So you want to start marketing your business online? But… you have some concerns. That is to be expected when you start any new process related to you business. There are so many pieces included in internet marketing and social media, it’s easy to see why all business owners don’t just dive right in. Here are some of the biggest hesitations we hear from clients – and our answers to those hesitations.
“I don’t have enough time to participate in a marketing program.”
The great news is – we don’t want you to spend a ton of time on your marketing! That is why we take care of writing blogs, managing social, managing Adwords, and more. That being said, the best client-agency relationships that we have include clients that actively participate in their marketing. This can either come in the form of clients writing their own blogs, supplying their own ideas, or choosing to check and reply to customers on their social sites. This could mean logging in for five minutes a day or answering a few emails a week. You know your business better than anyone, so having your input while we take on the bulk of the work is how we operate best!
“I don’t see the ROI in social media and digital marketing.”
While it’s easy to calculate the ROI when it comes to traditional media, it can get difficult to see if you are getting your money’s worth with digital marketing and social media. This is because there are so many outcomes that could be considered successful. Of course, more profit is what you eventually want your marketing efforts to lead to – but would a high email open rate be a success for you? Would 100 more Facebook fans? How about adding a minute onto how long people are looking at your website? Marketing allows you to build relationships with customers. And that leads to loyal customers and helps you spread your message. Over time, it is becoming easier to calculate the ROI in social media and digital marketing, but one of the most important things you need to decide is how you define success.
“Can’t people say whatever they want on my social media sites?”
Yes, anyone on the internet can say what they want about your business. The bad news? They can leave a negative comment on your wall, write a bad Yelp review, or Tweet a complaint. The good news? First of all, this is a great chance to step up and show your customer service strength, a topic I’ve blogged about before. Secondly, they can also write GREAT things about your business, giving you wonderful testimonials and referrals. So while it might be a risk to put yourself out there online, remember – anyone can say anything about you on the internet that they like, whether you have a social media presence or not. (Seth Godin said, “The conversation is happening about your brand whether you’re a part of it or not.”) So you may as well be proactive in social media and show potential customers what a top-quality business you run.
“Traditional media works for us.”
As someone with a background in journalism and traditional media, I’m not going to knock the value of a great mailer or billboard. These tactics have been working for decades, and still prove to be very successful for some businesses, especially those whose customers skew older. But just because you’re a fan of your grandma’s classic spaghetti and meatballs doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t turn down the opportunity to try out a new and possibly delicious recipe. With more and more people going online to consume their media through blogs, video streaming services, and social media, less and less people are choosing to pick up the remote or the newspaper. Plus, it can get extremely costly to run a traditional advertising campaign. Digital marketing appeals to tech savvy customers and can often run a much lower bill.
“My audience isn’t on social media.”
But wait – do you think that your customers aren’t on social media? You may be surprised to find out WHO is actually using social. According to blogger and strategist Jeff Bullas, “On Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012.” According to Yahoo, Facebook had 1.11 billion people using the site each month in May 2013. So while you may have a niche customer – like moms, landscapers, or accident victims – and they might not identify themselves as these things on their social networks, there is a HUGE chance that the people you are trying to reach are, indeed, out there. Plus, it is irresponsible to ignore the fact that social media users can see something online and refer their friends and family to your social media site or website. Social is a great way to reach your audience – even if you don’t realize it!
“People aren’t going to take the time to download my white paper or read my blog.”
When you are really interested in buying a specific product or service, you will be willing to put in the time to read more about it so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase. So yes, while it is true that not everyone is going to take the time read every word of your blog posts or download your white paper, the truly interested customers will. That is one of the biggest benefits of providing quality content. It engages those prospects who can offer you the most value – the ones who are truly interested in what you do. And these pieces position you as a leader in your industry, one that is educated, knowledgeable, and can help them if they have any needs or concerns.
Marketing isn’t just black and white. What works for one company might be a huge flop for another. But as we move out of the era of spammy SEO tactics and into a world full of beneficial content, it’s a better time than ever to get on board with internet marketing and social media!