Now before you get any ideas about cutting digital marketing out of your business growth plans, I should probably take a moment to clarify that headline. Online marketing is, by far, one of the best ways to build most (but not all) businesses these days. It's where consumers' eyeballs are. And where your message should be too.
But, most of those businesses investing in online marketing (from social media to SEO to website overhauls) are simply wasting their money. Not that it's a bad idea to be marketing online… but, rather, it's the lack of quality or strategy that's the problem.
It's kind of like those terribly conceived ads you might remember seeing the yellow pages or local newspaper that had you scratching your head. Did they really think this was going to bring them sales?
The blame for bad marketing isn't the fault of just one party. There are many reasons behind it. Businesses, particularly small and local businesses, are frugal, and devote far too few resources toward growth. But there are also plenty of bad marketing option. A desire to use popular marketing channels which are often misaligned with a business' marketing goals. And, of course, unscrupulous marketing “experts,” who do little to benefit their clients.
I call this phenomenon the online marketing money suck. And you can my recent rant on the subject over here on LinkedIn.
600 Million British Pounds Down The Toilet
And I'm not the only one calling this problem as I see it. According to a report from the firm Meetrics, British advertisers spent more than £600 million in 2016 on online ads that couldn't even be viewed. Between October and December of 2016, just under half of banner ads met the industry standard recommendation that 50% of the ad is in view for at least one second.
I've seen this very problem on client Facebook advertising campaigns were we included the platform's “Audience Network” among our ad placements. To the best of our knowledge, those supposed ‘clicks' were probably people trying to close the tiny ad on their mobile devices… and loading our landing pages instead.
92% of Website Visitors Won't Buy During Their First Visit
I've seen this number as high as 98%, but a recent study released by Episerver showed that the vast majority of people who are visiting business and retail sites online are “just looking.” There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but the problem is that few of those sites have any tools (or strategy) to get those visitors to return.
And that, of course, is another perfect example of waste. Because someone went to the effort, and possibly expense, of getting those visitors to the site in the first place. But once they left, that investment pretty much evaporated into thin air. Bringing them back, however, would have just been a small incremental additional expense (not that most site owners have even thought about it).
Discover Better Online Marketing Choices
Obviously, better choices could be made by businesses when it comes to their online marketing. But most probably don't know what options they have. I don't blame them – online marketing isn't as simple as running an ad in the paper or on the radio, but, when done strategically, the payoff can be enormous.
That's one reason I've structured Baer On Marketing around informing and educating our clients, to help them make profitable online marketing choices. We intentionally don't offer just one solution. Instead, we represent many… and help pair our clients up to the very best ones for their goals and budget. If you'd like to explore how to create solid, sustainable growth for your business using online marketing… well, then, let's chat!