Small businesses are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to marketing. Every service costs money, and very few “affordable” options are able to promote or sustain a healthy business growth. With a great product but limited funds, how does a modern entrepreneur achieve success?
According to a new survey, one of the top challenges that small business owners face is marketing – with only two in five having executed a marketing campaign in the past six months, despite 70 percent who say they would if they had the resources and capabilities (source)
In the study, the participants state two obstacles to marketing: resources and capabilities.
Modern marketing comes in two main categories: print (flyers, billboards, emails, etc.) and online (website, social media, etc.). Each form of advertising carries with it a financial obligation.
Most small businesses have a comparatively small-sized budget to work with. Essentially, this dictates that they can either invest in one thing well – or dabble in multiple marketing platforms. Ongoing marketing efforts require time, effort, and attention – something a small-staffed business doesn’t always have in excess.
For a charismatic entrepreneur who has no problem “making the sale,” marketing may seem like a no-brainer.
Modern marketing channels have been increasing exponentially, with each platform constantly undergoing revision and development. In turn, this requires an average-professional level of expertise within each platform in order to viably stand out against competition.
Online Marketing Expertise Requirements
The world wide web is the #1 tool to bring potential clients into your business. Here are a few of the base areas that play an integral role in maintaining an online marketing campaign:
- SEO – Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. Search Engine Optimization is required to ensure that your website maintains a visible presence to those who are searching for your services. SEO includes keyword research.
- Paid Advertising – Whether you are advertising on Google’s Adwords, Facebook Ads, or some other type of paid online advertising, there are literally thousands of customizable variables for you to choose from. Choose wisely.
- Social Media Marketing – Knowing what, when, and how often to post on each social media platform can mean the difference between a lively social presence and one that is totally ignored.
- Lead Generation – Email subscriptions, newsletters, and download offers – all of these are an integral part of turning an online visitor into a customer. There are some basic tools that can be easily integrated into your website, then developed to suit your clientele.
Fill in the Cracks with Professional Help
For the tech savvy, online marketing may be something you dabble in already. But for those with a less expansive knowledge of today’s online search world, it can be a challenge.
Here are three ways to allocate your time and money to begin your online marketing with a solid foundation.
- A Fully-Customizable Website – this forms the foundation of all online marketing. Rather than begin with a basic cheap website, hire a website developer to build one with a framework that will support future endeavors.
- A Social Media Presence – Pick one or two social media platforms that you can commit to using on a bi-weekly basis. Simply developing a presence on social media will help you to connect with many potential clients.
- Ongoing Website Maintenance – Some marketers proudly tout “thousands of visitors in the course of a few weeks,” neglecting to mention that the majority of this traffic comes from foreign, disreputable sources. Take the time to optimize your website and filter out junk traffic to determine just how successful your efforts are.
Simple Advice, Free of Charge
Art Unlimited is dedicated to promoting the online presence of small and large business owners across the United States. We take online marketing seriously and encourage all who we work with, whether clients or not, to do the same.