I love these kind of marketing mythbusters posts, so let’s play a game of “Low-Cost Marketing: Fact or Crap?”
NO cost marketing is a myth. Fact.
Low cost marketing is a fantasy. Crap.
Google loving, phone jingling, signing-on-the dotted-line salesplosions just because you ran one ad for next to nothing. Epic Crap. Smells.
There is effective, quality marketing that’s affordable for small business. Fact.
Time VS Money
If you have nothing but time, you can get up at 5 every morning, go to bed after midnight and work during your lunch hours. If not, then that time still has to be “spent,” money going out to marketing. You have to decide on what to spend it: advertising, public relations, social media, online marketing. Wisely.
You need the Yellow Pages display ad. Crap. With a catch.
According to statistical experts, 98% of homes and consumers have Internet access. And 100% of those users you know, have money and buy shit.*
When was the last time you searched the phone book online even, much less the thud book? When was the last time your customers did? Certain service industries, plumbers, lawyers, or certain specialists like HVAC possibly get good returns from their yellow page ads. But a small business with limited marketing funds should think practically about ROI, the cost of that display ad vs. more money in SEO, in social media, in email marketing.
Social media is a MUST for everyone. Crap.
You fish where the fish are biting. If not you might get a nice tan or sunburn and enjoy the cold beer, but you’ll be looking for your dinner elsewhere.
If NO ONE searches on Facebook, if NO ONE reads blogs in your community, is NO ONE watches a video about your industry, maybe social isn’t where you should fish. But odds are that rarely happens, so you really do have to weigh the risk vs. reward. It’s about finding the right networks, where your fish ARE social; maybe LinkedIn or a forum instead of Twitter.
Social media is FREE. And Easy. Anyone can blog. So many social media myths are crap.
Quality design costs too much money. Crap. Here, LMGTFY.
You need a website. Fact.
Don’t care if you’re an independent consultant, run a service business from your car, have a store on a major intersection, you should have even a 1-page website. Why? SEO as fish have learned to surf the Internets.
You can’t afford marketing. Crap.
Does Apple really need to advertise their techno goodies, sparking lust in the heart of technogeeks like myself? No but then, it’s as much about branding and position, investors and PR as it is about driving sales.
You can’t afford NOT to market your business, even if you do it yourself. Fact.
There are low-cost marketing ideas that small business owners can do for themselves or can affordably outsource.
Any other marketing myths? Please bust them in the comments.
* Totally made up. But I bet it’s true.
Photo credit: Have that game, been meaning to make some friends and play it someday.