Over the last few weeks I’ve spoken to a large number of business owners who either have a dedicated person in-house working on their online marketing or have hired a firm that specializes in something other than online marketing to handle their online marketing. Let’s just say that the results these companies have seen have been terrible, in some cases they have actually hurt their online presence, and they have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars with virtually no return on their investment.
So it left me with the question of just who is handling online marketing for the majority of small businesses? As it turns out, there’s really three people handling online marketing for small businesses that shouldn’t be, and in my opinion only one good solution for small businesses to utilize.
In-House Online Marketing Teams
In house online marketing teams can work for certain things, like posting to social media sites, updating a website blog, and responding to reviews and complaints. The problem is that business owners often rely on these in house teams (or individuals) to handle website updates, link building, creating viral content, pay-per-click management, and a whole host of other online marketing activities. These teams or individuals rarely have the proper training or experience to handle all these elements, and what ends up happening is things are done improperly or not done at all. Having an in house individual or team that knows all these elements is going to cost a business far more than hiring a specialized online marketing firm to handle it, and if they find a team or individual that costs less chances are they’re going to get what they pay for.
Non-Specialty Marketing Firms
This is a growing trend, having a web design firm handle SEO, having a graphic designer handle web design, or having a social media firm handle blog writing. The problem is these firms don’t understand how every element of online marketing relates to every other element, and you end up with a fragmented campaign that doesn’t produce the results you’re looking for. The solution is quite simple, hire a firm that has vast knowledge in how SEO relates to content, how web design relates to SEO, how email marketing relates to lead nurturing, and how PPC relates to conversions. Then you’ll get the results you’re looking for and let your online marketing campaign work to it’s full potential.
Large Online Marketing Firms
We’re getting closer to the proper solution, but there’s several very large online marketing firms out there who offer exactly what you need — a full circle approach to online marketing. The problem? They have tons of employees who handle your campaign, and as we all know certain inefficiencies and problems arise with large companies vs. smaller firms. When you call in, you often will talk to multiple people and get multiple answers to the same question. In many cases the prices are higher as well due to the company having additional overhead costs.
Small Business Online Marketing Firms
In the vast majority of cases, it makes the most sense for your small or medium sized business to work with another small business firm that specializes in online marketing. I don’t just say this because we’re a small business online marketing firm, I say it because it truly is the best option around.
Before founding The Marketing Masters, I owned another business and tried all three options above for our online marketing. The results just weren’t there, which prompted me to start The Marketing Masters and offer online marketing from one small business to another. There really is something to say about having a more intimate, personal relationship with your online marketing firm and working with people who know your website and business inside and out.
So ask yourself who is currently handling your company’s online marketing, and if it isn’t another small business firm that you have a close and good working relationship with, then you may want to consider changing things up to see if you’ll see better results.