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5 Lies Digital Marketers Tell Local Businesses

Local businesses have special challenges. They need to reach people nearby, but these businesses may not be large enough to afford big media buys for local radio, TV, or newspaper. Or maybe they need to reach a certain type of person locally, so it’s difficult to target those very small audiences.

You may have experimented with social media or website traffic in the past and been underwhelmed. Maybe you spent a lot of time and energy getting content in place, and the results were disappointing. Often digital marketing feels like it’s all smoke and mirrors.

How do small businesses leverage limited budgets to get the kind of results that actually grow business?

The truth is that digital marketing is not an easy fix. It’s not instant, and it’s not foolproof. But that doesn’t mean it can’t work. It just means you need an experienced partner.

To get the results you need for your business, you must combine many different elements in specific ways. Your marketing partner needs to understand media, the realities of P&L, marketing, and digital tools to create the combination that will work for your business. There is no “one size fits all” formula.

So why aren’t other marketing people telling you how this works? The fact is, most marketers don’t really know how it works. In our experience, many marketers who claim to be social media experts possess only the most basic understanding of what it is, or how it may help your business. They don’t understand content marketing and they have never held themselves accountable to tangible results.

That’s frustrating for those of us who are out there doing it right; making content marketing work against numeric goals set at the beginning of projects. That’s why we’ve decided to share our list of the five most common lies marketers are telling local businesses like you.

LIE #1: Social Media is a Conversation You Have With Your Audience

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to local businesses today, but to pretend that it provides an ongoing conversation is wrong on a lot of levels. The vast majority of businesses have social media sites that receive only a few comments each month. In fact, Facebook announced last year that it was suppressing business pages' posts, even if the Facebook user had liked the business page. Recent studies predict that your Facebook Page messages will only reach 2% of the people who have liked your page. Combine that with a low number of followers, and you’re spending a lot of time to reach very few people. To pretend that this is an effective way to reach prospects is crazy.

Social media can help your business in a lot of ways but don’t assume people are carefully reading and commenting on your posts. Most aren’t even seeing them. You must use social media differently to get results.

LIE #2: Blogs Attract Visitors to Your Site

We love blogs here. Used correctly, they’re the Swiss army knife of marketing, but if you believe that a blog is a stand-alone tool that attracts new users to your site, you’re bound to be disappointed.

Blogs can provide dynamic content for your site, which will eventually help SEO. You can use blogs to load up your site with keywords, which will also help your SEO. Blogs can be a great landing page (as this one is) for a specific type of audience, allowing you to promote a targeted message to a targeted group of people. And finally, blogs demonstrate industry expertise and are good background information for anyone researching your organization. But don’t depend on blogs to be a stand-alone magnet for new visitors.

LIE #3: It Doesn't Matter Where You are on the Search Page as Long as You're on the First Few Pages

Search engines are the new yellow pages. They’re the way people find new options, track down addresses and phone numbers, and choose businesses. If you don’t show up quickly in searches for your kind of business, you’ve lost customers. Even worse, if your competitor shows up above you, you may be losing existing customers.

According to Google, 94% of Americans with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Research also shows that in 2017, 59% of people conducting mobile searches clicked on one of the first three organic listings.

That means if you’re not one of the first three listings in a mobile search, you’re missing out on more than half of

all searches.

When you look at these numbers, it’s hard to underestimate the power of search rankings. If you’re not seriously working on improving your Search Engine Ranking (SEO), all other marketing efforts become much less effective.

LIE #4: Once You Get People to Your Website, You've Won the Battle

Unfortunately, this is another lie. The first visit to your website is not enough to convince people to buy from you. Recent studies show that 98% of visitors won’t be converted with only one website visit. That means you need to get people to your site over and over again. To do this, you need ongoing site promotion, such as SEO, social media links, and paid ads.

LIE #5: No One Can Predict Results Accurately

Don’t believe it. Cup O Content CAN predict results accurately. That’s the best part of digital media! It’s completely accountable. We will work with you at the beginning of projects, set numeric goals, and build budgets to meet those goals. We will tell you at the beginning what you can expect, and we will deliver the results as promised. When you spend money with us, you’ll know what you’re getting upfront. That means you’ll know how many people will click through on your Facebook posts, how many will read your blog, and how many will opt into your mailing list. We will set up regular reports and share all the metrics with you in an easy-to-understand format. And we won’t bury it in technical speak, so anyone on your team can easily see exactly how your content marketing is working.

Don't Get Discouraged, But Do Things Right!

Maybe you've been told one or more of the lies we list in this blog. You might be discouraged, but don’t give up quite yet. Content marketing is one of the most affordable and most geographically-specialized marketing opportunities currently available to local businesses. By combining social, blogging, SEO, and lead generation together in the right ways, you can not only get exponentially more traffic to your site, but you will also see more people in your store, at your museum, in your office, or at your event. You will also be able to get them to opt in, volunteering personal information that you can use to market to them again and again, driving the growth you need to expand your business or organization.

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If you haven’t talked to a team member from Cup O Content, you may be missing critical pieces of information that can help your business succeed. If your digital or content marketing program is not delighting you with exceptional returns, it’s time to caffeinate your content marketing. Contact us, and we’ll give you a free consultation to discuss what you could be doing to get more out of your marketing program.


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