4 Digital Marketing Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know

By Shelby Ballou

For many small business owners, digital marketing is similar to car maintenance. You hire an agency thinking you need an easy fix, but you leave with an empty wallet and no hard data that says you’re getting the results you want.

Here are four digital marketing secrets every entrepreneur should know, straight from the founder/CEO of FiveFifty, a digital marketing agency. These tips will save you money and ensure your digital marketing strategy is top-notch.

You don’t always need a fancy new website.

The most important aspect of any website is outcome. Design elements should always come second. If your current website is creating successful outcomes — meaning it’s easy to navigate, effectively communicates your company mission, clearly tells customers why they should choose you, and drives sales — don’t let a web agency convince you to spend thousands on a major website redesign.

The most expensive advertising channels aren’t always the best.

Most businesses understand the importance of advertising but have limited budgets. The best advertising agencies will try to get you the most bang for your buck, rather than push you into the most expensive channels. The best strategies are both inexpensive and highly successful at creating sales, like retargeting. (Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your ads to them as they visit other sites online. This effectively converts window-shoppers into buyers.)

More isn’t always better.

Marketing agencies may try to tell you that their efforts have been successful because you’re seeing increased site traffic. Your goal as a business is not to get more people to your website. It’s to get more paying customers. If your marketing agency is driving quality traffic, they should have positive conversion metrics to report. Traffic that doesn’t convert is only slightly better than no traffic at all.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

The marketing world is full of creative minds. In many ways, creativity is an advantage (especially when it comes to branding and design), but in other aspects, it’s a disadvantage, because new ways of doing things are rarely as successful as tried-and-true methods. Maybe you’ve seen websites with unconventional menus that leave you frustrated because navigation is difficult, or you’ve seen artistic but confusing ads that don’t ask for a click. These kinds of creative experiments can be fun, but when it comes to your business, it’s better to stick to what drives traffic and sales.

All of these tips play on the same theme: Keep your focus on revenue at all times. And if you’ve hired a digital marketing agency, it’s their job to drive traffic that converts to sales. If your own marketing efforts aim towards that goal, you’ll be ready to guide them in the right direction.

For those without a digital marketing agency, running your business really well is the best thing you can do for your online presence. Companies that make lasting relationships with their customers get more traffic to their websites. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing there is, both on the web and off the web. Give your customers a reason to talk about you to their friends and family, and your website will organically receive more traffic.