Online Small Business Marketing


Small Business Owners Need SEO

June 11, 2017 in Strategy

Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Need This Info

Are you an online marketing expert? Chances are you aren’t and don’t have the time to become one.   I’ve never met a business owner that isn’t an expert at their own business.  You conceived it and built it with your ideas and hard work.  Most of you are not “jacks of all trades” when it comes to growing and running a business.  At some point in your growth, you have to start delegating and leveraging other employees or trusted advisors.  Who to leverage and who to trust decisions will make or break your business?

Hiring Employees & other Professionals

Online Strategy

As a business owner, you must hire or contract accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents, lawyers, human resources, payroll, benefits, transportation, operations, purchasing, sales, and marketing.  I probably missed a few but you get the idea.  Marketing professionals may be the toughest to quantify and hire.

Most business owners I’ve worked with struggle with hiring the right employees or outside advisors.  You really don’t have the time or expertise to do it well.  Often it is a spur of the moment gut decision in an attempt to solve an immediate problem that has gotten out of hand.  Ensure you plan your marketing hire.  Do you need an SEO, social media, or email marketing expert?

The Mystery of Marketing

According to a 2014 CMO survey published by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, companies with: less than $25 million in revenue spent an average of 11% on marketing. $25-$99 million in revenue spent an average of 9% on marketing.

The Big Spenders  According to Statista marketers will spend $207 Billion Dollars in the US during 2017.

What is the return on investment for all this marketing spend?  Much of it is very hard to quantify.  Especially marketing dollars spent on branding.  The most visible example of a big spend on branding might be the super bowl.  A few of the advertisements have a call to action but most like Anheuser-Busch are pure branding.

According to the American Marketing Association, the average spends for 2017 Super Bowl 30 second commercial was between $2.5 and $2.8 million dollars.

Of course, there is more to it than just the 30-second ad.  These ads are leveraged in a multitude of ways for branding and to get the consumer to take action.  More difficult is finding a direct correlation between the spend and the return on investment.

Who Should You Believe?

Online Marketng Pyramid

It is complicated but as a business owner, you need to insist on defining metrics up front before beginning any marketing efforts.  The goal of marketing for you as a small business owner should be to generate leads for your products and services.  Marketing is not sales.  Conversion of prospects to purchase your products and services is the sales process.  Marketing makes them aware of your products and services and sets them up for conversion.

So what would be good metrics for a small business owner?  For most of us, the best metric would be phone calls to your business.  Have calls increased?  Make sure the employees answering the phone ask where they got your number!!!!

I remember doing some marketing in the 90s for a world-renowned youth tennis instructor.  Pre-internet he agreed on placing an animated ad on a billboard on one of the main arteries in town.  There were very few of these types of billboards in existence at the time.  This main artery was one international tourist visiting Florida took to reach the beach.  

The tennis pro’s reaction was he no longer needed the ad because his phone was ringing off the hook from international parents seeking more information.   When I asked him why he thought that the calls increased he didn’t know. I hadn’t insisted that the employees answering the phone asked the same question.  After I connected the dots for him he left the advertisement up until he could take no more new students.

You may not get these results for a billboard or other ad but be sure that you are able to track results prior to placing an ad.

Online marketing results are trackable.

Online ROITo me and to you as a business owner, the best part of online marketing is the traceability.  FREE tools are available to track every action and reaction of online marketing.  Before you contract or agree to any marketing project ensure these tools are in place on your website or social media accounts.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Or is there?  The only way to know is to track your online marketing efforts.

Watch for my next week’s post on online tracking tools that you can use to find out if you are getting the results you anticipated.  These tools will help take the guesswork out of your marketing initiatives.  Immediate factual feedback is available when metrics are defined and tracking planned in advance of any marketing efforts.

Get an immediate technical assessment of your website or contact us for a better online strategy.

About the author 

John Hamerlinck

John is a former USMC veteran that has spent years working in industrial leadership roles, including engineering, IT, mfg operations, marketing, business development, and sales. He earned a BSEE and MBA in marketing and finance from Lewis University.

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