Although the ongoing recession has put a damper on many industries, online marketing is expected to rise largely due to a mostly untapped market – small businesses.

A new study from AMI finds that small businesses that move their marketing efforts online will help continue the growth of online marketing spending into the near future.

Deepinder Sahni, senior vice president at AMI-Partners, says because most small businesses generate revenue in their local area, they have been hesitant to use online marketing, but advances in technology along with the state of the economy is changing that.

"Only one in five North American SMBs currently advertises online – most advertise in local yellow pages and newspapers and magazines," said Sahni. "However, SMBs are starting to adopt online advertising, with some verticals such as manufacturing and professional services more involved than others."

The report finds that while 70 percent of small businesses have established a presence online with a website, less than one-quarter are using the sites to generate business through ecommerce.

A report this week from Discover also finds that small businesses are increasingly using social media in hopes of building their brand. According to the Discover Small Business Watch, 38 percent of SMBs say they use a site like Facebook or Twitter – up from 22 percent in 2007.