As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. From time sheets to budgeting, everything falls on you, which is why digital marketing feels so intimidating. Long gone are the days of advertising in phone books or newspapers; instead, there’s a bevy of online opportunities that each come with risks.

Since the inception of The Loop Marketing, businesses ask us questions about numerous small business digital marketing myths, and the unfortunate truth is that most of them are untrue. Rather than inspire small businesses to invest in their digital marketing infrastructure, these perpetuating myths hold them back from the success they deserve.

To help you out, we looked at some of the most common small business digital marketing myths, according to Google. What we found might surprise you.

1. Only Big Businesses Need Marketing

Myth or Reality?


Not only is this false, but online marketing has changed the way small and large businesses compete in their industries.

Yes, larger businesses spend a lot of money on commercials, extravagant marketing opportunities, and star power. We see examples every year during the Super Bowl or when a blockbuster film is about to be released.

At the same time, small businesses have utilized digital marketing to experience extreme growth.

For example, look at Dollar Shave Club. You’ve probably seen their products online or in department stores nationwide. 

In 2011, the company had a website, some operations, and a killer offer of cheap razors delivered straight to your door.

One year later, they created a viral ad that delivered so much traffic that it killed their servers and increased their user base by 12,000 people overnight. One YouTube video turned a small razor company into a competitor of big brands like Gillette.

Dollar Shave Club is an outlier regarding business growth, but even the smallest of businesses need marketing to attract customers. 

Maybe it’s an email or SMS reminder about upcoming discounts or new services. It could be online videos of your staff showing off your products.

No matter what, if you want customers, you need marketing.

2. Good Marketing Provides Fast Results

Myth or Reality?


This is one of those myths that has a bit of truth in it as well. Can marketing deliver fast results? Absolutely. Just look at the Dollar Shave Club example above.

But there are so many different factors that go into a successful piece of marketing that expecting immediate results isn’t likely.

Let’s start with some digital marketing solutions that can deliver faster (not fast) results. These include Google Ad Buys, influencer marketing, and direct outreach. 

An example of Google pay-per-click is everything you see at the top of your Google search. Depending on the search term, this could lead to product listings, Google Maps ads, or text-based messages. You aim to bypass the long-term growth of search engine optimization to reach your audience directly where they are.

Influencer marketing requires small businesses to partner with successful individuals with large followings on YouTube, social media, or other spaces. Think of it like a celebrity endorsement on a much smaller but targeted scale. Once again, you’re putting your business into the world directly in front of as many eyes as possible.

Direct outreach requires sending emails, flyers, discounts, etc, to potential customers interested in your small business. It’s time-consuming but takes less time to attract customers.

There is a cost to all those marketing types: ad buying costs money (sometimes a lot of money), influencer marketing has a short shelf-life (and can also be expensive), and direct outreach is time-consuming.

Ultimately, good marketing requires a mix of fast and slow results. Slow results come from content marketing like keyword-focused blog posts, social media engagement, and email list curation. Those three take time to happen but do lead to long-term customers and sales as they tend to have a longer lifespan.

Don’t expect instantaneous results from your marketing strategy; for every Dollar Shave Club, hundreds of YouTube videos are sitting out there with less than 25 views. Play all the odds that make sense for your small business, including short- and long-term plays.

3. Huge Traffic Equals Huge Sales

Myth or Reality?


This is another myth where there’s a little bit of truth in it, depending on how you see it.

Ever heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad press?” That’s some people’s philosophy on website traffic (i.e., the number of people visiting your website daily). The more people that wander onto your website, the more opportunities you have to make a sale or connect with a potential customer.

And that’s kind of true, to an extent. Logically, more people visiting your website does equal more opportunity, but there’s also a possibility that the vast traffic coming in isn’t the right kind of traffic for your business.

If you create a blockbuster piece of content that isn’t related to what you do as a small business yet drives tons of new people to your website, you will face a dilemma. Give the people what they want, or let them leave without being a customer.

Another potential issue is that Google will notice you’ve attracted a whole lot more attention, but not necessarily for the topics you want.

A better way of phrasing this is that the right kind of huge traffic equals huge sales, but that’s just not very catchy, is it?

4. Advertising is a Marketing Plan

Myth or Reality?


Advertising is part of your marketing plan but not your marketing plan itself. Your marketing plan should involve a series of essential pieces of information, including your audience, platforms, and goals.

If you tell a marketing agency you want to advertise, what kind of advertising do you want? Content marketing, online ad buys, social media strategy? Every business needs advertising, but your marketing plan should focus on how you will do it.

Advertising is part of your marketing plan, but the plan itself requires a few more steps.

To start a marketing plan, you first need to set your goals. What do you want to do: attract new customers, get new sign-ups for your services, and increase sales? This is the most crucial part of your marketing plan because without a clear goal, what is the point?

Once you’ve created a straightforward, trackable goal, the next step is identifying where and to whom you want to market online. 

The where could be via blog posts, social media, case studies, and more. Only some platforms are best for your marketing strategy, so identifying the right one can differentiate between success and failure.

Identifying your customer base is more complicated and time-consuming but ultimately rewarding. In every marketing plan, there should be a clear indication of who you are marketing to or who your ideal customer is. Without that information, you might as well be throwing darts at a dartboard blindfolded.

Those are the three essential elements of your marketing plan and notice that advertising is only one of those pieces.

5. Digital Marketing is Completely Technical

Myth or Reality?


The truth is that some parts of digital marketing are technical, and a majority of it isn’t as advanced as you might think.

For the technical aspect, website elements such as sitemaps, technical SEO, and other details are best left to professionals. While relatively easy to learn, it can be intimidating and overwhelming.

But the other aspect of digital marketing, the content creation, doesn’t have to be technical. If you listen to your customers, they will give you all the information you need to know about the type of content you should create.

Are there commonly asked questions? Write a blog or film a video answering them.

Do your customers look for something specific? Enhance these service webpages or send out emails advertising your products.

None of this needs to be overly technical; instead, focus on your customers and their needs. For items that might be more advanced, reach out to a trusted digital marketing agency that can provide guidance and expertise.

Do You Want to Grow Your Business in 2024? Call The Loop Marketing Today.

The digital marketing experts at The Loop Marketing have decades of experience working with small businesses like yours to increase your brand awareness, acquire new customers, and drive sales. If you want to grow your business in 2024, schedule a free consultation with The Loop Marketing today.

author avatar
Garrett Carlson
Garrett Carlson is the Content Manager at The Loop Marketing. A former creative writing teacher and graduate of the Johns Hopkins Masters in Nonfiction Writing program, Garrett has spent his entire professional career working on putting together the best words, in the best order, to create the best sentences. In 2019, Garrett started his own content website dedicated to improving men’s mental health, advocating for positive male friendships and self-care. Through this experience, Garrett brings expertise in developing Search Engine Optimization, building engaged online communities through the written word and understanding multimedia content (podcasts, webinars, group building) to The Loop Marketing and their clients. Garrett spends most of his free time with his wife, two cats, (Jay Catsby and Daisy Bucaten), and Icelandic Sheepdog Orla while recreating scenes from the Fast and the Furious, and dreaming about all things Buffalo-food.