Digital marketing has become an important area, if not the primary area of focus, for most small business leaders. But, as the digital landscape continues to evolve, so do the challenges.

A few weeks ago, Infusionsoft released the top five digital marketing trends for small businesses. It wasn’t surprising to see that most of the trends centered around the challenges that small businesses face when it comes to reaching potential customers in today’s digital age.

What are the most common digital marketing challenges businesses will face this year? And, more importantly, how do you overcome them? Those are the questions I want to answer in this post.

3 Digital Marketing Challenges for 2018 (and How to Overcome Them)

Challenge #1: Defining Success

46% of small business leaders don’t know if their digital marketing strategies are working. This means that the majority of small businesses are spending their marketing budget on strategies they aren’t certain are working.

How do you solve this challenge? There are really two keys: take time to determine your goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive towards that goal. For example, if you want to generate more leads in 2018, set a goal, and then find a way to measure things like inbound traffic, new potential leads, qualified leads, conversion rates, etc. Taking time to do the hard work of setting goals and KPIs before you get in the day-to-day grind of managing your digital marketing campaigns is essential for defining success.

Challenge #2: Working with a Limited Budget

While they might be investing more in other areas, over a quarter of small business leaders will try to get by in 2018 without spending more on digital marketing. Whether you’re facing this challenge because you aren’t sure digital marketing works or you’re being asked to scale back, there are ways to overcome the obstacles around working with a limited budget.

Digital marketing works best when you focus on adding value to your customers. People are searching for your business (or businesses like yours) to help solve their problems. 93% of B2B sales start with search. Creating strategic content that helps them solve their problems not only helps you show up in search engines, but it also helps you earn their trust and attention as they’re learning about your brand.

Challenge #3: Finding Enough Time

When asked about their biggest marketing challenge in 2018, respondents indicated that their number one challenge was simply finding the time or resources for marketing. Struggling to find enough time and resources to devote to marketing is something I hear every week. And when they do focus on marketing, they spread thin in a hundred different other areas.

The time problem can be difficult to solve. We still haven’t figured out how to add more hours in the day (although I’m hoping 2018 might be the year). This is why finding the right agency partner is essential. Finding a partner who understands your business and focuses on marketing so you can spend time focusing on the things only you can do (selling, leading your business, etc.) might be one of the best decisions you make this year.

As we head into 2018, there’s a lot we can’t predict. But one thing I do know is that you will face challenges. Maybe it’s one of these three challenges. Maybe it’s something different. While you may not be able to control every situation you face, knowing there will be obstacles (and watching for them along the way) is something you can do…and leading your business through challenges you absolutely can do this year.

Here’s to an incredible 2018!