Are small businesses missing out on advertising?

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently reported that U.S. digital advertising for the first time will overtake all other forms of media. The estimated spend for 2021 is more than $130 billion. TV will take in a mere $59 billion; newspapers and magazines just over $7 billion each; and $22 billion will be spent on everything else.

We’ve arrived at an age where it’s possible for a business owner to compose, place and evaluate his or her own investment in a digital media such as a Google or Facebook ad. So why aren’t more small business owners active in this arena? Pecking out a few words of copy about your own operation isn’t like producing a Super Bowl commercial.

I have no research beyond my own observation to back up my theories but I’m willing to challenge a college marketing professor I know to put her class onto verifying this.

Reasons Small Businesses Don’t Do More Digital Advertising (in no particular order).

1. It doesn’t seem that easy.
Google and Facebook want you to think it’s as uncomplicated as stapling a flier to a telephone pole, but the reality is that to get good results there’s a lot to master in the user interface and in the tracking.

2. I don’t have time to do it right.
So you don’t do any digital advertising at all.

3. I’m afraid of wasting my money.
There are plenty of articles like this recent story in Entrepreneur about the massive amounts of fraud that have infected the digital ad world. Worldwide there’s more digital ad fraud than credit card fraud. The whole digital ad marketplace seems complex and when you say that 45% of all web traffic is made up of bots, how can you blame someone for being apprehensive?

4. I tried it once and got no results.
A timid investment of $5 on boosting a Facebook post won’t make the cash register ring. You’re better off buying a Powerball ticket. Marketing has to be conducted in therapeutic doses. And not every successful ad leads straight to a sale.

5. My customers know where to find me.
Good thing you’ve got enough of them.

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