Do-It-Yourself marketing

One night after countless hours spent online I came across, as the name indicates, it is full of DIY stories gone wrong. One of my own DIY stories will be remembered by me and my parents forever.

When I was a little girl, I decided to do my parents a favour by washing their car. Like any normal 6 year old I didn’t know the proper way of doing it, but I knew you needed water and a cloth. So one summer day while waiting for my parents to come back from work, I grabbed a wet cloth, went outside and started wiping down the car (never mind that I didn’t have bucket or soap). Once the cloth got too dirty, I ran back inside, washed it in the sink, and ran outside to continue wiping the car with the same cloth.

When my parents came home from work they were very happy to see their forest green metallic colour car now all covered in grey, dusty, dirty circles.

My story and many other “gone wrong DIY” stories are very similar to marketing attempts done by businesses nowadays (especially digital marketing). As many others, I was very proud of myself for tackling a challenge I wasn’t an expert in solving. In general, people pride themselves on their ability to tackle any task DIY style (even when they shouldn’t). While many are well skilled and able to execute DIY tasks with grace and achieve professional-like results, others rely on sheer good luck and sense of humour to get them through.

I feel that many companies nowadays approach digital marketing the same way many people approach DIY tasks. You might be successful, but in most cases you will probably end up with dirty grey circles on your beautiful forest green metallic colour car.

Because digital marketing is a relatively new field, many businesses know they should be online, but have no clue what a strong digital presence looks like and how to actually achieve it (I mean they see young people use all these “books of faces”, twitters, and playing around with code … so how hard can it be, right? Wrong!).

What may seem like a safe corner to cut (cost wise) one might run into some trouble:

  • In business time is money and it can take significant time to create a strong digital presence. Time that could be spent making sales, tweaking systems, and otherwise running the core business.
  • Glitches, broken links, and hacks are just some of the troubles a company might run into while trying to manage their online presence. To fix those you will be required to give up yet more time and money.
  • Hosting and maintenance are costs that will come with having an online presence. Most digital marketing agencies maintain their clients sites, installing updates, security patches, and tackling issues as they come along.
  • If you are selling a product online (e-commerce) you need to be well aware of security and liability considerations you might face if there is a security breach.

The digital marketing component of your business requires strategy, focus, organization and creativity. A digital presence is not static, it requires love and attention to be effective. So, when you, as a business owner, realize that:

  • you don’t have enough knowledge and skills to create audience focused content.
  • you don’t have enough time to create an editorial calendar to keep yourself organized and engaging at all times.
  • your graphic design skills are limited to just seeing a picture, liking it, and thinking it’s a good idea to put it on your website (just because you like it doesn’t mean your audience will)
  • you don’t have enough time to train yourself on analytics and understand which one of your tactics are effective and which fail (that’s the great thing about digital marketing, everything is trackable)

I really recommend outsourcing those services, before you end up struggling and ineffectively using all these wonderful tools.

Now that you’ve decided to listen to reason, read our article “How to prepare your business for a web project