How LinkedIn is Helping Small Businesses Level the Playing Field

November 20, 2018

Business Professionals Creating Small Business Marketing Strategy

The U.S. economy is quite literally fueled by small businesses — about 30.2 million of them. Small businesses account for 99.9% of companies in the U.S. and nearly half of U.S. employees. In other words, small business is a big deal.

Just because an organization is classified as a small business, based on employee count or revenue, it doesn’t mean that company can’t have a huge impact on the market — especially when digital strategies can help level the playing field between big brands and small business.

The following video, featuring LinkedIn’s VP of Global Sales Heidi Andersen from last month’s Advertising Week 2018, highlights challenges and opportunities in small business marketing:

Small Business Marketing Challenges

Creating awareness is critical in the success of any business. However, many small businesses have yet to tap into the opportunities presented by digital marketing. Case in point: a 2017 CNBC/Survey Monkey study reported that nearly 50% of small business didn’t even have a website. Based on additional data, it’s easy to guess why this might be:

  • Available resources: The smaller the business, the less likely there will be a dedicated resource for managing the brand’s online presence. And, for the most part, small businesses aren’t just small, they are tiny: in the U.S., the vast majority are non-employers with no full-time employees. When employees do exist, the count is usually less than 20.

  • Attitude towards digital marketing: Most adults are comfortable using social media but there’s a difference between hopping on to check in with college friends and creating an online presence to boost your small business. As Andersen notes in the video above, 68% of small business owners are over the age of 40. For Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, spending valuable time and resources cultivating a digital presence may not be a priority, especially when traditional tactics have proven successful in the past and are more closely aligned with their experience.

Small Business Marketing Opportunities

A well constructed online presence drives business and prevents lost opportunities. Some 70-80% of potential customers will research a company’s website before visiting a small business or making a transaction. Thanks to advances in technology and democratization of access, even “mom and pop” shops with restricted budgets can make a big splash.

“The No. 1 challenge for small businesses is to find new business,” says Andersen. “Digital marketing represents a lucrative solution for those who start to embrace the notion of investing in technology.”

Of course, a website is only one aspect of a successful small business marketing strategy. Another is building a strong LinkedIn presence that connects you with the customers, peers, and advocates your company needs to succeed.

Stay Tuned: More Small Business Insights and Resources Coming Soon!

LinkedIn’s SMB Week is almost here. Kicking off on November 26th, we’ll share daily data and trends that can help small businesses create a stellar online presence. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out on key events such as our November 27th webinar on Growing an Active Community for Your Brand, which you can register for right now.

And don't forget to subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog for updates that all businesses can use, no matter their size!