5 Online Marketing Challenges For Mum And Pop Shops In Australia
I learned one thing quickly working on WordStream’s Pacific Region team: Australia is full of small businesses that have a handful of employees. There are a lot of solopreneurs out there doing everything on their own.
Despite being small, these businesses provide specialized expertise for their clients, sell unique products, and manage to generate a lot of revenue.
Online marketing is a full-time job in itself, so there are challenges for advertisers who are handling sales, customer service, operations, finances, and other responsibilities – all on top of managing their accounts!
I’ve consulted with hundreds of advertisers in Australia, and I’ve seen a lot of common roadblocks that many mum and pop shops face.
Here are the five most common and tips for working around these challenges to increase your revenue and lower your customer acquisition costs from Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Roadblock #1: Your background isn’t marketing
If learning Google Ads is learning Spanish, then learning Facebook Ads is learning French.
Technically, both ad platforms are in English, but there’s so much new terminology to learn that it really is like learning a new language.
And many business owners get overwhelmed reading reports they don’t really understand.
The good news is that there are heaps of free resources available to help you learn more about paid search and paid social.
Try Googling terms such as negative keywords, long-tail keywords, Quality Score, lookalike audiences, A/B Testing, and ad extensions.
Try following industry blogs for tips and how-to articles. No one likes doing their homework, but this is homework that can make your campaigns more profitable!
Still scratching your head? You may want to consider hiring a digital agency. Look, it took me one semester of carpentry school to realize that I do not belong on a roof. Everyone’s brains are wired differently! If you want to hire an agency, you should find one that will be an extension of your business.
I know a bunch of PPC managers in Australia that know their clients’ business inside out, and they help with other digital aspects of the business such as SEO, landing pages, conversion rate optimization, and more.
Find someone that’s invested in your success.
Roadblock #2: You don’t have a way to measure success
Let me ask this: What are you after? Do you want customers to buy your products online? Do you want a potential client to fill out your contact form? Do you want them to call you?
Identifying your goal is crucial, and then you need to set up ways to measure your process.
Conversion tracking and call tracking, in particular, are essential to your success, so you’ll want to set that up ASAP if you haven’t already. Let’s say your keyword “financial planner Melbourne” got you 10 calls, and you got five clients out of it.
Another keyword “superannuation,” on the other hand, got you zero calls. Without call tracking, you don’t know where your calls are coming from. With it, you can wisely spend your ad budget on the best performing keywords that are bringing you customers.
Don’t know exactly where to start? Getting conversion tracking set up isn’t as complicated as it might seem, especially with WordStream’s guide.
Google also offers free call tracking, but it does recycle phone numbers. That means if your customer writes your number down and wants to call you in a week, the call goes to someone else.
I’ve heard CallRail and CallTrackingMetrics work great in Australia if you want to track your calls but don’t want the phone number to keep changing.
Roadblock #3: You have a limited budget
If you’re spending $30 per day on your ads and your clicks are costing $5, it can be hard to compete in a crowded marketplace.
Many small businesses have a strict budget: they are already spending a lot of money on traditional media advertising, their websites, and day-to-day operations of the business.
Sometimes you can’t increase your budget, you can stretch that budget out.
My colleague Justine Harrington says:
“If you rank #1 on organic search results for a keyword, you shouldn’t waste your limited budget on the same keyword. You could put that money towards different keywords you aren’t ranking for, which is better use of your budget.”
Justine has been really helpful in teaching me about the unique challenges for smaller companies in Australia, and it’s also great that our names are quite similar.
Additionally, it’s usually a good idea to set your brand name as a negative keyword when you have a limited budget, as you don’t need to pay for clicks from customers who know who you are already.
Let’s say you sell dresses. All of your competitors are going to be bidding on the keyword “dresses.” That keyword is going to be expensive.
If you sell long formal dresses, for instance, try bidding on the keyword “long formal dresses.” Longer keywords have less competition so are a great way to lower your cost per click. You can go into the Search Terms report in Google Ads to see what people are searching for when they click on your ads. You’ll want to add the longer phrases into your account as keywords if they are relevant to your business.
And don’t forget about Facebook Ads, either! Facebook has a way of finding people that are likely to be interested in your product or services, and many of my clients are getting lower customer acquisition costs compared to Google Ads.
Not to mention, if you are using conversion tracking, Facebook can learn how to target your ads better.
You might get 100 sales from a campaign, and then Facebook will learn more about who your ideal customer is and target ads to people that are similar to your customers.
Roadblock #4: You’re getting bad advice
People ask me all the time, “Someone told me that I’m not getting sales because my budget is too low. Is that true?”
Certainly, things are easier when you have more budget, but doesn’t usually fix poorly preforming campaigns. If I hand you a cup of water with a hole in the bottom of it, you wouldn’t pour more water in the cup. You’ve got to patch that hole first!
Every country has “experts” who really watched a few YouTube and don’t know what they are talking about. Whether it’s a friend trying to helpful or a consultant you are paying for, double check their advice with other resources.
Although there’s a ton of new PPC managers that do a great job, most actual experts will have testimonials from their clients to validate they know what they are doing.
Roadblock #5: You just don’t enough time
You’re about to optimize your ads, and then a pallet of inventory arrives. Then you get a call from client that urgently needs help, and then you finish your day filing taxes.
Next thing you know your partner is ringing you wondering where you are, and you haven’t even had a chance to write that new ad! I quickly learned Aussie slang such as “it’s been full on,” “I’m snowed under,” and “I’m up in my armpits” talking to small business owners.
I learned quickly this isn’t what anyone meant by “snowed under.”
Many small businesses that I know that are having success with their campaigns are setting aside some time for marketing in the early morning or even on weekends.
Personally, I prefer watching American football or seeing live music on weekends, but sometimes I’m catching up on work. If you can set two or three hours per week aside for marketing, you’ll have enough time to do your research and manage your ads more effectively.
Not everyone has those two or three hours to spare, so might I suggest looking into online marketing platforms that can help you manage your campaigns in less time.
Remember, you know your business best!
No matter what you do, it’s important that you are applying your business acumen to your online marketing campaigns. If you are managing it on your own, that’s great. No one understands your industry, your clients, and your goals as well as you do.
Computer nerds like me know a lot about marketing, but we learn so much about different industries talking to business owners, marketing managers, and the all-star employees out there that wear many hats for their company.
If you are going to outsource, it should be with someone who asks you a lot of questions and knows what you’re after.
Communication is key, and it’s best to review the account with your PPC manager at least once a month.