When trying to attract more customers It is all too easy to be seduced by small business marketing techniques that appear to offer fast results with little effort. In our experience there are several sales messages that should set alarm bells ringing, they are:
- Any guarantee to deliver a Page 1 listing for a website on the search engines.
- Anything ‘custom’.
- Gold, silver or bronze anything (particularly SEO).
- Websites with built in SEO.
- Any individual (or business) claiming “every business should embrace social media.”
- Any suggestion you should broadcast your sales message to a purchased Email list.
These sales messages are flawed because:
- Page1 against what search terms (keywords)? If the keyword has low competition (few sites trying to rank against the keyword) it will be relatively easy to rank on Page1 against that keyword. That is great but if few people search for that keyword (no traffic) what is the point.
- Custom tends to mean expensive, difficult to change, and locked in to a single supplier.
- It was once possible (in principle) to deliver a set number of “standardised” SEO services each month to improve a websites position on the search engines but no more. The World of SEO has changed.
- Websites with built in SEO can only deliver a small part of the solution. Good SEO is far more complex than any simple, out of the box, solution.
- To suggest any small business marketing technique will work for all businesses is wrong. Social media may generate for some small businesses but certainly not all. If your prospects are not using social media what is the point. Research customers and the channels they use (if any) before diving in. Research shows less than 5% of all B2B sales leads are delivered by social media.
- Email can be an excellent marketing technique for any small business but there are two key problems – the quality of the list and ‘sales messages’. Deliver pushy sales messages and even if the prospect reads your message it is likely to end up straight in the trash bin. Many purchased lists include general Email addresses that are unlikely to reach the target and also tend to have a very low open rate.
Unfortunately in the effort to find more customers there is no overnight solution. Only a solid plan based on the best set of small business marketing techniques for the particular business situation will deliver results over the medium to long term.