Online marketing is necessary. Word of mouth isn’t dead, but it’s morphed into “word of mouse and keyboard.” There are common trends between bad online marketing habits and lack of ROI. Below are the most common offenders.

Bad Habit #1: “I’ll Do It Myself to Save Money”

Many local business owners believe running their own online marketing campaigns can help them save money. But, the reality is that online marketing is extremely complex and time-consuming. Because you are an expert in running your business, you likely don’t have the time to teach yourself how to run your campaigns while keeping up with the ever-changing best practices that go into managing your online marketing. Working with an online marketing company can save you time, resources, and a lot of headaches in the long run by providing expert campaign management and reporting so you don’t have to worry about the minutiae of your campaigns. When you work with an online marketing company, you can spend more time focusing on your business while your campaign experts focus on getting you more business online.

Bad Habit #2: “It Won’t Work”

The “it won’t work” mentality can cost you ROI in the long run. Why? Well, every campaign, just like every business, runs completely different. There are no two campaigns that will run exactly the same, because somewhere along the way, something is different: goals, products/services offered or focused on, offers, conversion rates, reviews, social media presence, brand recognition, etc., thus rendering it impossible to know if something works or doesn’t work until you try. Every new marketing tactic out there has a different lifecycle to understand if it’s actually working or not. The most important thing to keep in mind before starting is: what does “work” mean to you? Make sure you know exactly what the expectations are for the online marketing tactic you want to try. Is the goal to drive awareness about your business? Is it to capture people searching for what you do? Is it to drive traffic to your site? Once you understand the expectations, then set goals and timelines so you can measure performance.

Bad Habit #3: “I’ll Just Try it for a Month”

Many local business owners don’t give online marketing strategies the proper time they need to start working. It’s important not to start a campaign with the mindset of “let’s throw $1,000 for one month and see what it does.” If you are serious about testing out a new online marketing tactic, then go all in. For example, if you are going to try SEO, you need to run it for at least 12 months. SEO is a long-term strategy that takes a while to start taking shape, but the ROI payoff is worth every penny invested. Talk with your online marketing partner about a realistic timeline for new online marketing strategies because they do vary, and you want to make sure you’re giving each strategy a chance to work for you.
In order to get more ROI, it’s important to make informed decisions about online marketing and your campaigns. You don’t have to know everything about online marketing, but you do have to make sure you understand what your goals are, know what your timeline and expectations are for the life of the campaign, and define how you are going to measure your results.