businesses have increased the proportion of their spending by 3 per cent since 2015 to 29 per cent, while large businesses have increased their spending proportion by 15 per cent since 2015, to 39 per cent.

“Whilst for medium-size businesses digital marketing constitutes a smaller proportion of its overall budget than either small businesses or large businesses, in 2017 the majority of medium-size businesses are predicting increased both in marketing spend and digital marketing spend,” Bang Digital said.

“Two thirds of large businesses say that they will not change their traditional marketing spend in 2017, however, almost half of large companies intend to increase their digital marketing spend.”

Across all business sizes, time was the biggest challenge facing most companies when it came to digital marketing.

That included the time it took to manage, as well as keeping content up to date and relevant, and the level of effort that went in to keeping up with the constantly changing digital landscape.

Other challenges highlighted in the report were developing new and relevant creative content, achieving cut-through with fierce competition and declining response rates, the cost of digital marketing, managing negative comments, and not having the skills to do digital marketing well.

Bang Digital is led by managing director Renae Lunjevich.