Time and money are two things that everyone needs more of. Figuring out where to devote time and money in your marketing efforts can be a challenge. Should you use a designer or an marketing firm for your marketing? Will you be wasting time on something you can easily do yourself? Are you being taken advantage of because you aren’t a marketing professional?
There are certain aspects of small business marketing, like blogging and social media, that you can save money on and do yourself. But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Some marketing activities are best left to the experts. So when should you save money and when should you make the investment to get help from the pros?
We’ve broken down the most common marketing activities into what you can do yourself and what you should pay a professional to do.
Websites are the first thing that a customer sees online. A proper website has certain requirements in order to rank higher on search engines, including good SEO and mobile responsiveness. DIY websites may look professional, but the drag and drop structure that makes them easy to build is bad for SEO. Invest the money into having a professional build your website. It could make or break your business, and save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
A logo is a graphical representation of your business and how your customers will recognize it. Color, style, size, and shape are important aspects of a logo. While there are many free visual marketing tools available, we recommend you use a professional who knows how to convey the right message for your business. A bad or poorly designed logo can prove disastrous for print marketing and website responsiveness. Your logo will stick with your business, so it should be timeless and easy to replicate. Unless you’re a graphic designer, leave logo making to the pros.
You know your business better than anyone else. What you do, services you provide, and the story of your business should come from you. Content like blog posts and email blasts is easier to write than you think, so keep those in-house. This is a free marketing tool that will also strengthen your branding and voice.
Social media posts are a reflection of your business and one way to creatively market your business. Social media is how you can communicate and engage with customers online. Your followers want to talk to you! Do it yourself by posting pictures and status updates to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other platforms. If you don’t already know, learn how to tag someone on Twitter and Facebook so that you can engage them appropriately.
If you are new to marketing, leave your marketing strategy to the pros. Paying someone to help you come up with a social media marketing plan to market your business will prevent you from wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t work.
Graphics are one of those things that you can do yourself or pay a professional to do. Depending on the type of business, you may be able to get by with online DIY graphics tools or use Instagram for marketing. For more artistic businesses, it may be worth investing the money to have a professional create some basic graphics for your marketing. Once you have some baseline graphics, you can DIY.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is something that can be done yourself but if you want to do it right, you should pay a professional. There are easy ways to check if you have good SEO and many ways in which you can increase your SEO with marketing activities like blogging and updating directory listings. Improving your SEO through these activities however, will be best met with an optimized website from a professional.