‘Online marketing’. Two words you are sick and tired of hearing. If it was really that easy you wouldn’t have a list of excuses to ignore marketing in the first place!
Maybe it’s that the people preaching online marketing to you don’t understand what your small business is up against. Your challenges are practically insurmountable! Or are they?
Popular Excuse #1: SEO? There are so many competitors ranking before my website it’s impossible.
You’re right, more small businesses are getting informed in regard to search engine optimization. Each year the competition is getting steeper and it’s becoming harder to rank.
This isn’t a reason to ignore SEO though, this is a strong reason to focus on it more. If your business is the only one to neglect SEO among your competitors, you won’t just be in third place, fourth, or fifth – you risk ending up in the forgotten double-digit pages.
Popular Excuse #2: Social media isn’t for businesses.
Think social media is strictly for your friend’s teenage kids? Maybe so in years past, but times are a-changin’.
Social media provides an opportunity for businesses to reach their target market and interact with them in a casual tone. Here, your small business can increase brand exposure and solidify what makes you unique.
Like the web, customers are beginning to expect to find their favorite businesses here. Small businesses in particular flourish on social media because management requirements are minimal. Simply post a few updates about what you’ve been up to and photos showcasing new products or services.
Popular Excuse #3: I don’t have the money to market my business.
It’s true, marketing can get expensive. If you approach the same marketing firms that work for corporations with deep pockets, you’re bound to be shocked by the price in their proposal.
The great thing about online marketing is that you can compare thousands of marketing firms.. Online! It’s a competitive field with a wide range of options. Perhaps you’d rather start with social media marketing and skip search engine optimization services. Marketing services can often be chosen in an à la carte manner.
If that’s still too expensive, what do you think about FREE? You can actually market your small business online completely by yourself. If you’d like to know more, we actually outlined 15 free ways to improve your digital marketing in our last blog post.
Popular Excuse #4: I have no idea how to market my business.
Free sounds great, but what if you don’t know the first thing about “search engine optimization” and “Google Analytics”?
There are SO many resources to learn about marketing and websites it’s not even funny. Unlike becoming a surgeon or a mechanic, hands-on experience isn’t required or even needed at all for DIY online marketing.
We’ve recommended our best articles on each of the following topics.
- Search engine optimization: SEO in 2017: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Small Businesses
- Inbound marketing: Inbound Marketing for Beginners
- Branding identity: Boring Brand? 6 Tips to Spice Up Your Business
- Blogging: Blogging for Small Businesses: Get Started in 4 Steps
- Website security: How to Stop Hackers: Website Security Basics
- Growth-driven design: Say Hello to GDD: Web Design That Actually Converts
If you have the will to learn, there’s somewhere you can learn from.
Popular Excuse #5: I lack the time to market my business.
We can’t claim #onlinemarketing doesn’t take time. Actually if it doesn’t take time: you’re probably doing something wrong.@osc_webdesign
Content like blog posts, whitepapers, infographics and more should always be of quality and serve a purpose for your audience. If you’re rushing through content creation just to have it done, this could backfire in both your conversion rate and search engine optimization.
Google is increasingly putting a focus on quality in their search engine algorithms and the last thing you want is to be flagged with “thin” content. Thin content can even get your website penalized by search engines!
If you feel like you lack the time, what could really help you is getting organized with an editorial calendar. Do you have even one free day? Check out this blog post which outlines how you can manage a month of marketing in one day.
Popular Excuse #6: Our customers hear about us by word-of-mouth.
If you’re receiving word of mouth traffic – great! We don’t want to take away from that achievement at all. Just think though, if you’re receiving that much business by just word of mouth referral, imagine the possibilities online.
Those customers that are so willing to recommend your business with others, will be just as happy to do so on the web. Online customer reviews are extremely valuable for increasing sales, the ability has even been integrated directly into Facebook.
While you may think everybody knows of your small business already, you’re really passing over untapped potential. What about potential customers who are new to the area? What if they’re not as social, and unlikely to receive recommendations by word-of-mouth?
There are a variety of unexpected circumstances that could cause your current customers to go elsewhere. It’s important to be proactive and reach out to new audiences before it becomes a crisis.
Popular Excuse #7: A new website or redesign isn’t in my budget.
The store, warehouse, or office you operate out of – is that in your budget?
If the answer is yes, you should definitely make an effort to put a website on your list of priorities. This isn’t strictly because “everyone else is doing it” either.
Did you know that before finalizing a product purchase, 94% of B2B buyers research online? At this point if you don’t have a decent website, your potential customers that search for it will likely question your credibility.
Your website is like a brochure for people who want to know more. Even better, it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! It doesn’t need supervision and nobody has to be on shift for it to function.
Popular Excuse #8: My services aren’t meant to be online.
We’re at a loss to think of any business that couldn’t benefit from amping up their marketing online.
Even if you own a hot dog stand, you could become the beloved staple of your town by sharing the story behind your business online. It could become viral and attract customers all over! You don’t need to sell physical products online from an eCommerce store for marketing to matter.
If you’re truly committed to ignoring your small business’s marketing, you could probably come up with a 101 reasons to do so. ..But let’s just call them what they are: excuses.
Fortunately, by reading this you’re being proactive and can’t be in this dilemma. Cheers to you, your marketing, and the success of your small business online!