Most small business owners don’t feel facebook ads work. Is that you?
Small business owners get into business not because of the stability of owning your own business, and typically not because they are good at all aspects of owning a business. It is usually because you have a passion for cooking, or fashion or home décor or automobiles or whatever vertical your business is in. Being resourceful, committed and passionate, you boot-strap the business, work long hours and build something from nothing.
Just like you are not typically well-educated HR professionals or accountants, you typically are not a world-class marketer either.
As we have experienced in the last 20 years or so, small businesses have lost ground to large, multi-national chains. Why do you think that is?
Is it because these large corporations have dedicated HR departments? Sophisticated accounting professionals? Or, you do you think their dedicated marketing teams with 6-figure budgets claim most of the responsibility?
These companies spend a tremendous amount of time and resources just on marketing. They spend a lot of money on facebook as well as many other avenues. The results speak for themselves however, why do they continue to willingly invest in facebook, where as local business owners do not?
Simply put, large corporations get the results that elude a small business owner. Facebook is a great example of marketing challenges in general. What principles do successful marketers use that small business owners don’t?
- Long-term consistent execution
- Multi-media approach
- Measurable results and continuous adjustments
Each of these things take a long-term focus with continuous effort. Since you as a small business owner wear many hat, typically, your attention is focused on putting out a fire or driving revenue TODAY! This is where the disconnect is for small business owners and marketing success.
The ‘E-Myth‘ is a classic book that has been read by most business people over the last 4 decades or so. This book is not new, however it is very applicable to any small business owner and drives home exactly how small business owners typically lack success with marketing.
The essence of this book, and this short-summary will not do it justice, however a small business owner stifles the growth of their business by trying to do everything themselves. There is a time when you wear all of the hats out of necessity. The crux of the matter is when to let go of some of these hats to people that are better equipped to drive superior results. The business owner only has so much time and so much expertise. As a business owner, we need to expand how much time is spent working our business and expand the level of expertise influencing our businesses. Hiring staff, and outside contractors allows the business to break through the glass ceilings of growth. Otherwise, the business becomes stuck and stays stuck.
When is the right time to bring in experts?
What kind of experts will deliver the best ROI for your business?
How do I know if these were the right things to do?
Every business owner holds on to key aspects of the business pretty tight. We are all passionate about our business and fear losing ground. Hard Fought Ground that we, as owners worked many, many nights and weekends to achieve. So how can a business owner know what is the right move at this point?
- Time: What is your time best spent doing in your business?
- Results: What is the result we are looking for?
- Pain: What is the biggest pain point for the business?
- Expertise: Accounting, HR or Marketing
As we noted earlier, small business owners are typically not experts in Accounting, HR or Marketing. There are many other things they are typically not experts in however, we will simplify this discussion to only a few examples. You want to find people that are specialized in the right discipline to give your business an injection of juice that you are not able to.
Does this expert help satisfy your businesses biggest challenge? There is something holding each business back. What is holding your business back? Is it the amount of time you spend on paperwork or is it driving new customers in the door? Once you have this answer, the rest will fall into place.
If you do bring in an added expense, what does this person need to deliver for you to recognize whether this person or company was a good investment? We could spend a lot of time discussing how to measure this however, determine what your variable costs for a sale are and correspondingly what is your Gross Margin per sale. Did this new direction drive enough Gross Margin (not profit) to justify their cost.
What are you the best at, that nobody can do? What do you do that provides the most value to your business? Is it on the sales floor helping customers or is it training staff? What ever time this new person takes off your plate, make sure you are now spending it doing the function that delivers your business the biggest value. What I really mean to say is, don’t leave early and take off to the golf course!
Of all of the functions that can be hired out for a small business, marketing seems like the most confusing. Most business owners feel like it is expensive and doesn’t deliver a return. I disagree, if it is done effectively.
Don’t try to spend like a Multi-Million-Dollar business with your marketing. There are two ways to grow your business:
- Services you buy
- Things to you
The services you can buy include radio ads, facebook advertising, SEO marketing and so on. In order to do all of these things effective, you need to do some other things in the background. I will get what this means in a bit.
The things you do can be low-cost or no-cost things. Spending more time talking to customers, networking at Chamber meetings, volunteering at your children’s school. All of these things work but they only go so far because your biggest asset, your time, is very limited.
Why do large corporations find more success with their marketing than a small business owner?
Is it because, they spend a lot of money on facebook ads? Is it because they spend a lot of money on TV ads? Is it because they have a popular Loyalty program for their customers?
Yes, to all of these questions but let’s look at these things a little bit deeper. The reason their marketing efforts work isn’t simply because they throw money at them. The reason is twofold:
- The more of these things they do help builds the effectiveness of the others.
- The underlying analytics that each of these creates
Think of marketing like building a house. Each facebook ad, loyalty interaction, banner ad, text message and so is a brick. Each brick helps to build a house, in this case, the house is your business. The more bricks you put in place, the more solid the house becomes. Each message, ad, and interaction with your company builds your customers experience and opinion of your business. The more bricks, the stronger the experience. The stronger the experience, the more times they visit, the more they spend.
As a small business owner, we buy a radio spot and it didn’t work. We spend some money on facebook ads and they didn’t work. One or two bricks makes a very flimsy house. If you build a flimsy house, and a large national competitor comes along with a well build house of many solid bricks, which house will stand tall after a storm?
Remember the story about Little Red Riding Hood? The wolf blew down the house made of straw and the house made of mud. They wolf could not blow down the house made of bricks.
If you don’t take a multi-faceted, long-term approach to marketing, any old wolf can blow down your business.
If you pile bricks up, and a windy-wolf comes along those bricks will simply fall over. You need something to stick those bricks together. The underlying analytics is the mortar for your bricks. That is what makes your bricks strong and stable. Even is your brick wall is not as tall as a large national company, your house can still stand up to the storm the same way.
So what are underlying analytics?
Large corporations spend a lot of time on the mortar because they know how important it is to keep your bricks together. Analytics is a fancy that includes:
- How often your customers visit?
- How much your customers spend each time they visit?
- How was the traffic and sales affected by that last advertising spend?
- How often do your customers see your ads?
- Do your customers respond better to email marketing, text marketing or telephone?
- Who is your customer?
- Is your top 20% of customers on your push marketing campaigns?
- Do you have a look-a-like audience profile?
These are just some examples of analytics can consist of. First and foremost, you have to COLLECT THIS INFORMATION!!!
The biggest single step a small business can do to achieve better Facebook Ad results is to utilize look-a-like audiences. This were you build a robust profile of your best customers. Then Facebook will target your ads to the people that best fit your ideal client. Ironically, if executed properly, you will spend less on Facebook Ads with this method. Less money, and better results!
That is where an all-inclusive platform that collects this information and allows you to utilize it is so important. Tools that collect and measure a variety of touch points and help drive new revenue into your business doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are systems that offer pre-built solutions with very low cost and medium rewards but also offer a high level of customization if you want higher rewards.