According to the 2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report, only about 37% of respondents believe that their current marketing efforts are effective. In the same study, 46.8% of participants said that they as the business owner are the ones who manage the marketing. For small businesses, this isn’t surprising. As a business owner, you have so many other tasks to worry about – management, budget, sales, etc., and marketing is often just another task on the long laundry list of things to do. Hiring additional help to run marketing costs significant money, so marketing often just doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Below is a list of some of the biggest digital marketing challenges that small businesses face, and a couple tips on how to conquer them.
Challenge: Consistent Content Creation
For busy business owners, content creation like blogging on your company website probably doesn’t rank high on your list of things to do. As digital marketing grows more prominent across industries and every size business, content creation should probably start gaining priority. If your competition starts doing it, then you’ll fall behind and you could start losing business.
Solution: Create an editorial calendar where you plan consistent content creation time into your schedule. It doesn’t have to be daily – the important part is the consistency. So start with monthly or every other week and make time to sit down to write about your business. If you have a rare afternoon where you have extra time, work ahead on posts just in case your schedule gets overwhelmed. You can even make things easier on yourself by looking back at content you’ve already created for other reasons that can be repurposed. Have you written an e-newsletter article recently? Do you have content in your brochures that could be turned into a blog? Do you have a list of frequently asked questions that your customers ask that could be compiled into a blog? If you do, then your work is almost done!
Challenge: Keeping Up with Social Media
It’s a struggle to keep up with all the social media networks out there. Social media is not just about putting a post online and just letting it live there, you need to consistently monitor, respond to comments and questions, analyze how your posts do, create strategies that engage more users. If your business is trying to keep up with all of them – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. – it’s pretty much a full time job.
Solution: Here’s the thing about each of those social networks. Each of them has a different purpose and reaches a different audience. You need to do a social media audit, figure out which one or two social media channels will best resonate with your audience, and consider just concentrating on those networks. Once those networks are running smoothly, then you can consider adding another. It’s better to do a great job growing an audience on one or two networks than do a mediocre job barely keeping five or six networks running.
Challenge: Online Visibility and Traffic
It’s not just an issue for small businesses, it is difficult for every business out there to cut through all the noise and gain visibility. For small businesses it’s even more of a struggle, due to budget and time constraints. Sometimes, you may be making every effort to get more traffic – great content, amplifying it on various channels – and it still doesn’t get you the traffic you’re looking for.
Solution: Unfortunately, there is just no quick and easy solution for these issues, but there are steps you can take to make improvements. First, you have to look internally to see that your online infrastructure is optimized. Is your website responsive and mobile-friendly? Is your website search engine optimized? Have you checked out your local search listings on the various search engines to make sure your business contact information is up-to-date and easy to find? Doing these things will definitely help your search engine rankings. If you’ve done all these things and are still struggling to gain traffic, consider putting aside a piece of your budget for SEM and paid social. Also, take a look at your analytics to see specifically how your content is performing. Most importantly, learn who your audience is and create content that fits them and what they are looking for from your business.
There is no exact recipe that will produce results for every single business, but there are steps that every small business can take to improve their strategy for success. Your business can even take it one step further and stack the odds in your favour by working with a team of experts who can create a personalized plan to reach your digital marketing goals to boost your business development.
Have a look at BoostX’s fixed cost service packages for small businesses, and let us help you take your digital marketing to the next level.