The landscape for digital marketing is vast and wide. There are large agencies geared toward Fortune 500 type companies. There are agencies like the one I work for that work for small to medium sized businesses with $50M or less in revenue. There are companies pushing for social media marketing, or Google Ads, or organic SEO. Your email box is surely full of offers for traffic and rankings and riches beyond your wildest dreams. For big corporations, its easier… you’ve got a team of experts on hand to help you navigate these waters. For smaller companies, it’s more difficult.
To compound the confusion, when you search for SEO or digital marketing, you get some listings for firms who would bother with a company your size or listings for companies or people who are in the business of helping other marketing and SEO companies learn the business or hire consultants.
To learn more about this, I posted the following question on Twitter last weekend:
Why do #SEO and #DigitalMarketing experts seem to spend more time marketing to their competition instead of to their audience of #smallbusinessowners , #onlineshopping sites, etc. I’d be concerned as a consumer… if they can’t identify their own audience, can they find mine?
— Stockbridge Truslow (@StockbridgeT) July 20, 2019
Different Roles in Digital Marketing
Interestingly, the answers I got were pretty close to what I was expecting to find. Selena Vidya of Ortrhis Media said:
In my case, small biz owners aren’t a target – limited budgets + most need execution. We rarely handle execution.
Our consultancy handles strategy, training, & optimizing process/workflow/collaboration, so forming partnerships w/agencies that handle execution only is a win-win.
— Selena Vidya (@selenavidya) July 20, 2019
The Takeaway: SEO and Marketing is a rich and complicated subject. We’ve talked before about how every phase of your project needs to consider every other phase of your project. The holistic approach really takes a full team – it’s almost certainly impossible to find any single (or even a couple of people) who can profess expertise across the entire board of online business. With consultants and strategists on the same team (and the same page) as the people executing the plans, the effectiveness of your marketing programs will soar.
Digital Marketers and SEO People Need to Learn, Too
Marko Cvijic and Thomas Unise came to similar conclusions…
Bulk of those experts sell online courses and their so called competition is actual audience to them.
— Marko Cvijic (@MarkoCvijic) July 20, 2019
Because they all read a Tai Lopez ebook, started an “agency”, then created a course they want to sell you.
— Thomas Unise (@ThomasUnise) July 20, 2019
The Takeaway: The SEO and digital marketing industry is huge. With millions of web sites each needing a team of at least 4-5 experts working at least part time just to cover the basics, there are millions and millions of jobs out there. There are also companies who may decide to bring the whole marketing and SEO in-house – and those employees need to be constantly learning and keeping up to speed on the latest trends, techniques and methods. Digital Marketing and SEO are as much an art as they are a science – and both of those evolve as do all arts and sciences.
The Big Companies Do it a Little Differently
And, as Adam J Humphreys of Making8 says:
I have said this often. However, it’s often the in house Fortune 500 level SEOs and techs that hire experts instead of business owners. Most business owners have no idea the value we bring and at the level of expense our expertise costs it’s usually big business.
— Adam J. Humphreys (@Making8) July 20, 2019
The Takeaway: It’s not just business owners who need expertise in a certain area. It’s all about the teams that are put together to make it all work. In order to provide the best services for our clients, SEOs and Digital Marketing Agencies need to build solid teams so that they can tackle your problems to create and execute a plan that is going to work for you.
Earlier this month, Kim Krause Berg of Creative Vision Web Consulting recently penned an article for Search Engine Journal entitled Web Design Practices that Frustrate SEOs. She’s talking about something a little different, but it all really comes back to the same thing… it takes a team that is well coordinated.
Digital Marketing and SEO for Small Business
When I started this blog a bit over a month ago, I did so because I realized that there was a huge void in information for the under $50M annual revenue crowd. As we can see from the twitter thread above, a lot of the information out there is for the big companies or it’s targeted toward other SEO and Marketing companies to round out or improve their scope of service. Along with all that, there is also a lot of really bad information out there – some that is simply dated information that’s no longer useful and some that is outright incorrect.
In addition to watching out for the SEO/Digital Marketing Red Flag Warnings we talked about last month, we also need to make sure you’re hiring a service that is right for you. Make sure the company you are considering is speaking to you.
- If they are talking about Fortune 500 companies, they probably aren’t going to be interested in your few thousand dollar a month program (though, not from lack of caring about you, but because they just aren’t geared to handle it). These types of SEO firms might be useful in giving you recommendations for companies worth talking to though. The types of things they are talking about are the types of things you can look for in a smaller firm more focused on your niche and market, too.
- If they are talking about teaching SEO or Marketing – it may be of use to learn some basics, but there is no one single program out there that can teach you everything. Likewise, there aren’t enough hours in a year for a single person to learn everything needed to be successful. Always be learning, but fill the holes with seasoned experts.
And of course, keep following this blog because this whole thing is for medium and small businesses to learn how to navigate the tricky waters of growing your online presence. Please like the Equestics page on Facebook, Follow Me on Twitter, or Connect with me on LinkedIn to get notices of new postings. It’s going to take some time to cover all the bases here – but we’ll keep plugging away at it.