If there’s one thing that small business owners need, it’s to turn a profit on the dollars they put into marketing their business. As you can imagine, for small businesses it’s typically vital to their success. They start out from nothing, grinding it out to find the light at the end of the tunnel. The last thing they need is the latest fad marketing tactic that doesn’t give them a verifiable return on their investment.
The problem is there are way too many fad marketing tactics than you can throw a stick at. The problem here is that many business owners just don’t have the time to do the research to make informed decisions. They figure that if it’s pushed by a large “trusted” brand that it must be a viable form of marketing.
Consumers Are Online
The problem with that idea is that most marketing and advertising dollars for small businesses are going to the web, where the actual problem lies is with misinformation. Large brands typically prey on small business owners, pushing products or services that are of little value while sometimes charging high prices to boot.
The reason this has been going on for so long is because of the misinformation about effectively marketing a business online. The reason why I use so many terms here is because there is relatively little if any difference between these terms if you ask the average small business owner. They all convey the same point, the internet. I’ve got to do more with my website is typically what I hear from small business owners.
Big Brands Selling Big Flops
The big question is where do you start? How can you possibly figure it all out and make a good buying decision. Well, that big brand company that called me last week, you know the one that publishes the local newspaper that’s 75 years old should be a good place to start, right? Maybe the giant Yellow book that lands on my doorstep, they know the internet right? Wrong, so very wrong.
I’ve personally seen very little value from any large well known brand trying to move into the online marketing space. This is because their offers are so self-aggrandizing and self-promotional in nature that they end up hurting local businesses. Unfortunately I’ve seen this play out too many times. The thing that business owners will eventually find out is that no one is going to the online newspaper to search for local businesses, nor are they going to the large yellow sites at the rate they should be in order to justify their pricing structure.
The problem these big brands don’t address is one of the most important things a small business owner can learn in the new economy: Consumers are going to search engines (mainly Google) at an alarming rate in order to find local businesses. They’re not necessarily searching for a brand name; they’re searching for what they need at the moment. If their drain is backed up or their water heater is emitting a funny smell, they are going online (to Google) and searching for a plumber. If they see bugs in the kitchen, they’re searching for a pest control company. You get the picture. And this is not a fad, it is overwhelmingly the case with numbers growing larger year over year, even topping that big Yellow thing sitting on top of your refrigerator because you got tired of looking at it sitting on your doorstep.
Small Business Owners Should Be In The Know
What can a small business owner do with this information? Well you can buy something that big Yellow wants to sell you or maybe your local newspaper company or you can get educated about local search marketing.
Local search marketing is what gets your business in front of consumers that are searching for what you provide. It’s the process of using local SEO and/or CPC advertising to get your company in front of those consumers that are actively looking for your services. The great thing about search marketing is that it’s highly effective and will drive calls/emails to your inbox. It’s the perfect solution for B2C (business to consumer) service providers and it gives your company the ability to be in front of consumers in your local area when they’re looking for what you offer. Can you think of anything more powerful or more effective than being in front of someone when they’re searching for your business online? It’s surely not being on a local newspaper website or a listing on the big Yellow directory website. Truth is those sites don’t even see a fraction of the traffic that Google does on a daily basis. Search is more effective, a better investment and can be the marketing effort that boosts the growth of your company to a whole new level.
It’s time to educate our small business owners and give them the tools they need to become productive and profitable. Why would a small business owner invest in a marketing fad? They wouldn’t, if they knew the overall value of local search marketing and what it can do for their business.
- License: Image author owned
With all the misinformation out there small business owners should get themselves educated on the benefits of local search marketing. Consumers are overwhelmingly going to search engines for the information they need about local businesses. Shouldn’t you be there when they’re searching for you?