Digital marketing for small businesses is tough! In our first post we discussed why your digital marketing agency should know and understand your business better. It’s going to help them serve you much better in the future. The more ground work you do during the immersive sessions the quicker your goals will be realized. Most importantly, you won’t be wasting your precious marketing budget learning as you go.
Digital Marketing For Small Businesses
Now that you’ve chosen your agency, it’s their job to manage your expectations about the results you can expect from your marketing budget. Make sure they can honestly and accurately predict their efforts. If they can’t, walk away. We’ve all spoken to the smoke and mirror brigade. Many of us have already spent a few bucks listening to someone that promised a lot and usually delivered very little. Your digital marketing agency would then try to show you some stats that pointed in the right direction so you’d stick around. Another month, another invoice, another unkept promise. This is typical. This blog isn’t about how much you should spend and why, it’s about making sure that your agency is giving you accurate forecasting. It’s then your decision on whether or not to proceed.
What Are Your Customers Doing?
In part one we talked about understanding your industry, where we highlighted some important tasks around your agency’s homework. Now your agency should be looking at how your customers and your industry interact with you. Smart companies are customer centric and are always looking for ways to optimise how they engage with their customers. Really clever companies look for innovative ways to use digital marketing to for their businesses. It’s all about trying to grow. The best digital marketing agencies produce large amounts of data to understand their clients’ clients. You don’t have to be a global blue chip to get granular about your website or social channels. Making sure your company is listening to your industry and customers is truly one of the most powerful parts of digital marketing. That granularity can really help. Even without spending a dollar. Data is powerful stuff.
How Much Noise is Out There?
Will you be shouting in a cave for a while? Is this area of the internet already developed? Outside of your competitors, your agency should be able to tell you how busy your industry is. They should be able to tell how much share of voice your business has or at least how much share of voice your vertical has in the larger industry itself. It’s also about understanding how much to expect when you enter this space. If you’re shouting in a cave, then you’ll have to be more proactive in finding visitors. You may need to sign post website visitors from other channels like Facebook or LinkedIn. Sometimes the online chatter is in places that you aren’t actively engaging. Places like forums or groups. But you can engage them and drive traffic to your website.
Forecasting For Success
Finally, you now have adequate insights into the costs, search volumes, industry best practices, it’s time to get serious and do some forecasting. Forecasting isn’t for the smoke and mirrors brigade. It’s for the honest hard-working digital marketing agency that values trust with their clients. The relationship is a lot more important than a couple of paid invoices.
Even if you don’t have an active CPA model, the data collated can accurately determine what you can expect from your marketing, but just make sure that your agency is being honest and managing your expectations accordingly. Just like when you get multiple quotes from suppliers, alway look to compare the service costs offered with the potential return on your investment. You’ll also need to consider your website’s conversion percentage as well. The average site might do 1-2% in converting. With a good agency, it should be at least better but never worse. Crunch the numbers. Would it make sense to spend $500 to gain a client if they were only worth $250 in business? Probably not.
Digital Marketing For Small Businesses
So that’s it. It’s a lot to take in and try to understand. Fundamentally as a business owner, you need to do some hard work and research at the beginning. You don’t have to know how to do these things, just the awareness to ask that they are being done on your behalf by your agency. As always, at LeftLane we do things differently. We strive to have clients that love to receive our invoices. We love to have clients that learn along with us on how to best market their businesses.
Like we mentioned, digital marketing for small business can be challenging. We aspire to be an integral part of your business, not just hired guns. But it’s a two way street. Don’t just get out your checkbook and wildly start to spend money online. The internet was there before you started your business and will certainly be there when you’re not around anymore. Make sure your business is getting the most from this awesome tool!
In part three we take a look at building and management of your digital marketing.