SEO? PPC? Keywords? Responsive? Content?
If you own a small business, these are terms you’ve probably heard of but might only have limited knowledge on; A fact that can make committing to digital marketing services a difficult choice.
This is a reality for many small business owners like you. That is not to say you aren’t capable of understanding these topics, rather you don’t have time to learn about them in depth. It doesn’t help that 100 marketing agencies are constantly fighting for your attention. Not to mention those negative past experiences that may have turned you off from the idea before.
To help clear up these cloudy waters, I’ve decided to put together a completely unbiased (well, as unbiased as I can be) list of digital marketing pros and cons for small businesses. As a bonus for the cons, I’ve laid out what you can do to avoid headaches and save time.
Pro: You’re Hiring a Team of Experienced Professionals
When you work with an agency to boost your digital marketing efforts, you’re getting a lot more than you would if you had hired an employee internally. Instead of paying for one employee that knows just a little bit about SEO, a little about PPC, and kind of understands the importance of responsive web design, you’ll be hiring an agency that has a dedicated SEO team, PPC experts, and top-notch web designers that have one shared goal: making your business digitally thrive.
Con: What if the “Team of Experience Professionals” I hire isn’t that good at what they do?
An obvious question to ask if you’re skeptical or if you’ve been burned in the past. You might even assume all digital marketers have no idea what they are doing and are just out for your money. There may be some bad eggs out there, but I promise there are PLENTY of very qualified digital marketers that can give your business a boost.
How to Avoid: Ask for Referrals
Testimonials can give great insight into a business, but nothing beats talking directly to an agency’s clients. Any agency worth their salt won’t hesitate at all to provide you with a client or two that you can speak with directly. Before you call, come up with a list of questions that are important to you, and make sure to ask any questions that address your apprehensions. Odds are you’ll be able to tell by the tone of the client’s voice whether or not you should move forward.
Pro: You’ll Gain Insights On Your Customers
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a digital marketing agency is the tracking software they use to gain insights on your business. These tools might include Google Analytics or a Keyword Tracking Tool, but no matter what the agency you hire uses, having access to more data will benefit your business in huge ways!
Some examples of these insights might include:
- Which marketing channels produce the best results
- What age demographics buy from you most frequently
- What pain points do website visitors run into
Insights like these help you make informed decisions on what to keep doing and what to change, without worrying if you’re making the right or wrong call.
Con: Analytics Data Can Be Confusing
There is such a thing as too much data! The amount of data a digital marketer can accumulate on your website and your customers can be overwhelming. If your agency simply hands over everything they are tracking, you may be unsure of what to take away from the work they have been doing. Data is great when it’s presented in a digestible manner. When it’s not, it’s just another headache.
How to Avoid: Ask Questions and Set Expectations
Your digital marketing agency should already have a plan in place for what data they are going to deliver to you and how it aligns with your current goals. If they can’t succinctly explain how the data they are gathering will impact your business, it’s probably a good idea to meet with a different agency.
Pro: You’ll Keep Your Business Current
It’s important for companies to stay with the times as much as they can. Even today, some businesses don’t even have a website, and that is hurting their business. The digital world is an ever-changing environment, and hiring a digital marketing agency can be a great way to make sure your company is on top of the latest trends, Google search algorithm changes, and more!
Con: Staying With The Times Can Be Expensive!
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and neither do social media followers or website visitors. Depending on your business, it might seem impossible to compete with brands and companies that are larger than you or have been working on their online presence for years.
How to Avoid: Make A Game Plan with Your Agency
One of the biggest keys to digital marketing success is consistency. Even if you’re starting on a modest budget, our advice is to simply get started! Over time, you’ll slowly build momentum and small wins and as that builds, you’ll be able to expand your efforts and budget. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re online presence doesn’t need to be either.