I speak to a lot of people – business owners, entrepreneurs, I call a lot of companies to sell our services – I’m a salesman at heart, although I am selling digital marketing as a way of gaining sales, nobody can argue with the power of the telephone (especially if you’ve used social to make those “cold calls” a little hotter).
This means that I get to explore a lot of businesses perspective on marketing, and what their struggles are. Generally, there are three things that keep local businesses from going digital and promoting their business online.
The one reason people do not look to take the next step and start to brand themselves online is due to expertise and knowledge. Quite often people can find the funds to get a website created at a relatively short price, then they do not have the experience or skillset in order to sufficiently market it within their company online.
It’s one thing to share the website with your friends on Facebook and create Facebook page to promote your brand, but to build a multi-channel social media strategy is a tremendous amount of work for someone who has little to no experience using these platforms as a marketer.
The thing is, particularly with our use of social media, we are simply not marketers, we are consumers. Think of it like this, we all have a car we can drive, not everyone is a mechanic. Similarly, we can all use Facebook, but not everyone has learned how to effectively leverage the relevant digital channels for your industry and business. Small business owners need to learn that using social media personally and professionally branding your services across the relevant channels to your target audience is two separate things.
This becomes harder when coupled with the fact that the digital landscape is dynamic and forever changing, therefore it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends.
Time & Resources
Marketing your company can be a time-consuming job. It involves strategy and planning, which means you have to first define your target audience, figure out where they are, and look at how they are consuming data, how they can be marketed it. You then have to create the content, which again involves further keyword research to ensure your content will be relevant for your consumers, and promote it – by where? How?
Digital marketing involves too many aspects for a small business owner to keep up with. I recently studied a diploma, so I’m talking from experience, let me give you a perspective on why I believe this, considering Digital Marketing is so vast:
- Digital Branding
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Display Advertising
Now, each of these are specific disciplines within the digital marketing agency that someone will specialise in – there are jobs dedicated purely to social media, to email, to mobile, to display – there may be multiple jobs within each of those (consider SEO – search engine optimization – that can be both a technical issue, which means it requires pure technical knowledge to code a website that is structured correctly, but also could be in-bound SEO, meaning you are ensuring your website is keyword relevant, and your content marketing efforts are optimized for your audience).
There are many more examples, though I just wanted to illustrate the fact that a small business owner who is perhaps running an accountancy firm or dental practice is usually not equipped to market their own organisation professionally and successfully, although many try to (mistaking their industry knowledge as marketing expertise).
Failure To Analyse & Improve
Most people have not set up analytical tools that are available that will help them track customer transactions and offer insights on how well their digital marketing strategy is working. Are you generating a lot of traffic on Social, or do you generally get your traffic from Google Search? How do people find you? What is their behaviour when they do come to your website? Do they purchase your product? Do they hire you? Are you downloading your E-Book?
A failure to analyse results is another main way in which people are not taking their online presence to the next level. With an effective analytical process with your content, website, social media, you can gain valuable insights into how people react to certain posts on Facebook or what material on your website gathers the most traffic, down to which type of people (their demographic, interests, location) interacts best with your website.
All of this information can then be used to improve upon your current strategy. Are people reading more about certain subjects on your website? Write more about those subjects in your content marketing. Do people tend to buy who are males, over 30 who are married and into mobile gaming? Specifically target them people in your next advertisements.
With the right analytics in place, you will give yourself the opportunity to run multiple advertisements at once to measure performance and optimize your marketing efforts. One example of this would be to try out different advertisements to several demographics, testing which works the best and ultimately putting more money into the most effective advertisement the next month. What’s called a split-test will allow you to do this frequently to test your advertisements and optimize results consistently, figuring out what works best for your target audience is key to success in your strategy.
What are your struggles online?
Are you missing out on opportunities to reach new customers and engage and grow your audience online? How can you get over ultimately what are the three main things holding you from growing your company?
With over a billion people online and the fact most people admit they are influenced by a companies online presence when making a purchase (with some studies suggesting over 50% of consumers will search for you online before doing business with you), can you afford to not promote yourself and sell your services online?
Get in touch for a free consultation on how you can expand your company online with a digital marketing strategy.