Small businesses that are facing tight budgets are trying to make the most of their advertising dollar. According to Direct Marketing News, a new survey by MerchantCircle shows that entrepreneurs are doing this by using Facebook and search engine advertising strategies.

Asked to name the top three most effective marketing methods they use or have used, 42% cited search engine marketing, while 36.7% reported creating a profile on a social network and 35.8% cited e-mail marketing. More than one third (34.4%) said they use “other online methods,” while “coupons or direct mail” ranked fifth at 23.9%.

“What we’ve seen is a steady decline in traditional advertising methods and a real uptick in the adoption of free online marketing avenues,” said Darren Waddell, VP of marketing and product management at MerchantCircle. He added that local business owners “are much more interested in either things they can really measure the results of like e-mail marketing, or things that cost little to nothing and are simple to use.”

Facebook also beat Google as the top website or online service that local businesses use for marketing, with more than 70% of local merchants turning to the social network and 66.2% saying they use Google.

Image from Beth Kanter

Originally posted by Angela Shupe on February 16, 2011 in Ideas.

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