Editor's Note: This article is part of Inc.'s weekly report on business niches in partnership with financial information company Sageworks

As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms attract millions of consumers each day, the amount of money advertisers are willing to spend to turn those browsers into buyers is growing. That’s encouraging news for companies whose own growth and earnings are tied to the burgeoning industry.

Aided by the improving economy, the advertising, public relations and related services industry--which includes consulting services--has experienced a steady period of growth since 2010, according to financial information company Sageworks. Sales growth has accelerated to as much as 12.2 percent in 2013 from a 6.7 percent decrease in 2010. Despite a slight drop in sales growth over the past year, the financial trends in this industry continue to track ahead of recent years.

“As the economy improves, businesses know they have to do something to create and maintain a competitive edge," says Sageworks analyst Kevin Abbas. "One way to do that is through robust PR and marketing.” 

Sales during the 12 month period ending September 23 are nearly 10 percent higher than a year earlier, and net profit margin is more than 7 percent, according to Sageworks.

Data from research and advisory firm BIA/Keley show that online and digital media revenue is expected to grow 13.1 percent to $35 billion in 2015, from $31 billion in 2014. These online and digital revenues include more than a quarter of the total 2015 media revenues.

Facebook recently launched a new ad platform that is capable of tracking consumer behavior. With this enhancement, advertising companies and public relations agencies gain insight on their target publics.

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