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BT launches small business digital advertising platform

Telecoms giant BT has launched a digital advertising platform to help small businesses to more easily run their own digital marketing campaigns. The Digital Marketing Hub enables businesses to create, publish, and track their advertising across Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

Within the platform, artificial intelligence (AI) works in the background to serve up recommendations around the best keywords, ad copy, and media spends to include in their campaigns. It also gives businesses without their own website the opportunity to create a bespoke webpage to direct customers to.

BT developed the hub with the feedback of more than 1,500 businesses, and on the back of research it conducted with Small Business Britain. The survey found that 74% of small firms have increased their use of social media to promote their business online, with 30% having increased their use of paid social media and 43% using ecommerce more.

However, despite businesses being aware of the importance of social media to reach customers, 40% of SMEs in the UK aren’t using paid digital media advertising – a fact that could hold them back from growth as they look to recover following the pandemic.

“This is a pivotal time for small businesses across the country, after a really tough couple of years. Small firms are the backbone of the UK economy, so it’s vital that they’re equipped with the digital tools and support they need to help their business reach new heights. They can reach a much bigger audience by using the power of digital advertising, but many lack the time, money, and confidence to do this effectively,” said Chris Sims, BT’s MD for its SoHo (Single/Small Office, Home Office) unit.

“Our new Digital Marketing Hub has been designed to give small businesses peace of mind that their online advertising campaigns are reaching the right customers, in the right place, at the right time.”

Use of the BT Digital Marketing Hub is charged to businesses on a pay-as-you-go basis, with fees varying depending on the level of service chosen by the business. BT has a dedicated team of digital marketing experts on hand to advise businesses on the service level they may require.

BT plans to continue developing the platform over the coming months, with the introduction of additional features including optimised AI capabilities and ecommerce functionality.