The biggest barriers to small business owners taking advantage of digital marketing really boil down to the myths surrounding the online marketing world.
Myth # 1 - Digital Marketing is some deep, dark secret.
This black hole of unlimited information and “how to” options scare some business owners so much that they just avoid it altogether. It’s true there are lots of ways to utilize systems and tools in an online marketing strategy, but it doesn’t justify burying your smart business head in the sand and forgoing the most crucial part of your business: You need new business and digital marketing is the key.
The gain of learning just enough to work with the right team of online marketers and understand some simple processes is well worth it. Your return on investment will prove it. You don’t have to be an expert marketer, but sitting down with someone that is, someone that can show you how to measure success in a particular online marketing strategy will shed light on the digital marketing world and give you the knowledge you need to make educated decisions on how to market yourself online.
Myth # 2 - Software used in Digital Marketing is too complicated.
If you have concerns about Online Marketing being too big of a secret to understand, you are probably worried about the software being too complicated to use. When you begin exploring marketing software you’ll see discussions about attaching your CRM, campaign automation, social media management and so forth. Keep in mind; everything seems complicated until you start using it. Marketing software is no more complicated than using other software. Sure, there’s a learning curve involved, as there is with anything new.
Remember when smart phones were introduced? Smart phones appeared complicated to some. (OK, honestly, some still struggle, but even those that struggle recognize the value in them.) We all know how imperative it is for the small business owner to have a smart phone and how helpful they are in staying up to date and organized. Most of us probably only scrape the surface on the potential uses for our smart phones. That’s why apps were created as shortcuts to help us navigate the endless possibilities. Think of an online marketing team being your app for your marketing software. They can make it less complicated for you and help you to stay focused on what you do best in running your business.
Here’s an interesting stat: Marketers who use automation tools (software) say time is the biggest barrier to advanced marketing while those who don’t automate say that budget is their biggest barrier. (Openprise) So, those that understand that time is valuable, typically use some form of automation requiring some familiarity with software. Those that don’t automate have budget constraints and this inhibits them from investing in marketing, which also leads to the conclusion that they don’t have a growing business that would benefit from or can support using time management solutions. They can’t afford it; they don’t have the money, which is a much bigger problem.
Myth # 3 - Digital Marketing is too expensive.
If you think digital marketing is too expensive, that’s the wrong frame of mind. You have to market; it’s not an option. There’s lots of forecasting right now which share that this is the year where digital marketing will surpass TV ad spend. What does that tell you? Your customers are online and you better be showing up to get their attention and their business. So, determine a marketing budget based on your needed ROI and choose an online marketing strategy wisely.
The other part of this myth is that sometimes we are talking about different types of digital marketing. There will be variations given the purpose of digital marketing. Are you trying to build brand awareness? Trying to get more potential customers, i.e. lead generation? Or are you employing an eCommerce type of marketing? Since marketing will have different end goals, there will be differences in the investment required. This is a topic for another day. But, the takeaway is, you can’t make a blanket statement that digital marketing is too expensive without understanding the context for which you will be using it.
Don't Be Scared.
If these myths are sounding all too familiar, it could be time to make a little effort to understand how digital marketing is imperative to your business. It’s a simple investment with the right online marketing team to make the biggest, most positive impact on your business this year. BT Web Group can help!
Calisa Fitzpatrick - Vice President