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10 Horrible Excuses for Not Having A Digital Marketing Plan

Business owners frequently make excuses when it comes to why they aren’t utilizing digital marketing despite the many business advantages it brings. In this post i’ll list 10 excuses businesses make regarding why they don’t engage in digital marketing and explain WHY we think not having a solid digital marketing plan is a terrible business mistake in the digital age.

1. Digital Marketing Won’t Work for My Clientele

You’ll never know until you try. There are new customers that can be reached online that cannot be reached via local or traditional marketing channels for pennies on the dollar, and it’s easy.

2. I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

That’s okay! Everyone needs to start somewhere. That’s what digital agencies like Cox Media Group Houston (shameless plug) are for. We’ve spent the time and resources to build a team of digital experts to help be an extension of your team. Why try to go at it alone?

3. I’ve Tried It Before and It Didn’t Work

Use your prior campaigns as learning experiences and don’t make the same mistakes. Expand your reach or go for a specific local target. Do research to back up your marketing strategy and to improve your chance of success.

4. We Don’t Have the Resources

Most marketing keyword campaigns will be very cheap and have a great trackable ROI when compared to print, TV and radio ads which are typically a little more difficult to track.

5. TV, Radio, Print, Etc. Has Always Worked for Us

Of course the traditional mediums of marketing are often successful. Continue to use them. You’re creating demand or reminding your target audience to use your product or service. That audience is then highly likely to go online before they come directly to you. You want to be where they are.

And with digital marketing, the reach is often for a cheap price when compared with the alternatives. It makes it a business advantage that many companies, stuck in the past, often miss out on. Don’t let it be yours!

6. Our Prospects Aren’t Very Mobile/Tech Savvy, Etc…

You’d be surprised according to the stats nearly the majority of every generation use mobile phones and internet.

  •   90% of American adults have a cell phone
  •   58% of American adults have a smartphone
  •   42% of American adults own a tablet computer
  •   63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online
  •   34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.

Source: Pew Research Center

7. We’ve Budgeted Elsewhere

You can find room in the budget for $100-$500 for a test run on a few relevant keywords to your business. If it doesn’t suit your business needs, so be it, but the amount of customers that you can reach across the world with your businesses keyword categories makes it an undeniable way for businesses to reach new customers and expand their digital footprint.

8. We Don’t Really Use Social Media

You don’t have to, although it is recommended. With marketing campaigns such as Google Adwords and Adsense, your business can be found via Google searches and Google Maps expanding your reach and making it easier for your customers to find information about your business.

9. Our Website Doesn’t Generate a Lot of Business

Some businesses won’t benefit from a fancy website and a lot of expensive keyword campaigns but doing a small test run can surprise you and show you that maybe your website can generate business if you took a more serious look into digital marketing. Your website my not drive business, but if people don’t easily find your product or service when they search for it online, it will be your competition that they find.

10. I Don’t Know Where to Start

Do some reading and try and become more comfortable with how digital marketing works. Try reading these to get a quick understanding:

Know Enough to be Dangerous: Your Online Guide to Digital Marketing

Digital Advertising is Always Evolving: How to Stay on Top

The Five Steps of SEO 

Top 10 Digital Don’ts: Your Guide for What Not to Do

10 Facebook Best Practices for Businesses

After reading our list hopefully you have a changed mind about not implementing a digital marketing strategy. The upside is too great to not give it a shot. For retail businesses, with the amount of new customers you can generate and the cost effectiveness of your marketing efforts, digital marketing is something you can’t pass up. For other businesses it’s a great tool to direct people to you, expand your online footprint and improve the reputation around your brand.

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Why Social Media Marketing is Critical for Your Houston Business

According to Pew Research Center, 74% of all internet users engage on social media every day—which is why social media sites have become the most efficient way to market businesses. Whether you tweet, post status updates, share photos, or write quick blog posts, being active on a variety of social media sites can help your business generate leads and engage consumer bases.

A New Way to Connect

Social media users come from all walks of life and touch almost every corner of the globe. They are eager and conditioned to use social sites to connect and share. This makes integrating social media into your Houston marketing strategy the perfect avenue to find and engage with potential clients and consumers.

Unlike other marketing routes (such as traditional or digital marketing) where advertising may reach a general audience that may or may not be specific to your business, social media sites are more targeted than ever. Based on the platform your business utilizes, you are able to correctly reach the client base that works for your needs.

For example, if looking for the biggest audience, look no further than Facebook. Pew Research Center says that 71% of Internet users have a profile on Facebook, making up more than 51% of the entire adult population. B2B organizations in particular should utilize LinkedIn, a social media site specifically for career-based networking, where the users are largely college graduates and high income earners. For finding younger consumers, sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, that allow users to quickly share snippets of photos or statuses, is quickly becoming the most effective medium for reaching out.

Businesses can choose to stick to one of these targeted platforms or to branch out with unique cross posts targeted for a variety of different audiences. An example of this would be a sharing a photo on Instagram of a new menu item to reach younger, mobile audiences.

A New Way to Engage

Overall, the main purpose of social media use by businesses should be to foster engagement between the business and its audience. This begins with drawing the consumer to the central hub — the website. Social media, according to Entrepreneur, is used by nearly half of Internet users as their “go-to” source for online discovery. An additional 28% say that using links provided by social media sites has helped them discover new websites. This means that social media has a huge potential in terms of generating unique, targeted website traffic without much effort, time, or financial investment.

Where social media really shines is in being the anti-website. Instead of just being a pitch from a business to a consumer or client, social media provides the chance for a two-way conversation. This includes having a comment section where users can communicate with one another or with the business itself or having a space for the customer to make suggestions for better business ideas.

Social media also provides a space for business owners to evaluate their organization’s performance. While it may be frightening, social media allows consumers to be honest and open– more so than ever before. This may mean that your business fields complaints or receives negative reviews. However, it also allows you to discover what is and isn’t working directly from the customer. It is the instant feedback that makes utilizing social media marketing in Houston worth it.

A New Way to Market Your Houston Business

Embracing social media marketing can be challenging at first. However, discovering ways in which to engage with a new audience and seek feedback through sites like Facebook, Yelp or Pinterest can open up a wide variety of opportunities for your business. From connecting and sharing to driving targeted traffic back to your website, social media has become today’s most critical media space for Houston businesses to stake their marketing claim.

If You Don’t Have a Responsive Design Website, You Are Losing Business

responsive_design_websiteObserving the trend of increasing mobile usage doesn’t take statistical analysis—it can be observed day to day, in public. Smart Insights lets us know that in 2013 global mobile internet use met and surpassed desktop computer use, and that as of January 2015, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone, with 47 percent of internet users owning a tablet.

If you’re paying attention to Houston Marketing Matters and other digital marketing sources out there – you know that April 21st marks the commencement of Google’s emergent policy of penalizing businesses without responsive design websites.

There are quantitative consequences for the decisions you make regarding your businesses website and hopefully that decision is to create a site with mobile responsiveness in mind. Here are a few important points for Houston business owners to keep in mind while searching for the best fit for your company.

Responsive Websites Give Your Visitors a Positive Experience

If your visitors are able to get the information they want and need about your business while they are on the go, they will create a positive imagine around your brand within their busy lives. If a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website.

Responsive Design is Easy

Many marketing professionals do not realize that responsive websites are not mobile sites. Mobile sites require separate domains and can be operating system, software, or model-specific. Responsive design websites adapt to any size screen, so users can comfortably access the site from smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, or laptop computers without the use of different domains. Responsive sites also adapt to future devices because it is based on screen size, not device type.

Mobile Usage is Exploding

Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device. This means that an investment in a web platform will become necessary, but business owners who make strategic choice, favoring sustainable responsive sites will reap greater long-term benefits.

The growth of mobile usage makes web pages highly visible aspects of a business’s public image. Speak with someone about an adaptable responsive design that will efficiently deliver important information and a positive experience for a reasonable investment. Keeping this information in mind will, not only, help you to find the best strategic fit for your company but keep your brand current and, in the end, driving more traffic to your new website.

Houston Business Owners: Don’t Try Marketing On Your Own

Sometimes it’s tempting for Houston business owners to handle all aspects of  business, including marketing, in hopes of saving a few bucks. And while having control might feel better than relying on someone else, it’s very likely that you could be hurting your overall chances of success.  Here’s why…

You are an expert. And you are an expert at what you do, at running your business, being a manager, and understanding your customers. But unless you have a formal marketing or advertising background, then you are probably not a marketing expert. By hiring a Houston advertising agency or working closely with your media company rep, you can achieve much greater success while saving yourself time and money in the long run.

We Know What You Can Do and Say – Legally

When you’re running a business the last thing you need is a lawsuit for using an uncredited photo without the photographer’s permission or unintentionally plagiarizing a phrase. These are marketing mistakes like that can have serious consequences and may cost your business.

Using an agency or media company can help you avoid blunders like that. They are experts in the best practices for marketing and understand how to increase your business’s success in the Houston market.

Professionals Have Expertise You May Not

The team you work with should have expertise in areas you know little or none about, such as:

  • Understanding consumer behavior trends.
  • Choosing the right media for your needs. (BTW – are you still only using print?! Tisk. Tisk. You need to chase down the digital bandwagon. It’s left without you.)
  • Setting realistic and measurable goals.
  • Developing creative that will get results.
  • Changing trends including Google algorithm, legal issues, and general market updates.

It Takes (Dedicated) Time

You have a business to run, a staff to manage, and new clients to develop. You don’t have time to write creative, place ads, track results, and respond to every tweet. Hiring outside your company takes the pressure and the responsibility off your shoulders so you can concentrate on other business needs. (And just because your super smart niece graduated with a degree in communications and needs a job – doesn’t necessarily mean she’s got tried and true experience to effectively plan and manage your marketing budget. Internships are designed for a reason! Hire a seasoned professional folks.)

Quality Marketing

Paying for marketing services is an added expense for your business. However, by appointing a quality marketing agency or utilizing the expertise of your media company, you should see quality leads, valuable feedback, and increased ROI.

The old adage continues to stand true: You get what you pay for.

This of course does not mean you have to step out of the process or that your input doesn’t matter, because it certainly does. But your input paired with a marketing expert is what will really make the difference.

Trusting experts at a media company (shameless plug => Cox Media Group) with your marketing strategy and execution will allow you more time to focus on developing your business. Their knowledge and experience will help you to deliver quality marketing material and avoid costly mistakes that put businesses that were once profitable in Houston out of business.

Would you leave your brand new, five-speed Mercedes in the hands of a driver who has never driven a stick – let alone – doesn’t have a license?  Probably not.