Back when the internet was first taking off, small businesses began to figure out quickly that if they didn’t have a website, it was tough to remain competitive. Then came social media – a new way to gain online visibility. Now, to be truly competitive, business owners have to manage their online presence on multiple fronts. Where should they spend their hard-earned marketing dollars?
New Advertising Channels
From multiple ad platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter to the more detailed approaches of Search Engine Optimization and Sales Funnels, the world of digital marketing can get a bit confusing. The last thing a small business owner wants to do is spend money on something they don’t fully understand.
We’re here to help.
Think of Spark as your very own marketing department without the expense and hassle of hiring and firing. If there’s anything I’ve learned about trying to start a marketing department, it’s that small businesses fail most often when they don’t understand what they’re hiring for. As small business owners, we want to take on the world, and we think we can do it all sometimes, but some tasks are best left to the professionals.
Billboards in the Desert
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, simply having a well-designed website may have been “enough”, but today, someone can start a website in a matter of minutes. The explosive growth of CMS’s like WordPress and DIY website builders like Wix and Squarespace mean that just about anyone can have a good looking website for relatively low cost. But what if I told you that having a well-designed website meant absolutely jack squat if people can’t find it?
In the Digital Marketing biz, we refer to these websites as “billboards in the desert”.
In order to be found online, you have to be where your customers are, and that answer is different for every business. Do your customers find your product and service by searching for it on Google? Then SEO and AdWords PPC advertising may be a good solution. Is your idea brand new and looking for an audience? Perhaps experimenting with demographics in Facebook Ads might be the best place to start. Are you more of a B2B service that looks to help other business owners? Try connecting with them on LinkedIn.
The fact is, each business is unique and at Spark, we try not to make assumptions before we see data. At the same time, our experience in representing other small businesses has given us the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t for a myriad of businesses.
Digital Marketing is more than looking good online, it’s about getting found by the people that matter to you.