You might have come across hot takes about how to exponentially grow your business in just a couple of weeks, how to get 100k people visiting your website every month, and how to grow your small business to a multi-million dollar business with just a couple of steps.
The thing about these hot takes is — they are either untrue or people exaggerate the truth to sound like a big deal.
But as a small business owner, you need the right kind of advice (without the false promises and myths) so you can focus on the maximum result.
Why is it important to set realistic expectations from the get-go?
As a small business owner with a limited budget and few (or no) resources, it can be easy to get frustrated with your digital marketing efforts. You are pouring money, effort, and resources into something that isn't giving you the results you expected.
So, how do you make sure that doesn't happen? You can do this by being realistic in your goal-setting and marketing approach. Setting attainable goals means you have to be practical and logical resulting in better decision-making, delegating where required, and increased results.
5 realistic digital marketing expectations for small business
At DirectLync, we hate when small businesses have negative experiences with their marketing because of over-promised expectations, flawed strategy, or lack of direction. So, we have come up with a list of five realistic expectations you should know before investing in digital marketing for your business.
1. Results don’t happen overnight
Who doesn’t want instant everything? We want instant food, instant replies to our texts, and instant results from our marketing.
But the thing is, when you set up a marketing campaign, results won't happen overnight. You can't post on social media today and expect to have thousands of followers tomorrow.
Real results come from strategizing, implementing, analyzing, revisiting, editing, and doing the entire process all over again multiple times. This could take months, but once you figure out what is resonating with your audience and what is driving them to make sales, it’s so worth it.
One important thing to remember here is that the best results come from failing, learning why you failed, and implementing what you’ve learned into your next campaign. So, hang in there and don't give up after your first try.
2. It can get costly
Organic digital marketing is cheap(er) compared to traditional print, TV, or radio. You can be under the impression that high-impact goal-oriented results can easily be achieved by investing little money in your campaigns. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The thing with digital marketing is — you get out of it what you put into it. It makes sense to start with a small budget and grow as results start to pour in. But your expectations from those results should be proportional to your budget.
For example, if you have decided to move ahead with paid ads to grow your social channels, make sure you have the budget to support them. Paid ads are expensive and it’s not a long-term strategy, especially for small businesses. So, figure out your resources and expect results from them realistically.
3. Website traffic doesn’t mean sales
A lot of people think that your marketing strategy should focus the most on driving traffic to your website. That's a great goal to have but if the end goal for you right now is to increase your sales, this isn't a great strategy.
If irrelevant and unqualified visitors are on your website, they aren’t going to be interested in what you are selling. This is where targeting options come in handy such as demographics, location, pain points, job titles, interests, and more.
By targeting your audience, your website traffic might be less but if the right people have eyes on your products and services, they are more likely to convert into paying customers. So, what’s important is to focus on your target audience and not the website traffic numbers when planning your digital marketing strategy.
4. Hire the right talent
Yes, I know what you are thinking. You are a small business owner and you don’t have the budget to onboard someone. And 47% of small business owners handle marketing efforts on their own. But handling your own marketing only works if you know what you are doing.
Let’s unpack that.
You don’t have to hire a full-time employee for your business. You don’t even have to hire someone to do the nitty-gritty work for you. There are plenty of tools, like DirectLync, that gives you an all-in-one intuitive marketing platform so you have to do as little work as possible.
Then why talk about hiring someone? You can hire a consultant to discuss your strategy with and what you want to achieve out of your marketing. If you are not a marketing person, you will need help with prioritizing campaigns, marketing channels, setting budgets, and much more. So, if your resources are limited, hire consultants and freelancers for their expertise and execute campaigns yourself.
5. Don’t focus on scaling
As a small business owner, you might come across takes like your campaign didn’t perform because you didn’t have the most expensive tool in the market. I mean, that’s just wrong.
When building your digital marketing toolkit, scaling isn’t always the answer. Kelly Stanze, a creative strategist, said it’s okay to start small and gradually build up to a more technologically advanced system.
Tips to get the most out of your digital marketing
- Start with small goals and gradually go from there. Identify where the biggest impact will be and set a goal around that key area. Focus your resources to achieve that goal.
- As your business grows, it’s a good idea to double down on methods and processes that have generated the most revenue instead of giving everything a go.
- 88% of small businesses invest time and resources to build their social media presence. So, plan a social media strategy and work towards it. It’s free and helps your business get noticed by the right audience.
- Do an analysis of your competitors and see how your services are different from theirs. Focus on your unique selling point and build your marketing collateral around that.
- Be present on community platforms like Reddit, Quora, Medium, Question Hub. A lot of your potential customers will visit these sites to get reviews and feedback from current customers.
The Bottom Line
Being a small business owner comes with its own set of challenges and hard work. One thing that can help you is knowing what approaches are the best to invest in and what's the realistic outcome of those processes is. We have listed some great digital marketing strategies and what you can expect from them.
At DirectLync, we want every small business to succeed, and that’s why we empower you with all the tools you require to scale your marketing under one roof at the most economical price in the industry. So, are you ready to take your digital marketing to the next level? Sign up today for a 14-day free trial.