Most Common Small Businesses Marketing Mistakes to Avoid.
It is often said that “experience is the best teacher” and I usually add, “but it doesn’t have to be your experience.” As a small business, you don’t have to repeat the mistakes of those that have gone ahead of you, especially as it relates to small businesses marketing mistakes. This is because small businesses rarely have a big marketing budget, so they cannot afford to keep making marketing mistakes. Of course, mistakes are inevitable and we can not be perfect every time. However, perhaps, all you need to realise your marketing goals is simply the knowledge of common small businesses marketing mistakes to avoid. And for that reason, I have written below 7 marketing mistakes to avoid as a small business. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
You might be wondering why this is on the list but this is for those who have made up different justifications as to why no marketing is a good idea because they are a small company. But there are just no justifications for it; the business world is just too competitive for you to be thinking like that. There is only so much referral can do for you – even though that’s also great and should not be ignored. But you have to be in charge of your marketing; be actively involved.
You cannot run a business on the guarantee that “perhaps, my customers will tell people about me because I sell quality products and provide excellent service.” Now, am I saying they won’t? Of course not! If they like what you have to offer, they could but you can’t bank ONLY on that. You have to tell people about your business, put your business out there to be in the mind of your target audience.
No Marketing Plan
It is like doing anything without a plan; there is a high chance it will fail. And I am not saying this to be negative; no! I’m saying this to make sure you understand the importance of writing out a marketing plan before you start any marketing campaign. And it is not enough to think you know it in your head; write it out. Outline the marketing goals, the marketing channels (social media, Google, traditional etc.), the strategies and the budget.
No Strong Online Presence
I say strong emphatically because just being online is not enough. But let me start by saying, if you are not online, you need to get to it. You cannot afford not to be online in 2021; not if you want to advertise to a larger number of people. According to Internet Live Stats, about 5 billion people use the internet as of Dec 2020 and based on what we know about technology, the number will likely keep increasing and not decreasing. So, it is only advisable that you be online to advertise to more people than you will find in your neighbourhood.
However, it is not enough to create social media accounts and a website; you have to be actively involved in growing traffic to your website and your social media accounts/posts. Make sure your website has all the must-have webpages, is properly optimised for SEO, is user and mobile-friendly and has all the necessary content while your social media accounts are engaging your customers. Don’t just abandon these channels just to say you have an online presence; use them.
No Target Audience
Everybody is not your customer. I know I talked about being online to take advantage of the more-than-a-billion people using the internet. But that is not to mean every one of those 5 billion or more people are interested in what you are saying. It simply means you are likely to get a million people interested in your brand on the internet than you will, advertising in your local newspaper classified ads section.
So, instead of draining resources to advertise to everybody, you should identify your target audience and focus your efforts on marketing to them. You will find it easier to convince a dog lover to buy your dog food than you would, trying to convert someone who is more into cats to prefer dogs and then, buy your dog food. Answer questions like the age bracket, income bracket, interests, sex and the problems of your target audience that you would be solving. Then you can tailor your marketing around that.
Don’t Track Results
The reason you need to track results is so you can know what’s working and what’s not. Marketing is not sentimental; the fact that you prefer a certain marketing channel over others doesn’t mean it will be your favourite. In fact, your favourite marketing channel should be the one that reaches your marketing goal. But you cannot know this without tracking.
Check the results and for instance, if PPC works better than social media marketing or Facebook works better than Instagram, well, guess who now prefers PPC to social media and Facebook to Instagram? That’s right, you! It doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore the others; it just means concentrating more effort on what works and checking what you are probably not doing right with the others. Perhaps, if you find what needs to be fixed, you will enjoy the benefits from all platforms and in any case, two is better than one.
Ignore Your Competitors
I started this post by saying you can learn from the experiences of others; this is very important in marketing. Take the time to study your competitors. Pick the ones who are succeeding in your field, especially. Follow their marketing; see what they are doing and study their marketing patterns. Find out the tone and style of their copies, the channels they are concentrating on and the marketing strategies that they repeat. That would give you an idea of what works.
Ignoring Your Old Customers
Customer retention is very important for your business growth. Yes, you should get new customers but you shouldn’t ignore your old customers. Channel a part of your marketing efforts to old customers; you can tell them about new products or services they will enjoy but beyond that, engage them and make them feel seen and appreciated. Referrals are great like I said earlier, and you can get this when you nurture customer relationships. Also, you are likely to convince someone that knows about your brand than one who doesn’t. They have patronised your brand and hopefully, trust you. So you will find it easy retaining them and you should take advantage of that.
To conclude, not all of these small businesses marketing mistakes may apply to you. However, even if one of them applies to you, it could hugely impact the success of your marketing. So, you should definitely assess your marketing based on all the common small businesses marketing mistakes listed here and make changes.