Why Small Businesses End Up With An Unmanageable Digital Presence (And How To Avoid This!)

Learn why most small businesses approach things backward when taking their business online and end up with an unmanageable digital presence and how to avoid doing the same …

Why Small Businesses End Up With An Unmanageable Digital Presence (And How To Avoid This)This is an excerpt from “The Small Business Digital Manager,” which explains why small businesses struggle to get better results online and what to do about it.

***

Why Small Businesses End Up With An Unmanageable Digital Presence

To grow and compete successfully in the Digital Information Age businesses need an effective digital presence, not just a website.

An effective digital presence puts businesses in control of their digital processes and allows them to get consistently better results.

Most small businesses, however, don’t have an effective digital presence. What they often end up with instead is an online presence that is unmanageable and underutilized.

Let’s see why this happens …

Small businesses typically take their business online by getting a website developer to build them a website …

Now that their website is set up, the business needs to look for ways to drive more visitors and generate more leads. Normally, this involves setting up social media pages in addition to their website  …

The business now has a website and social media pages. Unless their purpose is to sit passively in cyberspace to give the business ‘credibility,’ these need to become ‘online assets’ and help the business get better results.

This is where things start to become unmanageable for most small businesses.

Increasing business exposure online, driving traffic, generating leads, converting visitors into customers, sales, and subscribers, ranking higher in search engines, attracting followers on social media, etc. involves doing a lot of work on a regular basis to create results.

Not only does the website need ongoing work in areas like content publishing, website management, and online marketing …

Social media pages also need content, management, and marketing …

Let’s take a look at some of the work a small business needs to do on a regular basis in these areas.

Digital Management

Businesses need to maintain, update, manage, and keep their website, web server, hardware devices, software, digital assets, online properties, and service accounts (logins, subscriptions, license renewals, etc.) secure.

This means performing regular backups, updates, upgrades, as well as troubleshooting issues and fixing problems, reviewing and updating web content (e.g. product and user information, etc.), managing users, providing customer support and training, and a whole lot more …

An effective digital presence requires ongoing digital management

(An effective digital presence requires ongoing digital management)

Digital Content

Websites, blogs, social media pages, newsletters, etc. need regular content. Digital content also needs to be managed and periodically reviewed and kept up-to-date.

Creating high-quality content for articles and blog posts, videos, graphic images, audios, downloadable reports, etc. is time-consuming and involves a great deal of work in areas like planning, researching, collating/organizing information, writing, scripting, editing, reviewing, producing/formatting, uploading, publishing, updating, etc. …

An effective digital presence requires ongoing digital content creation

(An effective digital presence requires ongoing digital content creation)

Digital Marketing

Businesses need to continually market and promote themselves online to stay relevant.

Improving search results, driving more traffic to their website and social media pages, generating leads and subscribers, converting more visitors into customers and sales, and gaining a competitive edge involves coordinating many different marketing activities and requires understanding the market, the competition, the needs of the target audience, and finding cost-effective ways to get your message through to consumers with limited attention spans who are blind to most forms of online advertising …

(An effective digital presence requires ongoing digital marketing)

But it doesn’t end there …

An effective digital presence consists of more than just a website and social media pages. It involves integrating other digital presences (e.g. search, mobile, local), which also require strategic planning and effective systems, as well as management, content, marketing, etc. …

(An effective digital presence is more than a website)

Each of these ‘presences’ presents a myriad of options, challenges, decisions, and opportunity costs and require a significant investment of time, money, and resources to deliver results.

Which Opportunity Is Worth Pursuing?

Have you ever participated in a small business networking event where at some point, someone asks for suggestions on ways to improve their business and get better results?

Often, what happens is that a spirited discussion ensues where other business owners start throwing around loads of helpful ideas and suggestions:

  • “Start a blog!”
  • “Write articles with catchy titles like ‘The 10 things you need to know about …!'”
  • “Record videos using your phone and post them on YouTube!”
  • “Create 15-30 minute podcasts!”
  • “Research your competition online and do what they’re doing!”
  • “Help people on forums!”
  • “Build a following on social media!”
  • “Follow people on Twitter and they’ll start following you back!”
  • “Spend 15-30 minutes every morning posting useful tips on Facebook and Twitter!”
  • “Start a Facebook group!”
  • “Don’t forget LinkedIn!”
  • “Start running webinars!”
  • “Facebook Live is better!”
  • “Don’t forget Instagram!”
  • “And Snapchat!”
  • “What about taking up ads on Google and Facebook?”
  • “Build a list!”
  • “Start a newsletter!”
  • “Write an eBook!”
  • “Why don’t you create an online course?”

Businesses today have the option of promoting and marketing themselves on different social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) using many different methods (i.e. tactics), such as paid ads, video ads, promoted posts, etc.

Every method is an opportunity. Opportunities, however, cost time and money and not every opportunity is worth pursuing.

Which method(s) will you use to promote your business? What’s the best way to start and where do you go from there? What criteria will you use to make decisions? How will you evaluate your results?

Posting content on blogs and social media, creating videos, podcasts, newsletters, and e-books, running webinars and online courses are all great ideas but they are not strategies.

Strategies vs Tactics

Building a successful business online requires planning and strategies, not just a loose collection of tactics.

Wikipedia defines the difference between tactics and strategies as follows …

“Strategy is undertaken before the battle. Tactics are implemented during battle. The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactic_(method)

If we think in terms of business being like war, then tactics are what you do in the middle of the battle to survive. Your strategy, on the other hand, is how you prepare to win the war. A strategy requires you to explore your options, know your strengths, assess your resources, and decide which tactics best suit your options, strengths, and resources before even going into battle.

A strategy also gives you a better idea of which battles you should fight or avoid and which tactics you should or should not consider using.

If your business lacks strategic planning and systems to:

  • Manage your digital presence,
  • Monitor, measure, review, and analyze your online marketing activities, and
  • Improve your digital processes and get better results,

Then …

  • How can you truly evaluate which opportunity is worth pursuing within your limited resources, and
  • Who is going to perform and manage all of the time-consuming work involved in creating results for whatever opportunity you decide to pursue?

Who is going to do all the time-consuming work to grow the business online?

(Who is going to do all the time-consuming work to grow your business online?)

For most small businesses, the answer seems obvious … outsource it!

Let’s see, however, how outsourcing can lead small businesses to end up as ‘hostages’ of their outsourced service providers …

*** end of excerpt ***

Download "The Small Business Digital Manager"

The Small Business Digital Manager

(The Small Business Digital Manager)

***

"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Sell Online With PayPalSell Online With PayPal

This video course shows you how to set up PayPal on your website to receive payments online, with additional tips on using PayPal payment tools.

More info: Sell Online With PayPal

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

QR Code MarketingQR Code Marketing

Learn about the benefits of using QR codes in your mobile marketing and useful QR code marketing tactics you can implement to better promote your business.

More info: QR Code Marketing

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Google ToolsGoogle Tools

This video course will help you learn the basics of using Google Tools like Google Analytics and Gmail.

More info: Google Tools

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using S2 MemberUsing S2 Member

Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.

More info: Using S2 Member

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use AweberHow To Use Aweber

This video course shows you how to use Aweber to set up autoresponders, newsletters and opt-in subscriber forms that can be integrated with WordPress for lead generation, user engagement, and client training.

More info: How To Use Aweber

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Keyword Research ToolsKeyword Research Tools

This video course shows you how to do keyword research using tools like the Google Keyword Planner.

More info: Keyword Research Tools

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Create Engaging PresentationsHow To Create Engaging Presentations

Learn how to create beautiful and engaging presentations that will help you sell more products and services online.

More info: How To Create Engaging Presentations

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Add A WordPress Site To FacebookHow To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Learn how to add your WordPress site to Facebook. Learn how to obtain and set up a free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your WordPress site, how to change your site protocol from "http" to "https" (secure site) and how to set up a Facebook app and import your entire WordPress site into Facebook.

More info: How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPressBuild An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

More info: Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Why Small Businesses End Up With An Unmanageable Digital Presence (And How To Avoid This!).