Online Marketing For Small Business: The High Cost of Doing Nothing


“I haven’t got the time.”

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

These are the most common complaints of small business owners when quizzed about their online marketing strategies.

Between providing services, supplying products, handling queries, raising invoices and dealing with staffing issues, it can appear that there is little time left to learn and implement marketing campaigns that will generate a consistent flow of new customers.

But marketing is not something that can be turned on or off. It is not something that can be done now and again if you actually want to grow your business and eventually have the support structure that will give you back some of your free time.

Marketing should be the first priority of a small business.

It must be done. But by who?

If cost is an issue, and you’re not prepared to invest money in an improved website, outsource SEO or Google Ads campaigns, then you’ll need to learn the basics and get things started yourself.

That might mean allocating an hour per day to learn and implement a strategy or improve some of your website content. It might mean sending a monthly email to your customer database, or reading up on local SEO.

Get up earlier, work later or delegate non-essential tasks to a member of your team. Because if you’re only marketing when you’re quiet, you’ll forever be chasing your tail.

Still, haven’t got the time? Then you’ll need to outsource it.

One thing at a time

Before you jump into ten things at once or think that you have to cover absolutely everything, take your time and fully understand and implement just one strategy.

Register with a reliable email software provider such as MailChimp and set-up a monthly email newsletter template.

Once you’ve mastered this, start learning SEO basics and the importance of keywords. Then make sure your website pages include your relevant keywords and locations.

Maybe it’s time to refresh your website and brand? Or set-up a Google Ads campaign? Perhaps you need to start posting more frequently on social media platforms?
Just start with one strategy and get it nailed down before being diverted onto something else.

Be Consistent

You must be consistent. An email campaign with zero response doesn’t mean that Email Marketing is dead. It likely means that you need to build trust over a sustained period and provide more value.

Just as SEO that takes several months to show any signs of generating new business is still one of the very best investments you can make; whether that be your time or money.

Results need to be monitored, but strategies shouldn’t be tossed aside simply because they didn’t immediately turn the marketing world upside down.

All strategies require tweaking and tinkering until you find what works for your business.

All will require your time or your money.

Whether you keep your marketing in-house or outsource it, depends on which you value most.

About the author

Alex Thomas

I've been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and have worked with global and local companies on large scale SEO and PR campaigns. In my current role at Breakline, I'm responsible for winning new business, creating, implementing and overseeing SEO campaigns, social communications, online and offline media relations.

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By Alex Thomas
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