digital marketing

When Do You NOT Need Digital Marketing for Your Business?

By Susan Guillory

I definitely drink the Kool-Aid when it comes to digital marketing. After all, I run a content marketing agency, so all this blogging and social media stuff is kinda my jam. And while I’m quick to tell the average business owner that they need digital marketing, I have to admit that that isn’t always true.

A digital marketing fairy somewhere just keeled over.

But really. Not every business needs to be ‘Gramming and blogging. Take my local video store. Yes, I said video store. A store so popular in my neighborhood that after the family, which had been running it for 30 years, decided to close down so they could rest on their retired laurels, it opened back up due to customer demand.

They have social media pages, but they don’t really update them. Why? Because they do a healthy amount of business with people who have been renting videos for decades. Those customers don’t need to connect on Facebook. They want to connect with Winnie, the octogenarian who’s quick to give a great movie suggestion, in person. It’s a face-to-face business, and digital marketing wouldn’t make that any better.

So…What About Your Business?

I spend a lot of time in my small business community locally, and while some businesses do well with social media and blogging (the organic market, for one), others really don’t need it (the financial advisor). So what about your business? Is digital marketing worth the time and money investment?

Ask yourself: how do customers find you? Is it word of mouth, or by walking past your location? If so, are you satisfied with those numbers? If yes, your efforts might be better spend with local marketing, such as giving your customers coupons or holding local events.

Who are your customers? If they’re over 60, they probably don’t turn to social media and the Internet to assess a business they want to give money to the way I do at 39.

Ugh. What if I’m Just Not Good at Digital Marketing?

It really comes down to knowing your audience. If you feel like you’re disconnected to a digitally-savvy audience, you probably do need to step up your marketing game online. That doesn’t mean you’re going to love it; you might cringe at the idea of writing blog content or updating social media.

But unfortunately, not having the desire to do your online marketing doesn’t excuse you from needing to do it. If your audience is there, you’re going to have to suck it up and get on it. Not to worry; you can always hire someone to help. It’s better to pay a professional who knows what she’s doing to attract customers for your business than to do a craptastic job of it yourself.

Set aside your own feelings about digital marketing before you decide whether it’s essential for your business or not. If it is, jump in with both feet. If not, amp up your local marketing efforts instead.

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Susan Guillory
Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She's written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

3 comments

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  1. The video store is a prime example of this! Not only because they’ve had the same customers but because they’re also probably the only one around.

  2. I have to say, I really disagree. I think that 98% of businesses can effectively use social media/content marketing to their advantage. I think the video store business is a unique example because it was a local business which had a strong local presence (likely long before the internet became popular). Social ties to the community like that take years to build. But still, say if it was a newer video store who wanted to make a name for themselves, they might start writing weekly reviews on new movie releases or on local plays. Even the financial advisor can make a name for himself on social media giving out financial advice in a quirky yet still informational way.
    It’s all about creativity.

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