The 5 Challenges of Small Business Digital Marketing

The 5 Challenges of Small there are many ways to navigate around tactical issues and help your company expand its online presence. Read on to learn more about the 5 most common digital marketing challenges small businesses face and how you can route around them.

1) Budget

Budget is the #1 digital marketing challenge that small businesses face. In most cases, small companies have a limited marketing budget and cannot facilitate huge digital marketing programs. As it stands now, small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) spend an average of 46% of their marketing budgets on digital advertising (this often amounts to about $400 per month).

Fortunately, there are ways to develop a strong digital marketing program without an unlimited budget. Word of mouth (great customer reviews, a strong geographical presence) and good SEO are totally free or low-cost marketing tactics that work well. In fact, 27% of SMBs say that word-of-mouth is their most effective marketing channel, compared to 3% who believe that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is most effective. This means that marketers with small budgets can get started by building a great reputation and imparting good SEO practices.

2) Choosing the correct social media platforms

Right now, the average web user has 5 different social media profiles – so how do small businesses choose social media platforms to target? First things first – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the biggest social media networks in terms of user numbers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should put your resources into all of them at once.

The key to determining which social media platforms are right for you is considering your social media marketing goals. For example, Facebook is the biggest social media network in the world (the site has upwards of 1.44 billion monthly users right now) and its size alone makes it a great place for digital marketers to be. When it comes to Facebook, however, the site’s primary purpose is to build and maintain brand loyalty and recognition. Take Campbell’s Kitchen, for example, which has over 1 million Facebook fans and uses the site for everything from content distribution to promotions.

Facebook is a great platform for informational posts, new pictures, and social sharing campaigns whereas Twitter is fantastic for quick updates and new product promotion. Google+ is wonderful for content distribution and NAP listings while Instagram is ideal for photo-sharing updates and advertising. In fact, the first set of Instagram ad metrics were recently released and experts found that Instagram ads achieved a click-through rate 17 times higher than other digital marketing platforms! Once you’ve determined which sites are best for your company goals, use a platform like Hootsuite to manage them all from one convenient location.

3) Content creation

Content creation for small businesses is often difficult. Typically, SMBs don’t have the manpower needed to create and maintain a consistent content creation schedule and this alone can make digital marketing difficult. With this in mind, there are a few options for small businesses. One option is that the business can hire an on-staff content creator that is responsible for handling everything from social media to blog posts.

Another option is outsourcing your content creation needs to a content creation company or to an independent freelancer (using a site like Upwork). Prices will vary depending upon whether you choose to work with an individual or a company but content is a good place to put a portion of your budget.

Most experts claim that content is the #1 most important factor of your entire. The 5 Challenges of Small digital marketing program, so it’s worthwhile to ensure that yours is high-quality, ample, and well-written.

4) Staying on top of current technology

Right now, there are dozens of new apps and platforms cropping up that can improve your digital marketing game, but chances are you’re pretty busy with other things – like running a business. That said, one of the biggest challenges facing SMBs and their digital marketing strategies is simply staying current on new technology. Many of these technologies are free (Meerkat and Periscope, for example) and can provide a powerful platform for free promotion, marketing and advertising.

In order to stay current on new releases and tap into the things that have the potential to boost your business’s digital marketing, make some time each week to read the posts of industry leaders or find current trends by searching Twitter hashtags or following pertinent digital marketing blogs like Contently Content StrategistAllFacebookBrandSavantContent Marketing InstituteConvince and Convert, or Buffer.  A quick skim of even a few of these each day will help you stay in the know and remain competitive in your digital marketing pursuits.

5) Gaining quality leads and increasing visibility

Let’s start here: LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than any other social media platform – and it’s free. In addition to creating and maintaining social media profiles, though, SMBs can gain quality leads and become more visible by doing simple things like being active in the local community, increasing the number of landing pages on a website (businesses with 31-30 landing pages get 7x more leads than businesses with 1-5), partnering with like-minded businesses to run promotions, encouraging customer referrals (which are responsible for 65% of all new business), and collecting good reviews. Most of these are free and easy and can be a huge help for your bottom line.


While small businesses face digital marketing challenges that larger businesses don’t, there are many ways to work around challenges and be competitive in digital marketing.