Digital Marketing: Will You Commit or Cop Out?

— July 19, 2017

It’s been 12 years and going strong and I’ve been trying to do my best to help clients not just sustain their presence on the web but also benefit from it.

While providing end-to-end digital marketing services, I see a huge disconnect between what we offer – as digital marketing agencies, freelancers, and full-time employees who are often tasked with the job of making a business’s web presence count – and what clients expect.

Blame it on the way Internet has evolved or maybe the basic human psyche, but somehow, clients suffer the “Instant Results Syndrome”.

Clients want everything yes’day.

With digital marketing, there are no instant results (and no, the immediate clicks off your paid advertising campaigns don’t qualify, even if you managed to get results).

Traditional marketing demands a heavy budget. However, digital marketing – in all its glory – demands commitment (on top of budgets, time, and effort).

What’s the big deal about commitment? You won’t get the kind of results you can be happy with in a day.

We all know just how long it takes to build audiences organically. So, you’d say, “Yeah, I know. That’s why we have a massive ad budget that helps us get results quickly.”

You didn’t get the memo: you’ll get the same clicks that you’d get organically, except you pay for them.

Plus, the clicks don’t always translate into leads, and then into sales.

So, will you commit or will you cop out? Read on and make a decision:

Digital marketing is for the long-haul. But most people just don’t get it.

Every other successful blogger I know – and that you know – has spent years slogging and blogging away for several years before they got that traffic coming in consistently.

Belle Beth Cooper wrote about the Insanely slow road to building a blog (and why most people quit).

She dwells on Geraldine’s story — wife of Rand Fishkin of fame — who started Everywhereist and struggled to hit 100 visitors a day, for about 2 years. It was only long after that determined stint that Geraldine managed to touch 100,000+ visitors.

Digital Marketing: Will You Commit or Cop Out?

As you can see from the images here, most people would just quit by this time.

Digital Marketing: Will You Commit or Cop Out?

Digital Marketing: Will You Commit or Cop Out?

Now, that’s about bloggers.

But can you imagine what happens when a small business owner has to blog this way, for eternity, into the darkness? When would they run their business ever?

Most entrepreneurs don’t have the time to do this. So, they hire freelancers or even employ full-time staff.

It might still not work. But why?

  • Hiring freelancers or staff is not a testimony to the massive dedication to quality that’s required to gain traction.
  • The time needed for a blog to take off also depends on what Marcus Sheridan calls as the Content Saturation Index (CSI) – the more competition there is on the topic of your blog, the longer it takes for you to gain eminence, authority, credibility, and traction.
  • Entrepreneurs are not content marketers. They try to be. Some are really good at it. But not every one us. This isn’t about setting up shop on the streets of Paris or London. This isn’t about traditional door-to-door sales. The way content marketing, social media, paid advertising, and everything else works online is fundamentally different to what entrepreneurs are used to.
  • There’s always the all-star entrepreneur (with his or her peculiar take on how content development and marketing should be like) who more often than not throttles the overall success of the blog (and also how social media is managed, how PPC campaigns are run, and everything else).
  • Most entrepreneurs are also egoistic and crave control – what this means is that all of that marketing is done their way.
  • Both freelancers and staff have to pay for that long (assume anywhere from 1- 5 years) before their business blogs get any traction whatsoever – and that’s just about content marketing. Then, there could be all forms of paid advertising which require budget outlays, and there are also tools and platforms that have to be paid for. For some businesses, all this is in addition to their regular overheads (like office space and what not).

Just running and maintaining a WordPress blog the right way could cost around $ 1200 to $ 1800 per year – and this is not really going overboard with the investments. Add regular blogs (3 per week?), social media management, and email marketing to the mix and the cost can be at least $ 12,000 per year (always depends on who you hire).

For digital marketing to work, it takes:

  • The right strategy across all fronts and stellar execution
  • Willingness to adapt to audiences, learn new stuff every day, and change fast when you need to.
  • A proper budget outlay for vendors, staff, and other tools that you’d need to invest on.
  • The right expectations from each channel.
  • A smart mix of optimization techniques for each channel you deploy.

Assuming you do all that, it still takes the time to get some off of all that effort.

Patience? Now, that’s something else severely lacking for many entrepreneurs worldwide.

Digital marketing can break your back. Yet, there’s been nothing like it before. What digital marketing can do for your business is limitless.

Yet, we flinch because it takes work. Most businesses don’t go beyond a website, a few blog posts (written whenever possible, and a spotty social media presence).

The question is this: Will you commit or will you cop out?

Feature Img Credit: Khusen Rustamov of Pixabay
Others: Belle Beth Cooper at

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Author: Ashwin Satyanarayana

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