Everyone is going digital with everything these days. Everything is moving online. And chances are that if you haven’t already, you’re falling behind. More than that, studies show that a majority of people will look up a company online to see whether or not they’ll give them their money. Stats show that 81% of customer will research online before making some type of purchase. Small businesses are in a tough spot. While in some situations, this allows smaller companies to better compete with the bigger players online by effectively using internet channels, there is still a cost to it all. And, if you’re not careful, this cost can quickly get out of hand.
One of the problems this presents is that certain aspects of digital marketing can be tough to accurately measure return on investment. Some digital marketing companies will take your money without much in the way of communication and more importantly, accountability. And when they do provide some sort of reporting on their work, often times the information is broad, vague, and hard to translate into actual bottom line for the business. Now, there are many digital marketing companies that do a decent job of proactively reporting their efforts on your behalf, and how the results from those efforts are helping your company. But we have found that more often than not, these agencies tend to be the more expensive ones – which makes sense. If they’re expending more time and resources to make sure you understand the complexities of their work and how it’s helping you, and then creating periodic reports on all of it for you – it’s going to be reflected in the cost of services. That all seems logical.
But this is where many small businesses are faced with a tough decision. With tight budgets that likely vary from month to month, do they take a gamble on a cheaper company that may not have the best reporting and customer service? Or do they shell out valuable money to better ensure they’re marketing dollars are being well spent, and have the clear reporting created for them to give them the measurable on ROI? Now to be clear, a higher cost does not guarantee better reporting, customer service, and accountability. But generally speaking, the digital marketing companies that are better in these areas, charge more. The simple fact is that most small businesses cannot afford these more pricey agencies. So what should they do?
They should first, educate themselves as much as possible. Find out what type of digital marketing is most important for your company so that you don’t pay for services that you don’t need. Then learn about the basics of those marketing tactics so you can hold your own when talking to the professionals. We’re not telling you to become an expert. We’re promoting a general knowledge so that you are a better educated customer. This will also help you understand what you’re getting for your money, and be able to take action on the reports they provide. There’s never a downside to being well-versed in an important part of your business.
Then go out and find the best fit for you. Look for the digital marketing companies that cater more to small businesses. There aren’t a ton of them, but they’re out there. Companies like Yellow Pages Digital have found the sweet spot in providing the communication and reporting you need at a price small businesses can afford. And that’s what you should be looking for. Someone who can do your SEO, PPC, site builds and changes, local SEO, and more all under one roof. It is possible to compete online, and stay within a small business budget. Now go do it.