We asked Kiwi Startups and SMBs about digital marketing and here’s what we learned. 


Let’s face it digital marketing changes FAST. And if you’re looking for marketing trends and tactics that are going to make an impact today, this guide has you covered.

We looked at which platforms are performing well and compared digital marketing channels with traditional print media. We looked at up-and-coming trends. We even looked at current challenges in the digital world. With the help of all of you who filled our survey, we uncovered some interesting findings. 

And today we’re going to share what we found with you.


Here’s a Summary of Our Findings


1.

Our data shows that the leading social platforms are still delivering some serious results: With 92% of businesses in this survey active on Facebook, 72% on Instagram, and 65% on Linkedin. Of the people that we surveyed 73% stated that their overall digital marketing performance either met or EXCEEDED expectations!



2.

87% of businesses use emojis 👋🏽in social posts, with 15% using them in EVERY post. Of course, this will depend on the nature of your business and your overall brand tone and personality, but on the whole, we’re seeing that emojis are an effective way to thumb-stop on a newsfeed. 


3.

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. 65% of businesses surveyed use digital marketing for generating brand awareness and reach. Lead generation and email sign-ups is the second biggest focus for business with 53%, and 41% of businesses use online channels to drive purchases. 


4.

When it comes to paid advertising Google and Facebook lead the way in terms of performance. Businesses that paid for ads in NZ Herald and Stuff reported mostly that they were either in the dark about performance, or that it didn’t have the desired effect. We’re seeing a mixed performance from Linkedin currently, but as they start to roll out new advertising features and grow in popularity, we’re noticing B2B businesses especially giving more attention to this platform as a paid advertising channel. 


5.

When it comes to challenges, not surprisingly with start-ups and SMBs, time, tactical knowledge and consistency seem to be the downfalls. Add to this, all the algorithmic changes, platform & best-practice updates and new feature roll-outs, it starts to become a bit tricky to stay on top of things, especially when resources are stretched and the budget is tight. We see many smaller businesses dropping off the ball and losing the consistency required to keep an engaged and active audience. 

With the oversaturation of social feeds, users today are demanding higher quality content and creativity. Without a full-suite, in-house marketing team this high-calibre level of content can be difficult to produce week-in-week-out. 

Another common challenge we highlighted from the survey is: “We can’t tell if our ads are achieving tangible results.” Paid digital ads generally require regular monitoring and optimization to work effectively. Many businesses will leave underperforming ads running because they lack the knowledge and technical expertise to analyze and carefully refine the ads to generate trackable results.  

Making sure you have a clear way to analyse marketing spend is critical when it comes to making budgeting decisions that affect your business’ development. See our blog post about Simplifying Your Website & Marketing Insights here.


6.

TikTok, Instagram Reels, Influencer Marketing and Voice Search – The up-and-coming trends to look out for. Founded in 2016, TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past five years. The latest TikTok statistics show that, as of June 2021, the platform has over 700 million monthly active users around the globe. 

7.

Inspired by TikTok’s features of easily creating short videos with interesting music pairings, Instagram Reels was newly introduced in 2020. Reels offer you the ability to string multiple clips together into one video and can keep attracting viewers long after they are shared. 

8.

Also, Influencer marketing is becoming a HUGE trend in 2021 and beyond. More and more brands are looking for ongoing partnerships with micro and nano influencers across various social media platforms striking win-win performance-focused deals. 


9.

There’s no doubt about it: Voice Search is on the rise. Current voice search stats show that 31% of smartphone users worldwide use voice search at least once a week. And, it doesn’t look like this is a passing fad. In fact, a recent study by Comscore estimates that half of all searches will be performed by voice in 2021.


And finally, some of you also noted that authentic video content will be on the up in 2021 and this is backed by the stats. 61% of marketers see video as a “very important or extremely important” part of their marketing strategy. 68% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google Ads! 


Food For Thought


Key Takeaways: The world of digital marketing is ever-changing and fluid, we’re noticing that whilst there are a lot of new and exciting channels popping up, it makes a lot of sense to still focus on the key players (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube ) whilst keeping an eye out for TikTok. 

As a startup or small-mid business focusing your resources in digital will tend to pay off better than investing in print media especially for brand awareness and lead generation. Although getting an ad in NZ Herald or Stuff may seem like a good idea, our feedback shows that its unnecessarily expensive without clear evidence to show that it justifies the spend.  

And, if you can partner up with a digital team who will take care of your marketing needs this will free up a bunch of time and resource, so you can focus on what you’re actually passionate about, your business!

________ 

We’d like to again thank all of you who participated in the survey for providing a lot of the raw data that made this study possible.

Now We'd like to hear your thoughts: What’s your #1 takeaway lesson from this analysis?

Or maybe you have a question about the findings. Either way, feel free to get in touch and let us know your thoughts.

Frankie Healey
Creative Specialist

Frankie brings the same flare to her ad copy that the 80’s did to fashion. Owner of the coolest wardrobe at Aro, her creativity doesn’t end with fashion. Studying a Master of Creative Writing part-time, she enjoys being able to use her love of words & data to deliver avant-garde strategems for purveyors that are grandiose beyond words *badum tss*.