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Why isn’t DIY marketing working for my small business?

Amy Thorne

Amy Thorne

Chief Visionsary Officer
RTL Digital Media

Last year over the Christmas holiday you spent about 432 hours researching this whole new thing called “social media marketing”.  You read blog after blog about facebook, twitter, Instagram and you have no idea still what a “snap chat” is.  You downloaded Yost SEO onto your blog and started writing blogs once a month.  Eventually, you took the leap of faith to invest $300 a month into google adwords.  What has it yielded you?  NOTHING except hours of frustration, a whole new patch of grey hairs and maybe a deeper relationship with two friends that go by the name of Jack and Jim.

How could you have failed so miserably with your marketing efforts?  You spent hours watching videos, reading blogs last year and you attended at least 3 “Digital Marketing” seminars in less than 2 weeks!  Success guaranteed in less than 3 months, right?  It doesn’t look that hard!

Have you ever seen the movie the Lion King?  Close your eyes and reflect back to when Rafiki hits Simba over the head with his staff.  Now, considered yourself bopped on the head for thinking marketing is that easy.  As Rafiki might say “Learn from your past marketing failures.  The answer is in the knowledge”.

Small business digital marketing tips

  • Many small business owners market their company to themselves. What do I mean by this?  Entrepreneurs know the special nuances of their product or service and tend to focus on them during their marketing efforts.  They market according to how they want to be marketed to instead of marketing according to your clients/prospects needs and interests.  Want to understand how to effectively market to prospects?  Send out a survey to your top 50 clients and find out how they learn about new products
  • Digital marketing requires continuing education. The landscape of digital marketing and how it meets customer behavior patterns changes on a daily basis.  How your prospects engage with you looks completely different today than it did 6 months ago and will look 6 months from now.  Staying on the competitive edge of marketing requires continual education on behavioral trends, new platforms, new SEO algorithms, and the list goes on.  If you don’t want to hire a professional company to do it right then prepare yourself to dedicate 4 hours a day to reading and another 2 hours a day to marketing production work.
  • Digital marketing requires a 360 degree approach. An effective marketing plan includes understanding everything from your online persona to how you attribute graphics on your website.  Digital marketing will fail if your attitude is to just throw up a twitter handle and retweet something every few days to your fans.  Want to have a successful plan?  Be ready to write up a 14-18 page strategy and be ready to re-write 40-50% in 3 months.
  • You will never know everything there is to know about digital marketing. Let me draw you a picture: I am a girl.  I love my hair.  I can fix about 4 hairstyles with not much stress.  I dream of having the skills my hair dresser does, but it will never, ever happen.  I don’t have the knowledge, the tips learned during hands on experience or all the tools.   Apply this picture to your marketing.  Will you ever have the resources and time to dedicate to understanding and knowing all that a data driven results marketing team knows?  If you take the humble and smart approach to business of surrounding yourself with those who know more than you then you will get a lot farther faster.

Digital marketing is not rocket science, but it far is from easy or quick.  It requires a targeted marketing plan, data analysis and lots of patience while waiting on the results.  Looking back on 2014 you did the best job you could when you sat down and analyzed your time and knowledge in relation to your efforts.  So, pat yourself on the back, take one last swig of Jack or Jim, and sit down to analyze how much of your marketing budget are you willing to invest in 2015 and the ROI you would like to see!  Now, it is time to bring in a professional to help your bucks kick off this year with a bang!

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Kelley Shaw

Creative Director

Bringing Ideas To Life

Kelley’s role at RTL Digital Media covers a spectrum of design and production functions, including animation, catalog design, and trade show design with an e-commerce focus. She puts extra energy and life into our clients’ projects.  She knows how to make design fit perfectly—and strategically—into an organization’s branding and messaging.

Kelley’s experience includes directing the creative and artistic vision for Geneologie, an online and catalog fashion resource.  In three years, she was promoted four times, leading the in-house promotional marketing efforts. She built the vision, strategy and delivery teams that focus on Direct Mail pieces including catalogs, apparel, packaging, and design production.

Kelley previously served in a designer capacity assisting Americasmart, creating product displays, and was an intern with Denmark Ad Agency, where she created presentations, print graphics, and branding packages. She has received awards for her designs and invests her personal time with charities donating artistic help, graphics, and mentoring.