Every small business owner has two major goals in mind: increase profit and customer retention. To be more specific, 45 percent of small businesses state that increasing profit is a big challenge they want to tackle this year; while 43 percent report that improving current customer experiences and retention will be vital to revenue growth.
The larger question at hand is, “How will small business owners (such as yourself) be able to overcome these challenges?” Of course, the obvious answer is to get more sales. But what is holding your small business back from increasing profit and customer retention?
In this blog post, we’ll debunk four popular myths about marketing your small business:
1) Marketing is too expensive
The traditional misconception about marketing is that it’s too expensive and too difficult to track. However, marketing should be looked at as an investment. Here are a few stats that shouldn’t be ignored:
- Business owners who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
- The only thing blogging costs you is: your time. Therefore, publishing even just one blog post per week or two per month is a great place to start, rather than just having a website that only talks about you. Blog posts are a great way to write about things that your customers actually care about, i.e. create a meaningful connection. Plus 82% of consumers want to read content from brands, as long as they provide value.
- For every $1 spent on email marketing the average return on investment is $44.25.
- Seventy-eight percent of people say that a company’s social media posts influence their purchase decisions.
Quick tip: To start, dedicate anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of your revenue back into marketing and narrow in on three to five specific tactical executions. Doing so will help you best understand the right marketing mix to help foster profitability and retention.
2) Doing it all yourself
Truth is, you should be busy running your business, not focusing on “doing it all.” When it comes down to executing your marketing programs, don’t shy away from outsourcing or hiring someone part-time to help. More specifically, much of marketing is moving into the digital-sphere, which means you have the ability to track what’s working and what’s not in a quick manner. This enables you to stop any campaigns or implementations that aren’t providing a positive return.
Quick tip: To start, consider hiring a local marketing firm who can succinctly outline a strategy and the return you will likely see or hire on a freelancer. If you go the freelance route, remember cheaper isn’t always better. Also, have realistic expectations, i.e. no such thing as overnight success here.
3) Must have a strong brand
You don’t need to have a strong brand presence in order to successfully drive marketing campaigns that will foster sales and retention. All you need is the commitment as well as the prioritization of ensuring you don’t give up before seeing the results you want.
Quick tip: Put together a simple content calendar to follow. Doing so helps you block out time to know when you should be updating social media, updating your blog to checking in on how many sales you’ve generated with an advertising campaign.
4) Too time consuming
Getting the right marketing strategy and tactics set up will take some time, especially if you are unfamiliar with the technologies (e.g. Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc.) needed for success. However, once setup is complete, you should easily be able to get into the cadence of spending anywhere between 2-5 hours per week optimizing and managing campaigns.
Quick tip: Check out brands both small and large (e.g. GoPro, Expedia, Sevenly, Ugmonk) that are doing a great job of connecting with their audience (via social media and content marketing) and generating sales. Adopt some of their practices and test them out for yourself.
For a list of trustworthy marketing companies to help take your business to the next level, visit the BBB Accredited Business Directory.