Why DIY Digital Marketing Isn’t Sustainable for Most Small Businesses

Nov 15, 2018 | Commentary, Strategy

Starting a business of any kind isn’t an easy decision to make, no matter how good at something you are. For many small businesses, the reality is you’re really only practicing your craft a fraction of the time. For some it’s probably close to only 50% of the time. The rest of the time is dedicated to accounting, payroll, HR, payments, marketing, IT, supply chain, etc.

Beyond managing all aspects of the business, one of the biggest challenges small businesses face is growth. According to a study from Capterra, 61% of small businesses said growing revenue was a major goal. The biggest roadblock to achieving this growth is time. Time to network, time to engage with customers and prospects, time to grow interest and leads, time for marketing and promotions.

There is no arguing that the Internet has transformed how people find, engage with and eventually purchase from businesses big and small. In many cases, the entire “research” phase of a purchase happens online. But, for example, while most understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), many small businesses don’t have the time to understand the ins and outs of Google’s search engine algorithm and then execute a comprehensive strategy to improve ranking for relevant keywords which could take months until any results are seen.

Compounding that challenge is the plethora of digital tactics and channels available to a business: social media, websites, email marketing, online advertising, ratings and reviews, content marketing, etc. With each of these tactics comes a unique set of best practices and techniques. Beyond that, each requires measurement of results and optimization based on the performance. A tall order.

On the other hand, perhaps your the kind of business owner who likes learning and are getting pretty good at digital marketing. The problem is, as you grow interest in your business, you will have to spend more time following up with leads and managing new customer relationships. This leaves less and less time to keep up with your marketing. While a good problem to have, it will be difficult to sustain and accelerate growth unless your marketing receives constant analysis and optimization.

For those of you that take this do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to digital marketing, “squeezing it in” between tasks is either going to burn you out, or you wont get the results you want. Just like anything else, half-hearted measures won’t produce the results you’re looking for. Hiring internal resources can be an effective way to go, but if you’re just beginning to embrace digital growth strategies, working with a partner will be a more cost effective approach as you “test the waters.”

Most importantly of all, the rate at which the digital space is evolving makes it hard even for the professionals to keep up. While you might be a savvy marketer, staying current with the latest best practices requires even more time.

If growing your business is a priority but you can’t afford to hire a full time employee, it’s time to find a partner that makes digital marketing one less thing on your plate. The goal of any provider you work with should be to drive more customer interest and sales, allowing you to spend more time practicing your craft and doing what you love. Contact us to get started.