Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three-part series on Marketing for Small Businesses.
In Part 1 of this Small Business Marketing series, we presented the evidence that easy digital and social media marketing tools don’t mean digital and social media marketing is easy.
It’s not. Don’t believe a single person who tells you otherwise. Even when that person in their 20s tells you social media is easy, that person has it all wrong.
Look at any survey of small business owners – national up to the recent Small Business Opinion Survey of Our Own Business – and you’ll find more and more businesses shying away from the difficulty of this new era. marketing.
Why is that? Three reasons.
A New Language of Small Business Marketing
Let’s be honest for a moment and at least admit that most small business owners don’t understand the language of digital marketing and social media. You might think you understand SEO, or Ad Words, or Boosted Posts or a dynamic website, but the reality is, you don’t.
And small business owners shouldn’t feel bad about it, because there are too many so-called digital marketing companies out there that don’t get it either. Well, that’s either it or they outright lie to customers, which is why they throw so many off the customer list.
SEO – appearing organically at the top of search engines (Google) – is an easy acronym but it’s an acronym most small businesses don’t really understand.
Example: Our business had a small business that told us they wanted to be at the top of Google search in their business category. This business owner allocated $ 2,000 a month to be on top, and it was supposed to happen within a week.
If you don’t see the problem, then it’s more evidence of a lack of understanding. If your business is starting an SEO campaign, you can definitely appear in the Top 4 ads on the first page of Google over time. If you want to be absolutely first, in virtually any category, it will take more investment and more time.
SEO isn’t about writing a check, showing up in research, and making a profit. Even after launching a campaign, it takes time. And once you show up and people start clicking on your link, there’s still nothing guaranteed to guarantee you.
The idea that you are simply buying your way to the top of the search is a misnomer, and it has forced many companies to spend thousands of dollars for nothing. SEO is an investment. It takes time to just appear at the top of the page.
You can’t afford it
Another approach to getting to the first page quickly is Google AdWords. According to one analysis, the most successful small businesses spend between $ 9,000 and $ 10,000 per MONTH on pay-per-click advertising. Is it in your marketing budget?
That’s not to say small businesses have to spend that much, but it’s an average. Why the huge price? Well, it starts with the competition. The more competitors you have and the more they realize that they also need to be top of the search engines, companies like Google are starting the bidding war.
Let’s say you’re a plumber and want to appear at the top of Google. And let’s say you pick your keywords (the words that consumers type into Google) like “Plumber near me”. For a person to just click on your website, it will cost $ 25. If 10 people click on your ad, it costs you $ 250.
If you have a huge marketing budget, investing is a sure-fire way to be successful. If you get 100 people to click on your ad and get 10 plumbing jobs for the $ 2,500 you spent, you’ll make well over $ 2,500 in profit on those 10 jobs.
The problem for most businesses is that they don’t have that kind of marketing money. And that leads to the next problem: you can’t spend that $ 25 per click for a month and walk away. Once the PPC starts, it needs to be managed and updated regularly to get the best ROI. Most small business owners don’t have the time or the understanding to do this.
The final piece
Lots of good companies spend money to show up in digital searches and they cancel before they even start. The answer (and we hear this from our customers all the time) is that they spent money on PPC for two months and only got a few calls.
An idea why? This is because a click does not guarantee anything. If a potential customer comes to your site and you have a poorly performing site, you don’t have recent reviews, you don’t have recent content, you don’t have original photos, you don’t blog about anything , you don’t show competitive pricing – all of these things send your potential customers to pack their bags.
You see, spending money on search engine advertising doesn’t make your phone ring. Paying for any kind of digital advertising just gets people to find you. Once they find you, have you invested enough to close them off as customers?
The answer is usually no, because most businesses can’t afford it. If they’re going to spend a ton to have a perfect website (our suggestion) then the budget for SEO or social advertising is cut. And if they’re spending all of their money on digital marketing, but they don’t have a good website, they might as well have had a great vacation with the funds.
Small business marketing is not easy, it is not cheap, and most importantly, it is not easy to understand.
The next time you’re thinking about a digital campaign for your business, you’re much better off calling a marketing company and having a long, fun chat. It’s something we do with our customers all the time, and we’ve learned our lesson to make sure customers understand the level of engagement that digital marketing really takes.
Any business that tells you otherwise just wants your money; they don’t care about your results.