13 Things Every Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner Should Know About Digital Marketing


Confused about digital marketing?

Or more to the point: are you confused about what actually works in online/digital marketing?

Do you run the risk of listening to spoofers-self appointed “gurus” who don’t actually put their theory into practice every day?

Here are 13 things which might give you a small insight of what’s involved:

  1. Digital marketing, aka, online marketing is the use of new media-such as the internet, video, mobile phones, laptops, iphones, android phones, iPads, rss feeds, social media sites, web 2.0 sites, blogs, podcasts, email – to market your business.
  2. The wide, and growing, range of these marketing options can be overwhelming and confusing for many small business owners.
  3. The growth of “experts” in social media marketing and search engine optimisation has added to this confusion, especially when a lot of the strategies being promoted are not shown to have worked for businesses like yours.
  4. The irony is that the leading social media “gurus” and experts, to a man and woman, rely heavily on email marketing to grow their business.
  5. Digital marketing offers the small business owner an unprecedented opportunity to engage in direct marketing at a fraction of the cost required for traditional advertising or direct marketing.
  6. “Direct marketing” is a phrase coined by Lester Wundermann in a speech in MIT, in Boston in 1967. He later stated that he wished he had called it “personal advertising” which gives you an indication of the power of direct marketing because it involves targeting your potential customer directly.

Contrast this personal approach with an advertising campaign on the tv, radio, newspapers, magazines for a product like dog food. Your campaign will clearly interrupt non dog owners too.

  1. Digital marketing offers the small business owner the opportunity to engage in smart, cost-effective guerrilla marketing type strategies. Using the most appropriate digital channels in the right way will see a disproportionate return on their efforts.

Up to approximately 15 years ago the small guy had no chance of competing with the ad spend budgets of bigger and richer competitors.

  1. It took Coke 50 years to build a global brand with traditional advertising on tv, radio, newspapers and magazines.
  2. It took Google 2 years to become a global brand via the internet, with no advertising spend. Yahoo needed 3 years and YouTube did it in 1.
  3. Have you ever seen an advertisement for Facebook, Amazon, Ebay, Google, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube on tv, radio, newspapers or magazines?

They’re as rare as hens’ teeth.

  1. Twitter launched in 2006 and has roughly 271 million active users.
  2. Facebook is rumoured to have 25% of its servers dedicated to the phrase “lol”.
  3. Pinterest launched in beta in 2010 and was listed in Time magazine’s list of “50 Best Websites in 2011″. In January 2012 it had 12 million users and worked out of a small apartment up to 2011.

Now, none of these facts alone will help you grow your business online.

But hopefully you will take away one thing: there is no one size fits all strategy for every business, and any social media or online marketing expert who has this view is either mistaken or misguided.

Every business is unique, and there is a strategy involving a combination of online marketing channels which will be best for your business.

Your job as a small business owner is to find what’s right for your specific business.