As online marketing becomes more important than ever, a new survey has found that almost half of UK small business owners don't know to market their business.
A study of 500 leaders of small to medium-sized firms, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of digital marketing platform Adzooma, has found that 42% have no idea how to create an online profile and six in ten business owners haven't even considered using social media in order to advertise their business.
The findings also reveal that a staggering 39% of entrepreneurs don't even have a company website. Of those who do, one in ten asked a friend to set it up. A further three in ten say they often seek business advice from others - with friends and family being the first port of call.
SEO is key area of expertise that some business owners are unaware of, with three in ten having no idea what it is and how it works. Even so, 39% said they are considering a SEO strategy in order to improve their Google rankings.
Rob Wass, director and co-founder of Adzooma, said: " Marketing your business online to be seen and gain greater client exposure is so invaluable in today's market. Having no online presence at all can pose a huge risk to sales and long-term relationships.
"We're currently experiencing digital transformation like no other, therefore digital marketing and online advertising is more important than ever. We've experienced a global pandemic and it's become significantly more important for businesses to move online."
Despite the lack of knowledge, many business owners are making the necessary steps to market their services, including: setting up a website (35%); creating a social media profile (33%); using social media advertising (31%); and encouraging online reviews from customers (26%).
Most business owners also regularly use social media sites like Facebook (73%) and Instagram (59%) to post about their products and services, although just two in ten use LinkedIn. Overall, however, 49% of the SME leaders polled admitted that they could have made more sales for their business if they had marketed themselves properly online.
"It's not necessarily surprising to see that around 50% of small business owners don't know how to best market their business, as for a lot of people it's complicated and challenging given that they're not digital marketers," said Wass. "However, in order to succeed businesses must be online and there are platforms and solutions available out there to achieve this."
Written by Rachel Miller.