Four Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Four Marketing Mistakes Small Business Make

Running a small business is no easy task. There’s always something that needs to be done, you are always working, and the to-do list never seems to shrink. With so much to do, many times the first thing to be put on the back burner is the marketing of the business. As a digital marketing shop for small businesses in the Indianapolis area, we witness this every day when meeting with new clients. In this article, we’ll point out the top marketing mistakes that many small business owners are making and what they can they do to fix those mistakes and start growing their business.

Mistake #1: Not Measuring Site Traffic

They very first thing we ask new clients are how well their sites are doing. How much traffic are they getting? What about organic traffic from Google and Bing Search? What keywords are they ranking well for? What channel do they get the most traffic from?

What we find is that many owners aren’t tracking their site traffic well or in some cases, not at all. We always tell them that Root Digital Marketing can’t work with them until they have installed Google Analytics and Google Search Console on their site. These two analytics tools are what every site should have at the very minimum. With these simple analytics tools, we can analyze the health of a website and set benchmarks that we can measure against as we roll out marketing campaigns to drive traffic to the site.

So if you haven’t done it yet, install Google Analytics and Google Search Console on your site. At Root Digital Marketing, we can do that for you. We’ll also set up views, filters, segments and other settings to improve the analytics reporting of your site. And we can also provide an initial report on the health of your site in order to determine where and how to grow your site going forward.

Mistake #2: Not Being Active on Social Media

We recently met with a client who was desperate to drive more traffic into their business. They had been spending most of their marketing budget on direct mail pieces and they weren’t seeing any results. So they pulled all their direct mail marketing and decided to make a video that they promoted on Facebook for less than what they were spending on their direct mail marketing. The result was over 6,000 Likes on Facebook in less than a month and a huge boost in traffic and sales to their business.

That business owner became a believer in social media marketing and is now looking for more opportunities to market their business on social media. But we’ve met many business owners that aren’t active enough on social media or don’t think it’s a viable marketing channel, especially B2B business owners. In those cases, we show them where their competitors are already on social media and are already talking with their customers.

Imagine a party where your customers and your competitor are at. They are telling stories, sharing tips and developing a stronger and more trusted relationship. And imagine yourself standing outside that party, watching your customers having a good time with your competitors and not being able to join them. Well, that’s not how it is with social media. No one is stopping you from joining the social media sites that your customers are one and engaging with them in conversations. And no one is stopping you from doing the same with your competitors’ customers. So what are you waiting for? Find out where your customers are, most likely Facebook, and befriend them. Don’t sell to them, don’t talk to them, talk WITH them. And when the time comes when they are in the market to buy what you are selling, you’ll be the first business they think of.

Mistake #3: Not Capturing Customer Data

Email is the dinosaur of digital marketing. We use it every day at work and at home. Many of us have numerous email addresses including ones just for spam. We’ve gotten better and the email software has gotten better at filtering our emails, so we are more efficient at reading, replying and sending emails. It’s probably the one digital tool that we couldn’t live without. And yet it’s the one tool that many small businesses don’t utilize for their marketing efforts.

Are you capturing your customers and site visitors’ emails? Are you sending a weekly or monthly newsletter to your email list? With all the marketing channels out there, both digital and traditional, email is still one of the most effective and least expensive. You should be grabbing your customers and visitors’ emails every chance that you get including in the store, on the phone, on your site, and on social media. Give them a deal, run a contest, or share tips, in exchange for their email. And don’t stop there. If you can get their mobile phone number, you can then explore text message marketing. If you get their address, you can mail them personalized deals. If you capture their past purchases, you can customize future marketing based on what they bought or looked at on your site. The more customer data you can gather, the better you can target your marketing and improve your ROI.

Mistake #4: Not Diversifying Your Marketing Efforts

The great thing about digital marketing is that it is easily scalable and affordable. Whether you are looking to promote a Facebook post, run an AdWords ad, create a blog post, write a Medium article, build up your Twitter following, sponsor a forum, or work with an influencer; the costs can be as small or as big as you want. Unlike a radio ad or a billboard or even a direct mail piece, the price of admission in most digital marketing channels can be very nominal. This is great news for small business owners and should be encouragement enough to test the many digital marketing waters to find the best channels to market and advertise your business. The reality is that most small business owners don’t.

Many small business owners tend to put all their eggs into one basket and while it may be driving business, they could be driving more business. Think about how you go through a buying decision process. Do you use Google search? Do you read reviews? Do you ask friends on Facebook about a product? Do you visit the store site? Do you visit the manufacturer’s site? Are you reminded of your buying decision process by an ad on a blog you’re reading? And do you use Google shopping to find the best price of the product that is sold by a store near you? As you can see, the buying process can be a long and twisted road which is why it’s important for your business to be present at as many of those places as possible. So test the waters, measure the results and optimize for better results. At the very least, test out content marketing, search engine marketing and social media marketing. Find out what works best and focus most of your marketing budget and time on those channels.

Learn From Your Mistakes & Failures

Mistakes and failures are not a bad thing. If you want to grow your business, you must be willing to test news waters. If the water is too cold, then get out and try some other new waters. But how will you know if it too cold, too hot or just perfect if you don’t dip your toes into it first? Jump. Learn. Optimize. Jump Again.

Lesson Learned from Ad Blockers

Lessons Learned from Ad Blockers

 

I recently read a research article from GlobalWebIndex titled “1 in 2 Blockers Say Ads are Annoying or Irrelevant” in which they asked 22,000+ ad-blocker users why they block ads. The answers were understandable and I agree with much of them, but does this mean your Indianapolis business should stop placing ads online?

Online Ads Are Annoying. The ROI Isn’t.

I’ve written about ad blockers before and stated that businesses and digital marketers shouldn’t fear ad blockers but learn from them. From the report, the biggest reasons for blocking ads was that most ads are annoying or irrelevant, ads take up valuable screen space, there are too many ads on the internet, and they are intrusive. While one could conclude that online advertising isn’t a good choice to grow your business, I would agree IF the ROI for online advertising was terrible. Luckily for businesses, it’s not. Online advertising through services like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have a great ROI if you do it right.

Don’t Be Irrelevant. Hone in On Your Target Audience.

Don’t treat online advertising like traditional advertising where the “spray and pray” method is par for the course due to the difficulty in targeting your exact audience through outdoor, TV, radio, and direct mail advertising. With online advertising, you can precisely target and serve up your ads to only the people that want to buy your product or services. You can target moms in Noblesville or 20-somethings in Broad Ripple or Indianapolis business owners. And if you want to get even more targeted, like 25-year old males in Indianapolis who love to run, drink beer and cheer for a Premiere League team, then you can do that with many of the ad services. If you don’t spend the time upfront to set up your targeting then your ads will be one of those online ads that people complain about that are irrelevant. By monitoring the click-through rates, bounce rates and conversions on a daily basis; you will be able to adjust and improve the performance of your online ads.

Diversify Your Digital Marketing.

The proliferation of ad blockers may be disconcerting for the businesses selling the ads, it shouldn’t be for the businesses buying the ads. If your business only relies on online advertising to drive traffic and sales, then I would be worried. But you shouldn’t be just relying on online advertising to grow your business. Online advertising should be just a piece of your overall digital marketing efforts. Just like in investing, you need to diversify your marketing efforts. At Root Digital Marketing, we focus on four digital marketing areas for Indiana businesses to pursue. They are online advertising, content marketing, social media and email marketing. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, you’ll find changes, like ad blockers or Google removing right side ads, won’t be such a huge impact on your business’s bottom line.

Provide Value in Your Online Marketing.

Whether it’s a blog article, a Facebook post, a YouTube pre-roll, a Google AdWords ad, or a monthly email newsletter; always provide value to the end user. Don’t sell your product online, sell a solution to a problem the customer is facing. Entertain and educate your audience. Become their friends. Make your marketing and advertising relevant. Make it valuable. Make it welcoming. Make it the opposite of what the users in the GlobalWebIndex report stated for the reasons for using ad blockers.

Make it Happen.

Boost traffic and sales for your business online and offline through strategic digital marketing. Contact Root Digital Marketing today and start growing your business tomorrow. While most of our clients are from Indianapolis and surrounding areas, we are always happy and capable of providing top notch digital marketing services to businesses wherever they may be in the world.

How Much Does Social Media & Digital Marketing for Small Businesses in Indianapolis Cost?

How Much Does Social Media & Digital Marketing Cost?

 

How Much Does Social Media & Digital Marketing for Small Businesses in Indianapolis Cost?

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly how much digital marketing services for your Indianapolis small business would cost up front? What if you could go to a Noblesville digital marketing shop’s site and see exactly how much it would cost for an AdWords campaign? Or how much it would cost to manage your social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Or how much it would be for a blog post each week to drive more organic search traffic to your website? I would say that would be pretty great…which is why we did exactly that at Root Digital Marketing.

Small Footprint. Big Ideas.

Root Digital Marketing was started in Noblesville to provide affordable digital marketing services to small businesses in Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, and surrounding areas. We bring our years of experience and skills working with major marketing, advertising, SEO and digital agencies to small business owners without the exorbitant fees. We do this by staying streamlined and efficient. We don’t have gourmet coffee machines or pool tables or a masseuse on staff. We’d love that but we’d have to raise our fees and our clients don’t want that because they won’t benefit from a pool table.

So what are our fees? Let us show you below.

Digital Marketing Services Costs:

Blog Post (300-500 word)                                                                   $75-100

Email Newsletter                                                                                  $125

AdWords Set-Up (one-time fee)                                                         $150

AdWords Management                                                                       $100 + 10% of Ad Budget per month

Social Media Management (per profile)
Includes: monitoring, following, replying, curating, promoting

2-3 Weekly Status Updates                                                                 $150 per month

Daily Status Updates                                                                           $275 per month

Analytics Set-Up (one-time fee)                                                          $100

Site Analytics, AdWords Analytics, Search Analytics, Social Analytics Includes with relevant services above.

 

And here are some digital marketing packages that we provide to our clients:

Seedling Package:

2 Blog Posts Per Month
2-3 Weekly Status Updates – One Social Media Profile
Monthly Email
Site Analytics & AdWords Monthly Reports

$500 per month

Roots Package:

4 Blog Posts Per Month
2-3 Weekly Status Updates – Two Social Media Profiles
Monthly Email
Adwords – $300 Ad Budget
Site Analytics & AdWords Monthly Reports

$1,00 per month

Bloom Package:

4 Blog Posts Per Month
2-3 Weekly Status Updates – Three Social Media Profiles
Monthly Email
Adwords Ad Budget $600
Site Analytics & AdWords Monthly Reports

$1,500 per month

 

And there you have it. We will be updating the services and the prices as we continue to evolve and grow alongside the world of digital marketing. If you do not see something , just give us a ring and we will either do it for you or introduce you to someone in our network that can help you. And if you see a social media or digital marketing service that you have been seeking for your small business in the Indianapolis area, then what are you waiting for? Give us a ring today and we’ll start growing your business tomorrow.

Don’t Fear the Ad Blockers

 

 

With Apple recently revealing that they would enable ad blocking on iPhone’s and iPad’s Safari browsers, publishers and advertisers have been flipping out over the probable loss in revenues as a result. But the reality of it all is that they are the ones to blame. They brought this upon themselves by creating and serving terrible advertising to their users. The good news is that this is not the end of the world of publishing as we know it, and that there are somewhat simple solutions that can minimize the losses and create a better digital world for their users to enjoy.

Nobody Hates Good Native Advertising

Native advertising or sponsored content is one of the least obtrusive ways to advertise in the digital world. The key is to make it subtle and make sure your readers are the key demographic for your advertisers. If you can deliver great content that your readers seek out and share with the marketing serving as a content curator and not a content promoter, advertisers and readers can benefit mutually.

Make Ads Less Addy

The whole reason why internet users are using ad blockers is because they’re tired of the annoying ads on the sites they visit. The ads are obtrusive. The ads are not for them. The ads are distracting. The ads are frustrating. The ads won’t stop. And then they’ve had enough and if you’re lucky they run an ad blocker over leaving your site forever. Publishers and advertisers need to improve the quality of the ads that they deliver. They need to be more targeted towards the demographic. They need to provide value to the users. They need to tone it down. They need to drive users to content as opposed to more advertising. Users have the power to not just tune out your message like in radio and outdoor, but remove it completely. Don’t give them a reason to do that.

Educate Through Content Marketing

Give your customers what they want not what you want them to want. In other words, when your target audience visits your site, they want to learn more before they buy. They want to learn more about your product and the industry it inhabits. If you have a great product or service, then the content you create should make your potential customers smarter and wiser about your product or service. When they do eventually buy, they should feel that they are making the best and smartest decision and that your brand was instrumental in helping them make that decision. If you did your job, then your customers should turn from students to teachers as they educate others about your industry and your product or service.

Be Social in Social Media

Build relationships not revenue. Talk with your audience not to them. Treat them as your friends not your potential customers. Share links, pictures, stories and other content related to your product or service that they will find valuable. Join in the conversations they start with comments, likes, retweets and shares. Answer their questions. Thank them for their purchases. Add value to the conversations. When the time comes and if you’ve built a strong relationship with them and they trust you, they’ll buy from you.

Mix It All Together and Serve.

The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is to mix, combine, weave, integrate all the digital marketing formats above into a solid marketing strategy that delivers many customer touchpoints across the digital spectrum. Your social media marketing can drive traffic to your content marketing. Your content marketing can lead to social media follows. Your ads can lead to email sign-ups. Your native advertising can lead to content marketing on your site. And together, that all can turn visitors into friends into buyers into fans of your product or service. The growing popularity of ad blockers should challenge your marketing not defeat it.

The Magic Word for Viral Marketing is…FREE!

 

Most of us know how ‘Free Shipping’ is a great way to attract more customers and increase sales Online, but did you know the word ‘Free’ in other ways to increase traffic and sales? By using the word ‘Free,’ you could easily increase traffic and buzz about your site and business in just a few hours time.

 

It seems like every client wants their marketing and ad firm to create a viral video or make their ads go viral. Of course, it’s not as easy as pushing a button. Most ads and video and Online content that go ‘viral’ are usually passed through the right hands like a celebrity tweeting a link on Twitter.  They could also be mentioned or picked up by a popular blogger or big news site or even mentioned on a popular TV show or radio show. But there is one way that can increase traffic to your site and this is using the word ‘Free’.

 

I actually discovered this by accident a couple weeks ago for a client. They are an Online retail store that sells consumer goods. One of their distributors was offering free samples of their products and so we put a link and button on their site for consumers to request a free sample. We also sent out the message through Facebook and Twitter and their blog. This resulted in a decent increase in traffic but then something magical happened about three weeks later. All of a sudden, traffic to their site blew up and they were getting a huge amount of free sample requests. By looking at the analytics, we discovered that a popular ‘Free Sample’ site had picked up our link and posted it on their site. But it didn’t stop there. Other ‘Free Sample’ sites and blogs picked up the link from the original site and it quickly spread through the ‘Free Sample’ community. All it took was just one spark from one site to ignite a viral storm of traffic to the site.

 

Besides the increased traffic to the site, the sample request form also captured their email and had a box to check for receiving their newsletter and weekly deals. Of all the sample requests, only 1% of the consumers opted out of the newsletter so they were able to increase their email list which is a plus. So if you want to increase traffic and create a viral response from your marketing and advertising, try offering a Free sample or a Free gift with the purchase of one of your products. But don’t stop there. Go out to the ‘Free Sample’ and ‘Consumer Deals’ sites and post your offer. You can also learn where most of the traffic is coming from, so you can post to those sites the next time you have a free sample or deal. So if you’re looking to increase your email database, increase traffic to your site and perhaps increase sales, then offer something for free and watch your traffic grow.

 

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