It’s easy for myths about small business marketing to spread and persist, keeping many retailers from trying out modern forms of marketing that can significantly increase brand awareness and boost growth. Here are 5 common myths you should stop believing right now if you want to increase your sales.
1. Myth: You should focus on acquiring new customers to grow your business
Facts: Okay, yeah…acquiring new customers should be an important part of your marketing strategy, but not at the risk of neglecting your old customers.
Studies show that repeat customers spend approximately 67 percent more at your business than new customers do and that 80 percent of your future revenue comes from 20 percent of your existing customers. As you can see, focusing on ways to encourage current customers to buy from you again is vital to the long-term success of your business. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to make paying customers out of new prospects.
Of course, one of the biggest reasons to focus on repeat customers is their value as brand ambassadors! Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising available to any business. In fact, according to data found on Referral Candy, 92% people are more likely to buy from a business a friend or family member recommends than from a stranger.
Keeping your customers happy will encourage them to tell their friends about your brand, which means more business for you. Additionally, happy customers write positive reviews online, helping strangers make decisions about buying from your business.
2. Myth: Your business is too small to benefit from a website or social media
Facts: Today’s consumers search the Internet for answers to questions or to find products or services that will solve their problems. If your business isn’t online, you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Plus, having a website lends credibility to your brand. If consumers can’t find your business website, they may grow suspicious and wonder if you’re a legitimate organization that’s safe to buy from. Yes, you may have to loosen up the wallet to get a professional website built, but it’s an investment that will really pay off in the long run.
Small business owners should have a business website AND social media involvement if they want to be successful, according to the 2016 Small Business Technology Impact Study. Social media pages go a long way in helping your business establish credibility, as well as providing you with the perfect opportunity to interact directly with customers and prospects.
If you’re a small business owner who takes their reputation and long-term success seriously, then you can’t afford to skip out on the benefits of a solid online presence that helps you connect with and engage modern consumers.
3. Myth: If you have an SEO campaign, you don’t need a marketing campaign
Facts: SEO (Search engine optimization), plays a crucial role in helping people to find your brand when they’re searching for businesses like yours online. But without a marketing campaign, your SEO campaign is pretty much dead in the water.
That’s because SEO is constantly changing due to Google’s algorithm updates. When these updates occur, business owners are often left scrambling to change their web content to stay at the top of search engine results. If you only focus only on SEO, you’ll spend a lot of your time redesigning your website, with no promise of a payoff.
Besides, SEO isn’t the only thing you should be doing to get your name out there. So, if you’re only focusing on SEO, you won’t have much time for involvement in social platforms like Google+ or Yelp, where you can encourage and monitor customer reviews. Marketing on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, will help you stay relevant in a world where digital media is increasingly capturing the attention of modern consumers.
4. Myth: You should purchase an email list instead of growing your own database of subscribers
Facts: “Buying an email list is the worst possible thing you could do and can get you into a lot of trouble,” says FetchRev.
Surprisingly, according to Privy:
Top Google results for ‘Grow Your Email List’ still offer baited results to acquire hundreds of thousands of addresses at the click of a button. And there are other temptations too, like borrowing lists from partners, or sending communications to any email address you come by – regardless of whether they’ve sign up to receive them.
And this is exactly what email marketing has gotten a bad rep in the past – the outdated means of spammy mass emailing and buying subscriber lists. Not only do both of those practices reflect poorly on your business, they also just don’t work.
If you buy an email list, you’ll be accessing email addresses you don’t have permission to use. Furthermore, even if your emails don’t get sent directly to the spam folder, they may still be marked as spam since they were unsolicited. This could result in your company gaining a reputation as a spammer and being blacklisted from email services. Additionally, you could get in trouble with your own email server and lose your account.
Organic email lists may take longer to build, but it’s worth the time and effort to grow your own database of subscribers.
5. Myth: You don’t have enough money to fund online marketing
Facts: “Online marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot,” says FetchRev. “Instead of trying to do everything, figure out exactly what your goals are and focus on a few channels that will help you get there.” Each channel you try out will have a learning curve, but none of them are so complex that you won’t be able to pick up enough basics to get you started.
If you’re in doubt, focus on your email marketing campaign. This is the cheapest, most effective means of marketing because it’s easy to engage customers via email; you can also send digital coupons and special promotions to your email list.
The key to finding the social networks that make the most sense for your brand is to choose the ones your customers prefer. Spend a little time researching which networks they’re using so you can connect with them where they like to “hang out”.
“Online marketing is essential for small businesses today and is a cost-effective way to increase revenue, customers, and brand presence, says Huffington Post. “Consumers are now online, and online marketing is only growing more important.”
But diving headlong into online marketing can be overwhelming. So start out slow, building your online marketing strategy using solid methods like catering to repeat customers, increasing your visibility with a quality website, focusing on email marketing, and connecting with your customers on the social networks they like to use.
Don’t let myths about small business marketing keep you from trying out online networks that can significantly increase brand awareness, help you connect with customers and boost revenue and growth.