Only 66% of Businesses Advertise Online, Even though 89% of their Customers are There

Online Advertising Stats: 2/3 of Businesses Advertise Online

A survey of digital marketers by The Manifest has revealed 2/3 or 66% of them advertise online. But when they do, they use different channels to reach their audience and influence them.

When you take into account 89% of Americans use the internet, just as many businesses — or more — should also be advertising there. Online advertising demonstrates greater reach at a lower cost than traditional channels.

For small businesses, it means a higher return on their ad dollars while reaching a much larger and targeted audience. The digital ecosystem also provides data with different metrics small businesses can use to improve their marketing campaigns and deliver better results.

Reporting on the survey on The Manifest’s official blog, Kristen Herhold writes “Online advertising helps businesses reach consumers using more innovative and cost-effective methods than traditional advertising… Businesses can more easily target potential customers with online advertising.”

The Manifest surveyed 501 digital marketers from US businesses included 73% B2C and 27% B2B companies. Respondents to the survey included managers (36%), associates (15%), C-level executives (13%), senior managers (12%), and directors (12%).

Online Advertising Stats

There are many reasons a business uses advertising and each of these reasons have to be taken into account to launch a successful campaign. While the ultimate goal is to increase revenue, today’s digital ecosystem requires a higher level of engagement to connect with potential customers.

According to the survey, 24% of businesses said their top goal was to increase sales and revenue. This was followed by another 18% who said they wanted to improve brand recognition.

Online Advertising Stats: 2/3 of Businesses Advertise Online


Another 16% of businesses participating in the survey said they wanted to drive website traffic, 13% wanted to acquire new leads and 11%  said they hoped to convert customers.

As to their preferred online advertising channel, businesses invested across different platforms. The top three channels are social media at 86%, display and banner ads at 80%, and paid search at 66%.

Online Advertising Stats: 2/3 of Businesses Advertise Online

According to Herhold, businesses are able to reach the maximum number of consumers if they invest in the top three channels together.

In the report, Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency in New Orleans, said, “Social media and paid search allow you to reach users on the main platforms they use: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Display advertising lets you extend that reach and awareness across most other major web platforms. With all three, you can reach nearly all your likely customer population.”

Online Advertising is Essential

As Herhold put it, “Businesses that don’t invest in online advertising miss out on successfully reaching the majority of Americans who are online.”

With smartphone penetration rates fast approaching 100%, more people will be online more often. When that happens, online advertising will become even more important for businesses the survey predicts.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.