07 Apr Marketing mistakes that can hurt your small business
Having a ‘solid’ marketing plan is integral to any small business. It can help increase your visibility and strengthen your brand reputation online.While there are many theories on the best marketing efforts that will yield positive results, it is also wise to consider the potential marketing blunders that are commonly made but can be avoided.
While large companies sometimes have entire departments dedicated to overseeing their marketing campaigns, smaller businesses with fewer resources must focus on being consistent with their marketing efforts in order to get the best results.
What not to do:
Here are a few pointers on what not to do when marketing your business online.
- Don’t market your business without clear goals
You should not start promoting your business or brand if you don’t have a clear understanding of your milestones, goals or key performance indicators (KPIs). Without a clear idea of what you would like to achieve through your marketing campaign, there is no way to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
Make sure that you have a marketing strategy that clearly outlines your goals, performance thresholds, effectiveness, allocated budget etc.
- Not focussing on returning visitors
While it is very exciting to have new visitors to your website, they are not the most likely ones to make a purchase. Repeat visitors have been known to convert at a higher rate with a higher average purchase. Many small businesses overlook this tiny detail and focus all their energies on getting new traffic to their website.
Email marketing and display advertising retargeting are two widely-used marketing tactics that have shown to be very effective in getting customers to revisit your site.
- Not paying attention to details
The image you project online will be the basis for how your clients perceive your business. It is absolutely essential that you review your marketing materials for typos, grammatical errors, image quality and other issues.
Double check any and all materials before they go live to avoid looking unprofessional and losing your clients’ trust.
- Not following marketing best practices
One of the most powerful resources available to a small business is your in-house mailing list that includes existing customers and prospective clients. Use an email service provider to manage and build your database.
Email marketing is one of the best methods you can employ to keep in touch with your customers. Make sure that you have permission to send email marketing material. You should send a test email to yourself to ensure that there are no errors, that all the links work and the images look sharp. Your newsletters should be mobile-friendly too.
- Not reviewing your online reputation regularly
Be aware of what is being written or said about your business online. Conduct regular searches of your business or your business name and address to check online reviews.
While no business can boast of offering a 100% satisfaction to all of their customers, most unhappy customers do go online to post a negative review. To build a strong reputation online you could go the extra mile and ask for positive referrals from satisfied customers. You could even direct customers to your preferred referral pages online.
- Not responding to negative feedback
While getting negative feedback isn’t pleasant, it is part and parcel of any business that offers a service or product. How you respond to a bad review says a lot about your brand so tread carefully. Some brands make the mistake of simply deleting negative comments while others choose to ignore them altogether.
Use negative feedback as an opportunity to shine and showcase your company’s commitment to customer service. Your customers will appreciate that you took the trouble to resolve their grievances.
- Buying likes and followers
It can be risky business to buy likes or followers. Did you know that when you buy Facebook fans it actually reduces your overall reach? Fans that aren’t organic will never interact or engage with your page which gives Facebook the signal that your content isn’t valuable or engaging to your audience.
It is always better to use all your energy into attracting fans and followers who are actually interested in your brand and what you have to offer.
- Not improving your site speed
When you upgrade the speed of your website, it can increase traffic, dwell time, quality of visitors, leads and conversion rates. This is possibly one of the easiest and cheapest marketing techniques you can use.
All you have to do is run a site speed test and send the report to your developer who should be able to make the corrections. If you do not have a developer, you can contract with people on Fiverr, Upwork or Growth Geeks for a nominal fee.
Most of these marketing ‘mistakes’ are easy to fix and will help you see a measurable increase in your marketing success.
Stay consistent with your message, be true to your company values and keep typos and other trivial errors to a minimum in order to strengthen your brand. These are the little things that will help you get ahead of the competition and grow your small business brand.