Digital Marketing Problems & Ideas for Small Business Owners
September 18, 2017
Small businesses are fundamental to our economy, and I have long admired small businesses owners. In fact, that’s why I love doing what I do. Check these out:
- Businesses smaller than 500 employees make up 99.7% of all businesses; those smaller than 20 employees make up 89.6%
- Small businesses account for nearly half of private nonfarm GDP
- They employ nearly half of Americans, and they account for two-thirds of new jobs
But small businesses also face many unique challenges, especially when it comes to customer acquisition. Owners are often asked to have a hand in – if not entirely manage – just about every of a business. There are often too many hats to wear and too few hours in the day.
“As a small business owner, you turn the lights on in the morning and at night, when you go home and everything in between. You’re in charge of marketing, sales, customer service, product design, manufacturing, the CFO and the list goes on. Time is the biggest challenge when it comes marketing my brand. Second would be how much to spend and where. Marketing can be that black hole for your time and money. You never know what will produce the greatest ROI.” – Brett Anderson, CFP®, ChFC & CLU, http://www.stcroixadvisors.com/
So what’s a small business owner to do? Marketing often gets pushed off, whether intentionally or out of necessity, but it remains an integral part of the business’ success. Some take matters into their own hands, and others have struggled with agencies.
When Push Comes To Shove
“Our biggest struggle in Marketing our company is competing against larger competitors and their budgets. It became a roll up your sleeve and get to work with learning the knowledge to compete. I have spent 100s of hours in sweat equity on doing internet marketing. We have had to do things out of the norm for our industry but it has paid off. PR, Link Building, and Mapping, Guest blogging have all started to make a difference for us to market on a much smaller budget. We are in discussions now on some of the larger properties because of our unique angles.” – Buzz Tatom, Venture West Ranches www.venturewestranches.com
Competition is what drives businesses to be better, but it’s also what shuts down the companies unable to compete. When money is not available, the next resource available is time. Buzz took it upon himself to figure out digital marketing and has seen success because of it. There is no substitute for hard work, and the companies that are unable to hire an effective marketing company ust look inward if they are going to compete.
But simply having the budget to hire a marketing company or consultant doesn’t solve any problems. In fact, it can create more.
Working With A Marketing Company
“The issue I commonly run into is finding the right tool to market my company. I view marketing as a tool box with tools such as PR, advertising, social media, website, direct mail, newsletters, trade shows, branding, referrals, and everything in between. I come across so many marketing consultants who only know 1 or 2 tools and then try to sell me that that tool is the right one for my business. It can be frustrating.” – Laura Renner, Freedom Makers Virtual Assistant Services, http://www.freedom-makers.com
There are dozens of tools available for every aspect of online marketing, and it can be hard to know which is best for your business. Trying to find a marketing company can be even more tiresome.
As with other companies simply getting discovered can be a big hurdle, even if you have been around for years! One of the places we face is this is in the search results. Everyone is constantly looking to show up first on Google, including us. In the past we hired an SEO company which struggled to demonstrate results over a long period of time. Their reporting was meaningless and borderline deceptive. Eventually we hired a local SEO expert to work in house for us.
Dustin Montgomery – Digital Marketing Director – https://www.shipperssupplies.com
The issues I most commonly run into when trying to market my brand pertain to focusing on my niche. We do B2B and feel that Facebook is not the right platform. In fact, the best one is LinkedIn. However, even though it’s a different market, the importance of Facebook cannot be overstated. At the same time, each platform requires a different strategy, time effort and investment. We don’t have a contract with a marketing company and have yet to find one that really appeals to us and our core values.
Founder & CEO