The One Thing Small Businesses Forget to Keep Up With
May 15, 2018
By Jason Eisenberg
First the good news. In general, small businesses have been keeping a steady pace with new marketing technologies – some are more innovative or are using untested tools with huge potential, while others wait for a proven strategy and then run with it for their respective businesses. According to Brian Sutter from Forbes Magazine, the latter is not a bad strategy.
So, here's the bad news. Most businesses are implementing new strategies because at this point, if you're not online, you may be losing already. But one of the problems is a lot of these businesses may not be doing enough with it or may just be doing it incorrectly. It's not laziness or ineptitude – it's a core issue most small business owners have – lack of time and capital.
What this means is over half of these businesses recognize they need a professional to design their off and online entities but then take the actual marketing and exposure aspect of their business into their own hands.
Logically, if you're going to pay someone to make your website awesome, you probably would pay to make sure people see it, right? But money can become an issue for most small businesses, which forces companies to work internally – whether they have experience in the task or not. Whether it's the CEO (it probably shouldn't be), a friend of the business or an internal team, statistics tell us you can get the most for your buck when using an outside agency.
You may save some money by not hiring an outside agency, which you can apply to another part of your business, but you miss out on an untapped source for leads, a great platform to enhance customer experience and word of mouth referrals – because the new mouth is a keyboard attached to the Internet.
So there's money you're not making because you didn't reach the people you wanted to reach through online, social or email. And then you also get hit with productivity issues – maybe your internal team had to research a ton to figure out their strategy or you did it yourself and by doing so you pushed back other duties your business needs tending to. Your business needs A+ work across the board. If a customer only sees any one facet of your business, it better be an A+.
Let's go over a few steps that need A+ work for a potential customer to buy their product:
Let's say we are buying lunch for the team at work to Whataburger. Here are the basic steps that got us there:
Appropriate marketing already had us thinking Whataburger since we are in Texas and it's advertised as a point of pride for Texans.
We got hit with an ad on the right platform – I'm a millennial so it was probably Spotify or a music streaming entity.
If they had a lunch deal, they would include a digital coupon to make it as easy as whipping out my phone (plus you can track that kind of stuff for future analysis on what works!).
If we posted on social media: a picture of the bag of burgers and fries sitting in my passenger seat with sunglasses, a hat and a seat belt on, there's a chance Whataburger would reply to it – by the way, a huge boon to their social strategy.
Remember, this might not seem like a lot of work, but consider how many people you're trying to reach, satisfy and retain. One person may not be able to do this effectively. A group of people without expertise may not do this effectively. So, it's a matter of hiring an internal team that's trained or working with professionals dedicated to your message.
If you are working on your own digital marketing campaign, you can find some great advice in the below video. Candy Barone, one of our featured experts in our #DepotBizChats live stream, goes over the power of online storytelling and the best ways to share your message through social media.
The Power of Online Storytelling for Your Business
An entrepreneur wants the best of not just both worlds, but all worlds. If you could do everything yourself as a business owner, you probably would – we know we would. But the reality is you are a human and you will either burn out, become a slave to your own business, fall behind in sectors you're neglecting for the sake of marketing, or even worse, dislike what you do for a living. And isn't that why you started your business in the first place – to do what you love?
About the Author Jason Eisenberg is the Community Program Manager for Office Depot, specializing in small business and entrepreneurship. Based out of one of the most exciting cities for startups – Austin, TX – Jason is plugged into the business community, often connecting with thought leaders, entrepreneurs and strategists to help identify and find solutions to common pain points all business owners share.
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All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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