As much as digital marketing has revolutionized and changed the marketing approach for businesses, it has also opened huge opportunities for these businesses to capitalize, to reach global markets with minimal costs and efforts. However, this is not entirely the case for many startups and small businesses; it’s as if they have been bypassed by this blessing.
It is not surprising to find these small businesses still wallowing and struggling with the old and conventional marketing strategies, and throwing their hopes to the wind when these conventional approaches fail them. As a business owner or the management of such businesses, you are left wondering where you could have gone wrong considering you did all you could.
The problem is not what you did wrong, but rather what you should have done. This overview seeks to highlight these mistakes and help you overcome them. These are:
“Digital marketing is not for us” attitude
The biggest mistake that these businesses make is to assume that they are not cut for digital marketing because either they do not have the infrastructure, knowhow or the capacity for it. The mindset is that digital marketing is for huge tech savvy organizations.
It must be understood that digital marketing is not for any specific business or organization; it is for anyone who is willing to venture into it and harness the advantages that it presents, be it a small business, corporates, societies or individuals. This then makes it easy to get a hold of its dynamics once the opinions about it are changed.
Not budgeting enough for digital marketing
According to the US Census Bureau data, the average spending on marketing and advertising is very low, and even out of this, very few of these small businesses intend to increase their budget allocations for either conventional or digital marketing. If the annual revenue is low, the first expense that is usually minimized is marketing allocation.
The two main reasons why there is this lack of budget allocation for marketing are:
- Lack of realization of the potential of digital marketing.
- Lack of a digital marketing strategy and lack of the knowledge of developing one.
In order to overcome these situations, it is in the businesses interest to do the following.
a- Set higher marketing goals– this will determine the level of marketing and allocation for the same. You then realize you cannot achieve the high goals with just the clients you have, you have to reach to more potential clients and push to achieve more sales, and this is only achievable through marketing and advertising.
b- Test different advertising and marketing strategies –some businesses give up on marketing out of frustration from previous strategies applied. However, you can still evaluate and try marketing strategies with the help of an SEO expert or digital marketing agency to find a strategy that will be the most effective to achieve the expected outcome, and one that is cost efficient and appropriate for you.
c- Understand your audience –know your audiences trends, behavior and wants so that you customize your marketing strategy and content to capture their attention and fulfill their want. All your marketing strategies must be focused on your audience, and not just based on your products or services.
The audience today is made of millennials, individuals who are very sensitive to their needs and demand more than your products, thus you must be keen to this audience.
d- 37% of the millennials say they will buy a product if it is serving a cause that they believe in.
e- Understand the competition to know how to form the marketing strategy – this helps you develop a strategy that will give you a competitive advantage over them. In many ways, digital marketing gives you an advantage whereby you can be reached online as well as customize your content to specifically capture and appeal to your target market thus locking out other competitors.
f- Analyze the success of the digital marketing strategy – most digital marketing channels have incorporated analysis capabilities with which you are able to evaluate the success of the strategies implemented. These help you know how the marketing strategy is enhancing conversion, drawing traffic, etc., and even help you forecast future successes.
3. Limiting Digital marketing
Some of the small businesses that may have adopted digital marketing are engaging in one or two platforms, mainly emails and websites. Maybe these are what work for them. However, the avenues for digital marketing are numerous, and each has its own benefits as well as a target audience which it appeals to.
Thus, small businesses need to embrace the whole aspect of digital marketing and the various platforms involved so as to diversify their target niches and reach.
However, even with this realization and small businesses taking up various digital marketing platforms, you must know that there needs to be definite strategies for each of the digital marketing tactic taken. The notion that a blanket strategy will cut across all tactics and platforms is setting the business up for failure.
- CASE – many small businesses have a misconception that digital marketing is all about the quantity of data, high budgetary allocations and being on all platforms at a go. All these are misconceptions that need to be overcome. Digital marketing is about identifying a strategy that best works for your organization and one that meets your budget, and being good at it.
- Content can be challenging to develop, but you can employ participatory content marketing where you involve market influencers, staff and other stakeholder in developing and authoring the content, thus achieving higher content quality.
Selina Jenkins is an SEO expert and a business consultant in content marketing, and a graduate in ICTwith a major in management of information systems, networks security and online marketing. She is a proficient reader and writer on SEO, digital marketing.