There is no better time to be an entrepreneur than today. More and more cities are catering towards building start-up communities. Most colleges offer entrepreneurship as a major field of study. And the landscape of companies seems endless, from new and emerging companies in tech to a return to craft in breweries, barbers, and butcher shops.
But any business owner will tell you, the day-to-day work is not always glamorous. The road to making your passions your job can be extremely difficult, and there are seemingly endless obstacles that arise away from the actual product or service development. One of those pillars, of course, is marketing. Yet so many people hate business marketing.
“Ah, marketing, who needs it?! People will just flock to my storefront or business because my product speaks for itself. Reputation and word of mouth still mean something. Right? Right?!”
Wrong. Sorry to break it to you (we are a digital marketing agency ourselves, after all), but marketing is one of the most important facets of any business. Especially in today’s dense technological climate. So what can you do to change your outlook? Let’s breakdown 5 reasons you hate business marketing and how to fix it.
1. “I don’t have a background in marketing.”
Unfortunately we can’t all be Don Drapers. As glamorous as penthouse office day-drinking looks, marketing is actually a ton of work. You might think it’s feasible to devote a small, fixed amount of time and money towards business marketing on a weekly or even monthly basis. But that’s just not practical.
As the workload of actually running your business pick up, or the normal life obstacles start to stack, you’ll find you start missing those marketing deadlines. And eventually that marketing time starts to become less and less of a priority.
We get it, you didn’t start your business to spend all your time just trying to sell it. But if your marketing isn’t effective, how do you expect to get those conversions? Keep in mind that most successful businesses have an individual or team whose full time jobs are…you guessed it, marketing! A few inconsistent hours here or there aren’t enough.
Honestly, consider your budget. Can you bring a marketing expert on full time? Can you utilize a third party agency (like us! – shameless plug, but we can help!)? If not, there are so many resources, seminars, and tools to better educate yourself and improve in those areas. You don’t need a degree in marketing to build a great website, have a stronger sense of branding, and have consistently great ad campaigns.
2. “I’m one week in on a new approach and nothing has changed.”
You just sank a bunch of money in a facebook ad and ran it for three days. But you’re not seeing any uptick in likes, sales, or audience engagement. What gives? Time for a new approach, you think. So you push a different ad with a new graphic. Or quickly run a new video to outmatch a competitor’s angle. Or maybe you scrap your new web design and go back to the drawing board.
We see this time and time again. Despite marketing’s fast-paced, deadline driven atmosphere, patience is a major key to success. It’s important to allow a sufficient amount of time to pass before hitting the escape hatch on a campaign. In time, you’ll develop a better understanding of how long to stick with a particular marketing tactic before making a pivot. Or better yet, you’ll expand on successes.
RELAX. Trust the process and be patient. You’ll learn more about your business and audience, and in turn will be better equipped for the future.
Which leads us right into…
3. “I’m not sure what’s even working.”
Ok, so you’ve developed that necessary patience and are letting a few campaigns run their course. But what’s doing well? Is it the email newsletter? Is it the Facebook ads? Maybe the weekly blogs?
Not knowing where to start with marketing is frustrating. But effectively hitting everything on your plan, seeing real results in conversion, and not knowing what’s performing well is even worse. What’s the point in all the work you’re doing? For all you know, you could be working smarter by doubling down on a successful campaign.
Time to open up the hatch and take a closer look. Most social media platforms that offer the ability to run ad campaigns also show performance metrics. A lot of newsletter platforms also offer feedback in terms of click rates, open percentages, etc. If you don’t have a social media or marketing team (*ahem, over here), you’ll have to learn how to read into what the numbers mean.
More importantly, you’ll want to consider split testing. Again, many platforms offer the option to split campaigns, newsletters, and more. Run two different ads for the same promotion across a split portion of your audience and see which performs better. The same can be applied to any principle of your digital marketing efforts, from landing pages to newsletter content.
4. “I don’t like using social media.”
Perhaps the most common crutch! And in many ways it’s becoming a cliche. Like it or not, utilizing social media is an absolute necessity for any business today. Having a lackluster digital presence can not only make a company seem less legitimate, but it can isolate an entire part of your audience and potential customer base.
It is possible to get too caught up in social media metrics. Likes and followers do not necessarily equate to conversions. But, when leveraged correctly, utilizing social media can be a tremendous tool to engage with your audience that would otherwise be impossible. It’s also another means to push advertisements, promote events or new products and directly influence the voice and “feel” of your company.
Buckle up. Social media isn’t going anywhere, so learn to love it. Take on a new angle. Every industry utilizes different platforms in different ways. Figure out where your focus audience spends the bulk of their time. What type of content best fits your brand and, in turn, what channels will that work the best on? Use online reviews to your advantage. Take every opportunity to respond to comments. Regular, authentic social media activity can really take your business to new and exciting places. You may find there’s more to love when you’re not posting for posting’s sake.
5. “My marketing efforts feel phony.”
It’s a tricky time for marketing. The average person is exposed to more content and advertisements minute-to-minute than any other time, and it’s only going to increase. Most people are savvy to sales language and wary about a company’s intentions at every turn.
But this isn’t a bad thing! In fact, it’s great for businesses and consumers alike. Marketing shouldn’t be about tricking your customers anyways. If you have a product or service that is filling a need, which also has an audience, then you just need to find a way to tap in and communicate with that sector. People appreciate honesty and a real look behind the curtain. And digital marketing affords company’s the ability to be more transparent and adaptive than ever before.
To thine ownself be true. Marketing can be effective without being disingenuous. If your marketing efforts feel phony to you, then they definitely feel phony to the customer. There are no golden tickets or clear-cut methods that are going to guarantee results. Knowing and really being aware and in tune with your company’s own voice, brand, and identity will transform the way you communicate. Not only will it be easier, but it will be much more authentic. And that will be apparent to your customers.
See? Marketing isn’t so bad. Yes it can be scary, confusing, difficult, and very, very time-consuming. But, when approached correctly, it can help you target and communicate with your audience, leading to more conversions and general growth. That way you can get back to doing what you do best: passionately providing whatever product or service that led you to becoming a business owner in the first place.