13 Myths About Small Business Marketing

For a lot of small business owners, marketing is a mystery.

It’s also the answer to one of the biggest concerns they tend to have.

“How do I bring more customers into my business?”

I mean, it’s a top concern for about 66% of small businesses.

Obviously, figuring out marketing could change a lot for your small business.

Today I want to jump into a few of the things small business owners get so absolutely wrong about marketing.

Chances are there are a few myths I’m going to share that you believe.

Today, I want to make sure I shatter those myths so you can start doing what’s in the best interest of your business immediately.

Shall we?

Believing The Wrong Information About Marketing Can Hurt Your Small Business

Let’s start with some real talk.

Avoiding marketing because of the things you believe will be fatal for your business.

Marketing is a crucial part of your long-term growth, so you have to understand it correctly.

You have to market your business successfully.

Mistakes are unacceptable.

What better way to avoid mistakes than to learn, right?

So, instead of skipping marketing your business because you have the wrong information, eventually making you go out of business, let’s fix what you know.

Dispelling 13 Big, Dangerous Small Business Marketing Myths

Yeah, dangerous.

Garbage like this is part of the reason only 30% of businesses make it more than 10 years in business.

If you don’t understand the truth, you’ll believe the crap.

If you believe the crap, you’ll look back 10 years from now and wonder what went wrong.

Let’s do this.

Social Media Takes Too Much Time To Be Worth It

You might feel social media is a bit of a time thief.

It can be if you aren’t careful.

The problem, however, isn’t the time it takes to correctly market your small business there.

The few social media skills you’ll need to master will prove you can market your small business on social media in very little time every day.

No, for real.

For starters, you need to learn the all-important art of not getting distracted by your personal social media when you’re handling your marketing. Click To Tweet

That can be tough.

Once you have that down, you’ll realize that you can get away with just a few small social actions through the social channels you use for your company.

  • Post a great picture
  • Ask a survey question
  • Share an idea you had for your company

If you know what it takes to make great content and get engagement, executing your strategy takes minutes a day.

If you really want to get savvy, there are a ton of tools to help you run it all from one place instead of logging into every account.

That can fix your distraction problem too.

Many of them offer great automation techniques to help even more.

So, you know, it’s time to get on social media.

I Don’t Need A Website Because I Don’t Sell Online

You wouldn’t believe how often I still hear a variation of this myth.

It’s impossible to think that some business owners still don’t see the value in a website.

However, some don’t.

It’s weird, too, because I feel like marketers, in general, have been harping on this point for years now.

But yet, almost half of small businesses don’t have a website.

That’s really concerning. Here’s the thing.

Even if you don’t sell online, your website – used properly – should still be a huge source of sales leads for you.

Just to be clear, your customers expect you to have a website, and they’ll use it to contact you. Click To Tweet

60% of consumers use your website to learn about you.

Or, you know, they would if you had one.

They’re pretty specific about what they’re looking for, too.

There are some other pretty specific benefits to a website that are hard to replicate elsewhere as well.

  • Opportunity for testimonials and case studies.
  • Great way to influence your target market’s opinion.
  • The only way Google is going to tell people about you.
  • Create a multimedia resource to educate people about your products and services.

That means the best option you could possibly take is building a website.

Like now.

It’s OK If You Duplicate Content

This might not be so obvious for the unexperienced.

In fact, most people who don’t deal with the search engines for a living don’t realize the problems with duplicate content.

And that’s a really bad thing if you’re so unaware that you’ve been using duplicate content.

Google penalizes your rankings if you’re using duplicate content.

However, they’ve got some great ideas to help you build your rankings.

One of the biggest things you can do is create better content.

Make certain you’re giving your website visitors great information that does the following:

  • Teach them about your product or service.
  • Get them familiar with your company.
  • Encourage them to work with you.

The bottom line: your customers have to relate with the content on your site.

Provide real value and they’ll pay attention.

That’s what Google wants to see.

I Already Have Plenty Of Customers So I Don’t Need Marketing

Awesome! You have a ton of customers!

That’s always a great position to be in.

After all, customers make your business grow.

But what happens when that list runs out?

It’s a completely foolish venture to assume that you’ll have customers forever if you’re never going to market your company.

The more complicated and technical your product or service, the more trouble you may have adding a budget line for a high-level marketing strategy.

However, the more you decide to invest, the better your returns will be. Click To Tweet

Investing in top-notch digital marketing strategies that will allow you to grow is always worth the money.

Unless you don’t want to grow.

Now that’s a silly thought, isn’t it? Who doesn’t want their company to grow?

Look, the key to keeping a huge customer list is marketing.

That means you always need to put your brand in front of your target audience.

You need to repeatedly reinforce that your company is the industry leader that they should work with.

If you can successfully do that, you’ll keep having a long list of customers.

I’m Not Getting Results Quickly, So It Must Not Be Working

You’ve put in the work to create excellent content.

Your social media has the right combination of media formats and frequencies to get attention.

All your buyer personas have been researched and created.

Everything on your digital marketing checklist has been checked off.

Yet, for some reason, you’re not getting leads or sales.

No matter what you look over, you’re convinced it’s all done right.

But here, two weeks in, you’ve got no results to speak of.

Now you’re considering scrapping the whole thing.

Really?

If this is you, you’ve got to learn some patience.

You need to learn patience about your small business marketing.

It’s normal for people to think that hard work and correct effort equal fast results.

That why so many people quit the gym, after all.

The truth is that marketing, especially the kind that will create a lasting result, might take a while to produce results.

But that’s a byproduct of what makes digital marketing so strong.

You see, digital marketing gets long-term results, meaning it will work to benefit your small business for a long time.

If you do it right.

Add in all the tools to automatically gather customer data and you can easily determine what’s working and what’s not.

With patience, you’ll get the marketing results you’re looking for.

Nobody Is Going To Read A Blog About My Industry

Ok, I get it.

Some industries are super boring for those who don’t work in them.

If your small business is in one of those industries, the idea of marketing through content might not seem like a good one.

I’m going to tell you that your industry isn’t too boring to read about.

You do understand that there are thousands of blogs about the following subjects, right?

Ok, those last two probably fit more into the strange than they do into the boring, but you get my point.

No matter how boring you think your industry is, there is always something of value in it.

If the content you make is helpful, people won’t call it boring.

Shit, marketing is boring. But you’re reading this, aren’t you?

That face when you realize marketing is boring, but you're reading about it.

The biggest key is in the way you write about your industry.

Besides, how cool would you feel if you were the person that made your industry interesting?

You could be the Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye of your industry.

Yes, I realized I just picked two scientists, but they make science cool for so many kids who are otherwise uninterested. They’re the perfect examples.

If your industry is as incredibly boring as you think it is, nobody else is making content there either.

That means you have a shot at being a frontrunner.

Imagine how that’s going to set your business apart from the competition.

My Social Media Post Has To Go Viral To Work

It’s every content creator’s dream.

You post something on social media, then head off to do something else.

A few hours later, your post has been seen by 20 million people.

Oh man, here comes the attention.

While it’s true that viral content is the fastest way to get attention for your brand, it’s also completely unreliable.

That’s one of the few reasons that make viral content a bad strategy.

A better strategy is to make quality content that people enjoy.

When you can do that while simultaneously making it shareable, you get more reliable results.

I know it seems like viral content is the only source of value, but that’s directly related to the myth that you need fast results.

It’s also easy to look at big companies and see their posts get millions of likes.

That tricks you into the assumption that you need millions of likes to get anywhere.

You need to remember, though, that those big companies have the marketing funds your small business doesn’t. Click To Tweet

They can pay for reach, likes, and shares that you can’t.

Instead, you need to focus on content that’s helpful, useful, and entertaining.

By bringing constant value to your audience, you’ll steadily build a large fan base.

That equates to a larger pool of potential clients.

I Have A Huge Number Of Social Media Followers So I’m Doing It Right

You’d think, right?

Since social media found its way into small business marketing, we’ve been taught that followers are what matter.

They used to tell us that followers were the measure of how well our business was doing on the platforms. Click To Tweet

So, for years now, we’ve been focused on building as large a following as possible.

Some of us, myself included, have even paid to build the number of followers we have on our pages.

But all of that focus is on a very superficial metric, and it’s a waste.

The thing about social media followers is that, while they make us feel better about what we’re doing, they don’t directly correlate to success on social.

Here’s a question; how many of your followers actually engage with your posts?

If they aren’t engaging, they’re not paying attention.

Instead of focusing on followers, focus on engagement.

Use strategies that get your audience interacting with your posts.

There’s something magical that happens when your audience begins to interact.

You start to see leads. You start to make sales.

Just don’t use the medium to push a sale.

That’s going to undo your work.

Instead, just focus on the many ways you can get your customers to engage.

One of the best things you can do is focus on a particular niche.

Find an underserved portion of your target market, then produce content that speaks directly to them.

Avoid the wide net approach and focus on who is likely to engage.

Then give them a reason to.

You’ve Got To Post A Ton On Facebook To Get Anywhere

People tend to think Facebook takes a lot of work.

I fell into that trap a few years back, and it killed my momentum.

When you believe this myth, it’s not only going to hurt your Facebook marketing efforts, but it’s going to make you feel like crap.

The results you get when you can make Facebook work are bigger if you work less at Facebook.

In fact, Facebook has been known to penalize businesses that post too often.

If you plan to include the internet in your small business’ marketing strategy, you’re going to want to understand Facebook. Click To Tweet

In fact, getting it right can really make your business stand out.

The most important thing to remember in a Facebook strategy is moderation.

Post once per day. Twice if you have something that might be really engaging that can’t wait.

Focus on posting different media types, too.

Try not to overdo “text only” posts or shared links, which tend to be most small business’ primary post-type.

If you can mix in video content or podcasts, you’ve got a much better chance.

Master Facebook live, and you kick it to a whole new level.

But whatever you do, don’t ignore Facebook.

It’s Hard To Measure The ROI For Internet Marketing

ROI concerns are important.

As a small business owner, you can’t be spending money on your marketing with no return.

That’s why this particular myth stops so many small business owners from investing in great marketing strategies.

But it’s a myth.

ROI is really easy to track from the web.

In fact, you can automate the whole tracking process.

In fact, according to Forbes, marketing automation can have a huge impact on your ROI.

82% of marketers saw an increased ROI from their automation.

Ok, so automation improves the ROI, but how does that make tracking the ROI easy?

Well, let’s cover some basics.

Most online marketing isn’t converting directly to a sale, and that’s what makes tracking the ROI seem tougher.

What’s a free consultation or an ebook download worth?

Because your conversions may not directly result in income, you may feel like you can’t get a real sense of the ROI.

The best way to fix that problem, according to Neil Patel, is to assign a value to the lead. Here’s his formula:

(Average Value of a Sale to a Lead X Rate of Sale to a Lead) = Value of a Lead

Now you know what a lead is worth, and that means you know what kind of return your small business gets from your marketing.

My Customers Aren’t Using Their Phone To Visit My Website

This one can’t be real, right?

I’m not even going to address why this might have become a myth.

It’s stupid.

I’m going to take an educated guess and assume you’re reading this on your phone right now.

But put yourself in my shoes. You probably think nobody uses their phone to find a marketing agency, right?

That’s just the thing, though. People are using the mobile web more than ever.

Hitwise discovered that 60% of search is conducted on a mobile device.

But you don’t have to believe them.

If you’re anywhere in public right now, simply look around at all the people using their phones.

Everyone from baristas to executives spends a ton of time in their mobile devices.

That’s where they’re going to do most of their initial research too.

Phones are always with us and always connected, which makes them convenient to find information. Click To Tweet

Google noticed this back in 2015.

They decided that a mobile-friendly website was going to factor into search rankings.

They penalize non-mobile sites huge, too.

If your site isn’t mobile, it won’t show up in 60% of search.

That’s because non-mobile sites get dropped from mobile search completely.

It all ties together.

That’s every device that isn’t a desktop or laptop, by the way. Not just phones.

This myth can literally kill your business in the modern era.

Don’t fall victim to it.

Marketing Emails Just Get Sent To Spam

This myth is a big one, accepted by most small business owners.

It’s probably because we’re personally sick of advertisements getting emailed to us.

You might be surprised to find that email isn’t dead, though.

It might even be growing unexpectedly fast.

That’s because email is so incredibly valuable to your marketing efforts.

Only if you use it right, that is.

And that’s where the core of the myth begins.

Many email campaigns become spam because they’re not offering anything of value.

You’ve gotten enough “Deal of the Day” emails to know that.

Instead of constantly going for the sell, try to be creative with your emails.

Successfully done, you can join the ranks of small businesses who have grown their business with email marketing.

My Customers Aren’t Looking For Me On Social Media

A laughable myth at best.

When social media was new on the scene, this was probably true.

Or, rather, when businesses first began to use it.

Social media was the toy of a young generation.

Millennials used it to collect friends and play games.

Most companies didn’t see their clients there.

But now, the numbers are different.

Nearly 50% of social users are over age 35. That age demographic includes people from all walks of life, including your clients. Click To Tweet

Hell, half the reason people think Facebook is dying is because the older population is all over it.

If you ignore social media as a means of connecting with your target clients, you’ll be missing a huge number of people in a place they can already be found.

Time To Put Small Business Marketing Truth To Work

Ok, the biggest myths are dispelled.

You understand how much value the internet has for your small business’ marketing efforts.

You know the basics that you should be putting to use.

And, hopefully, you’ve developed a new appreciation for what can happen when you learn about the marketing avenues available to you.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.