Navigating the new small business marketing world
I remember frantically working on our phone book ad because we only had one chance to get it right. I would be stuck with that ad for an entire year until the next phone book came out.
Those were the days…
Now we’re living in an instant world where I can post something on our business Facebook page and see results within an hour. I can see real-time stats and tweak any aspect of my business almost instantaneously.
And I can do most of this from my phone.
The small business marketing world is changing dramatically. There is so much data and statistics to analyze that it’s hard to figure out what’s important and what’s not. We’re juggling social media, email marketing, website development and still doing the hundreds of daily tasks needed to actually run our business!
Here are a few of the realities we’re facing and how to find a clear path forward amidst all the chaos
OUTSOURCING: Stick to What We’re Good At
In the old days, I outsourced our marketing to an industry group that cost about $100 a month. Those were the days when we put up flyers and a few newspaper ads. All I had to do was insert our name and PRESTO! Instant marketing success!
Now we’re playing at marketing on a whole new level. We cannot be experts in our business, social media and website development. We just can’t. How to Grow Your Business With Quality Web Development explains this phenomenon perfectly:
Professional web developers stay on the up and up when it comes to trends, designs, and what drives traffic. You could attempt to do the research needed to build a great website now, but as trends change, can you keep up with them? Not to mention, you have a business to run and other things to do.
As small business owners, we simply have too much on our plates to learn how to code, create potentially viral content, and run our business. The first and only way to find success in this new marketing world is to stick to what we’re good at and outsource everything else.
Forget trying to do it all. It’s impossible.
INFLUENCERS: ROI is Worth the Investment
I’m not the biggest Youtube fan. I’m not obsessed with Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. So the idea of influencers doesn’t come naturally to me. However, I am obsessed with marketing results and learning how small businesses create better marketing strategies.
It’s not how much of our marketing budgets goes to any one channel. Instead, it’s all about ROI. In The State of Influencer Marketing: 10 Influencer Marketing Statistics to Inform Where You Invest, Rochelle Bailis shares:
Nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
Those are fantastic numbers!
There are some agencies like Socialyte that can help create influencer campaigns. However, we can start with Win Big at Influencer Marketing: An Ultimate Guide for Beginners if we’re clueless about the process.
TEXTING: Some People Never Want to Speak with Us
This is perhaps the craziest statistic in the business world. We have now reached the era where our customers never, ever want to speak to us!
This statistic shows that we should never assume that our customers want to engage with us or communicate with any actual people. In 62 Text Messaging Statistics for Businesses, Alexa Lemzy shares the following data:
31% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages so that they wouldn’t need to visit a physical location or website or app for information.
This statistic isn’t about finding a tool to help us communicate more effectively, although that’s important. Rather, it’s about realizing that we need systems that allow customers the option of communicating without speaking to us. While we obviously still need strong websites, apps, and well-trained staff, some are happiest with the minimum amount of contact with us as possible.
And if that’s what keeps them happy, it’s an easy solution.
OUR PATH FORWARD: Evolve!
It’s easy to get into ruts where we do the same things we’ve always done - especially when things are running smoothly. It’s only when the phone stops ringing or sales take a nosedive that we start to question our marketing practices.
And that’s the opposite of what we should be doing.
We have to evolve with the new and extremely fast pace of today’s marketing world. We shouldn’t assume that just because something worked last year that it’s going to work now. Instead, we should learn, grow and create a marketing strategy based on what’s working right now.
Especially when we don’t know the difference between IRL and URL.
Liesha's a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. She's the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at ...