You may have a fabulous product or service, but if nobody knows about it, it will just stay on the shelf or in your head. Advertising is the means to let people know you exist. And times have changed. Advertising requires much more than just hanging a shingle above the door. Here are the most persistent myths about advertising.
I don’t need a website.
This one is possibly the biggest myth of all—and locally-based businesses are the most susceptible to it. Regardless of your industry, location, or customer base, you need to make sure you have a website. It’s foundational. A website is your piece of internet real estate where you get to brag on the fabulousness of your products, services, team, company, or anything else related to your business.
All I need is a website.
You definitely need a website. And yes, it is an advertising vehicle. But that’s what it is—a vehicle. It still won’t get traffic if nobody knows it’s there. It doesn’t just automatically land on someone’s internet feed and say, “Click me! Click me!” It needs someone to drive it to the internet feeds of potential customers.
Customers want my product because it’s the best.
Most customers won’t come running of their own accord. They have to be convinced first. Why is your product or service the best? Good advertising uses reason, persuasion, and a little aesthetic appeal to get customers to reach for their wallet. Otherwise, customers are notorious for settling for less than the best simply because it was more convenient to buy from another company, or it cost less, or it was closer, or something else.
I can grow my business by word-of-mouth.
This may work for some businesses, but it may not work for you. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Word-of-mouth is great (and every business owner hopes that he or she will land lots of business through referrals), but eventually, you’ll need an additional method or two of finding new customers—or even keeping existing ones. When you’re in business, you don’t usually get to sit back and wait for customers to come.
All I need to do is post on Facebook sometimes.
Social media networks, like Facebook, don’t guarantee that you will get seen. That’s because you’re competing with thousands of other businesses, as well as baby announcements, cat videos, funny memes, Hawaii photo albums, selfies, and much, much more. A post on a business page will only be seen by one to five percent of its followers—sometimes even less. So if you have 1,000 followers, only 10 people may get lucky enough to see your post. It’s not much better on other networks.
I don’t need more customers.
What? Yes, we have actually heard this one. Did you realize that your current customers could switch loyalties at a moment’s notice, or move away, or even die? Customers can be fickle. One day, they’re your most loyal fans and the next day, they see an ad by your competitor and switch without a fleeting thought of your well-being. If you want to stay in business, you will always need new customers.
My website doesn’t need to be mobile-friendly.
Being mobile-friendly is imperative in this era of smartphones and tablets. A mobile-friendly website is designed to fit the screens of mobile devices, show readable text, and make navigation easier. Not only will this make life easier for mobile users, but it will also boost your rankings on search results.
I don’t need help.
Every business owner could use a little help every now and then—whether it’s with stocking shelves or with calculating payroll or with advertising products and services. It’s not always possible for a business owner to have all of those people in-house. Advertising, especially, can fall by the wayside when a business owner gets busy. For that reason, it’s a great task to outsource to professional advertising companies, who generally are more up-to-date on advertising trends and techniques anyway. In the long run, it could pay off.
I can’t afford it.
Advertising is more affordable than you think. On Facebook, you can run an ad for as little as $1 per day. Granted, it won’t land you as much coverage as $10 per day, but at least, it will gain you some visibility. You can’t afford not to have customers.
These myths often keep business owners from realizing the kind of success they dream of. Evaluate your advertising strategy. How are you going to solve the advertising myths that have been keeping your business stuck?
About the Author
Marlene Slabaugh is the business copywriter for Optimize Worldwide, an online marketing company based in northern California. Marlene writes on a wide range of business topics, including—but not limited to—marketing, technology, and industry-specific tips.