12 Critical Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Marketing Their Business Online

Small business marketing tips

Marketing mistakes can cause problems in any sized organisation but for small businesses digital marketing mistakes can represent a huge percentage cost to the marketing budget. In a small team it pays to be decisive and exact in your marketing decision-making but, unless you happen to own a digital marketing company, you are not an expert. Too much small-business time goes into ineffective digital marketing. We can help with this, take a look at our small business marketing tips below and find out how to avoid these 12 critical mistakes small business owners make when marketing their business online

Viewing marketing as an expense instead of an investment

Whether you are planning to have a stab at your own marketing ideas or taking on the skilled services of a digital marketing company, it is one of the most common marketing mistakes to see marketing as a return-less expense. Marketing is vital to sales, growth and even company existence. The resources you put into your marketing will show dividends; if you take notice of these few small business marketing tips.

marketing mistakes

Remaining ignorant of issues

You wouldn’t try to do your company books without some understanding of accounting or hire and fire staff without knowing something about employment law, so don’t attempt to take on your company’s marketing without keeping yourself up to date at least with the basics of digital marketing strategy. If you don’t know how MailChimp, Google Analytics and SEO tools like Yoast can help you to avoid marketing mistakes, either find out or take on the services of an expert digital marketing company.

Ignoring the need for a website

Believe it or not, some small businesses still run their digital marketing entirely through social media. This is one of the biggest marketing mistakes. It is true that social media can inform and entertain your target audience but as soon as any of your content hits social media, you lose your rights to decide what happens to it. You know the old adage about building your house on sand, well the same rules apply here. A poor foundation is no foundation at all.

business marketing management

Failing to update your website

Having a company website isn’t enough, you need to keep it updated. You have two important audiences to cover with a website; your prospective customers who will want up to be kept updated with the latest information, and the search engines, which will give you a far better placement in their rankings if you have a regularly updated website. Including a regular blog on your site is a top business marketing tip.

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Spreading your efforts too thinly

Any small business owner experiences pressure on time and resources and there is no doubt that digital marketing can be a bit of a black hole but it doesn’t have to be so. The careful delivery of a key marketing message through a considered mix of audience specific social media, website and blog is far more effective than a ‘splash it all over the place’ approach.

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Failing to define a market

Advertising tycoon, David Ogilvy once famously said, ‘The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.’ He was talking sense, consumers are all people, but unless you define a market you can’t ensure that your marketing efforts will even be noticed, let alone acted upon. Targeting the right market isn’t just about finding people with the right interests; another consideration, one of many, will be to make sure that your target market can afford your products. If you are finding it difficult to drill down to your key target market, talk to a digital marketing company about tools that can help you do just that, and you never know, they may offer up a few more small business marketing tips you can use as well.

Ignoring existing customers in your bid to gain new ones

In these days of social media following and website hits it can be very tempting to ignore existing customers in your excitement about gaining new ones. There is, however, one important thing to remember about existing customers, they have already been interested enough in your products or services to buy from you once. If you don’t sell to them again, someone else will.

Failing to use analytics

Most small business owners are great at monitoring sales and performance but one of the key marketing mistakes is to miss out on the vital information that marketing analytics can bring you. It’s simple really, if you don’t take note of which of your marketing efforts bring in the optimum results, you won’t be able to make informed choices about where to spend your all-important resources next time. A word of warning here, digital marketing analytics do tend to be on the technical side. If you find yourself out of your depth, don’t ignore the issue; seek help from an experienced digital marketing company.

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Ignoring competitor’s marketing

If you operate in a busy marketplace you will find it difficult to work out what marketing your competitors are doing and even harder deciding what is working best for them. One of the greatest small business marketing tips is to focus on the marketing tactics of three or four of your rivals and, maybe more importantly, which campaigns they keep or drop, you will gain invaluable information about what works for your marketplace and what doesn’t.

Failing to capitalise on a USP

As a small business owner you know your product or service best but if you don’t have a clear view of your unique selling point and direct your marketing activity around that, you will be making one of the most common marketing mistakes. A USP will not only be the reason consumers chose you over your competitors, it will also give you a great hook on which to hang your content, your social media posting and your sales messages. In other words, USPs are a digital marketing campaign’s best friend.

small business marketing tips

Using inferior quality content

Content today isn’t just about covering a topic or answering a few questions. Today’s quality content writers weave an intricate web of interactive text that catches the interest of new prospects, keeps existing ones happy, has a strong focus on SEO and leads naturally into explicit calls to action. Writing quality content for yourself takes a lot of time, even if you are the niche expert; this might be one area in which you would be better consulting a professional digital marketing company.

Social media success as the end goal

Social media is great. So great, in fact, that we get a little kick every time we see numbers of followers increase or notice our messages being shared. This however, does come with a caveat; whilst social media is very good at attracting attention, it should never be the main goal of your marketing activity. There is absolutely no point in having 10K plus followers on Twitter, for example, if none of them click through to your website and view what you have to offer. The web conversion funnel is real and only those who don’t care about marketing mistakes ignore it.

Digital marketing success does not come easily but, with a carefully planned and structured approach, it can come within the resource capability of most small businesses. These small business marketing tips can help you to avoid some of the most common marketing mistakes but for the best in industry developments and years of solid marketing experience we recommend that you consult one of our experts. Ask for your free consultation today to find out how we can help your business to flourish on the web or call us now for a free website audit.

 
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