Small businesses have limited time, assistance and resources. A lot of marketing mistakes are made when small owners try to wear many hats, due to handling sales, distribution, customer service and so on. There is often little room left for efforts to implement effective internet marketing strategies.
Many small business owners wonder: How do I get my business noticed? To stand out against the competition, your digital presence must be current, relevant and informative so that customers can easily find you and gather the details they need to choose your company with confidence. In this article, we will talk about what the most common marketing mistakes are made by small business owners and how can we improve a situation.
Why Small Businesses Are So Bad at Creating Promo Materials?
It should be noted that not every small business will necessarily be bad in marketing. There are small companies that have everything in order regarding their promotion. However, in general, the situation is such that the majority of small businesses steadily make internet marketing mistakes. Moreover, many of them have problems with offline marketing.
Furthermore, in this article, we will consider in detail the top marketing mistakes made by small businesses. Regarding the causes of problems with online advertising (as well as offline promotion strategies), they are the following:
- Self-doubt and insecurity in the strengths of their specialists. Often, because of this, managers will shy away from marketing even, or take steps to minimize it. Small business managers may feel insecure in marketing, thinking that they do not have the resources that large companies do. Meanwhile, one of the key benefits of digital marketing for small businesses is budget and availability.
- Waiting for quick results. Even global internet marketing strategies do not immediately bring results. This can be expected from the marketing campaigns of small businesses and is usually not worth it. However, managers often place high expectations for marketing, which leads to frustration and further mistakes.
- Irregular marketing activities. Sometimes the manager can start to do everything right, but because of the general workload and unwillingness to connect outsource marketing specialists to work, the campaign fails.
These are not all the reasons for making mistakes in small business promotion. However, many of them are common marketing mistakes. We will turn to their analysis in the next section.
Common Marketing Mistakes: Examples of Mistakes Business Owners Make While Doing Their Own Small Business Promotion
There are dozens of popular small business promotion errors that mark professional marketing analysts. We will begin by sort the worst mistakes and widespread of them.
The desire to cover everything at once
Small business owners and managers often try to cover all existing online directories, social networks, and other resources. When they do not have enough time and energy, as well as resources to control these processes, the profiles “die” and the marketing effect is zero.
Lack of internet marketing strategies
A lack of understanding of how the Internet is useful for marketing can cause many problems. Working without a strategy is another example of common mistakes a small business makes when a manager gets a weak result even from active actions. A great deal in marketing depends on competent organization and optimization of actions, therefore the strategy implemented is very important.
The site is not updated
Activity on the site shows customers and partners that the business is developing. If the manager does not have time to update the information on the site, add news to the blog, etc., customers have the impression that the site is dead, and this has a negative effect on the brand image. Sometimes it is better to remove some sections from the site (for example, a blog) than to leave it without updates for months.
One of the most common company marketing mistakes is an assignment of responsibility for the promotion of the wrong person. If the business owner or manager does not have time to do the marketing himself, delegation is a great solution. However, it is necessary to choose a specialist who will be entrusted with this task – an incompetent person can only worsen the situation.
Lack of analytics
All results from previous marketing campaigns should be carefully examined. On the basis of the data obtained, the manager can get new cost-effective marketing ideas and build strategies. If you do not do analytics of the results, there will be no development, and the effect of marketing actions will remain at the initial low level.
Lack of attention to regular customers
The next example of marketing mistakes is a lack of attention to those who have already made one purchase. Many managers are so focused on attracting new customers that they forget about old ones. But for those who have already made a purchase once, it is much easier to sell them something else (provided that the product or service was really high-quality).
Lack of content
Quality content is one of the main digital marketing tools. At the same time, creating content does not take a lot of time or money – it is enough to periodically publish short posts on Twitter or photos on Instagram, and you will easily attract the attention of some segments of the target audience. Regularly published articles, photos and videos can raise sales to a new level in just a few weeks – but for this, you need to pay sufficient attention to the content.
Email Marketing Not Used
Email marketing can be a wonderful marketing help for small businesses. Ignoring such a tool, the manager deprives himself of an effective channel for the surge in clients; while saving neither time nor money.
Extremely high startup marketing costs
We must not forget that small business promotion strategies differ from the strategies of large corporations. For small business there is no need to allocate large budgets for marketing – the effect often does not justify the investment. The tactics of small costs at the start and a gradual increase in the budget are much more justified.
Some marketing mistakes are the result of an ineffective approach to marketing in general. Let’s look at a few examples of how internet marketing strategies can be ruined by the incorrect opinions of the marketing company.
Using Old-School Methods of Marketing in Their Small Business Promotion
Old school marketing ideas and methods are other topics, if we talk about marketing mistakes for small business. Today, there is still a separate category of entrepreneurs who adhere to traditional marketing techniques. These are mainly middle-aged and older entrepreneurs (from 50 years of age and up), who slowly accept current trends in the development of both marketing technologies and technologies in general.
Such entrepreneurs (as a rule, it is business owners) use advertising of local radio and TV, print advertising and other traditional techniques to promote their product. At the same time, internet marketing software tools are either not used in principle, or are used in a very limited capacity.
It is logical that in comparison with social media vs print media or podcast vs radio, traditional technicians lose. Radio and TV advertising or print production, at a minimum, requires a larger budget, and the effect is often less impressive than from a simple SMM. As a result, mobile-friendly small business promotion gains a competitive advantage over the adherents of the old school, and entrepreneurs lose profits.
Ignoring the Most Profitable Marketing Channels in Online Advertising
It happens that business owners and managers don’t seem to mind using topical marketing solutions, but ignore some of the most effective digital marketing channels. The strategic use of different marketing channels affects small businesses notably.
Research and surveys conducted among leading European and American marketers have shown that the following online advertising solutions are now the most effective:
- Official website of the company;
- Work in social networks;
- SEO optimization;
- Mobile applications.
These are not all of the digital marketing channel examples, but any business needs to pay attention to these channels. However, it just so happens that the marketer is actively developing the official website, while not working on social networks at all – and after all, the strategic success of the campaign has been taken.
Asking how to get leads online, the marketer needs to allocate efforts to the most effective channels and digital marketing tools. It is necessary to find the right balance between the number of channels covered and their prospects, in order to know which digital marketing mistakes to avoid.
Using Online Advertising and Other Digital Marketing Tools but not Implementing KPI
Analysis of the effectiveness of marketing and online advertising is as important as using the right digital marketing tools. That is why the lack of attention to performance indicators, or KPI digital marketing and website data analytics is a blunder marketer or manager responsible for promotion.
There are various KPI parameters in online advertising. Consider a few of the most important, which the manager of any business needs to pay attention to:
- Click-through Rate. This is the ratio of the number of clicks to the total number of ad impressions.
- Cost Per Click. Calculated by dividing the total marketing costs by the number of clicks (if we are talking about contextual advertising).
- Cost Per Action. It is calculated in the same way as Cost Per Click, only for other actions (registration on the site, fill out the form, purchase).
- Conversion Rate. Conversion counts in several stages of the sales funnel: when a user becomes a leader, when a lead becomes a customer, etc. This is perhaps the most important indicator of the effectiveness of online advertising in small business promotion.
In addition, depending on the type of campaign and digital marketing tools used, indicators such as email open rates, geo-targeting, etc. can provide important information. Is online advertising cheaper than print? Sure, it is. The effectiveness of marketing in the future depends on how well KPI analytics are conducted.
Having A Marketing Plan That’ All Over the Place VS Determining Clear Internet Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing planning and strategy are necessary in order to promote a brand and product competently, steadily, and at the lowest cost. Another gross marketing mistake managers often make is that they make detailed marketing plans for a specific campaign, but they forget about the global digital advertising strategy.
Marketing strategy is a basis, a springboard for business development. It includes the following steps:
- Analysis of business and sales;
- Market research and analysis of competitors;
- Business positioning strategy;
- Development of a marketing mix;
- Develop a marketing plan;
As you can see, before you think about how to plan a digital marketing campaign, you need to do a lot of preparatory work and analyze a lot of factors. And the local plan itself, in which the manager selects digital marketing tools and sets a timeline for their use, is only one of the last stages of the strategy.
Not Taking Advantage of Local Small Business Promotion
Being small is not always bad. Small businesses have their advantages, and those who do not use them are making a big mistake. Digital marketing for local businesses has its own characteristics. The ability to work with these features not only allows the manager to know which digital marketing mistakes to avoid but also opens up additional opportunities.
When creating a local internet marketing strategy, you need to focus on the following:
- SEO optimization and optimization for google local business listing. If the business is focused on a specific region, you need to make sure that the site appears in the TOP search in this region.
- Online reputation and customer reviews. For small businesses, the opinion of each client is much more important than for a large corporation. Positive opinions need to be used.
- Campaigns in social networks should be targeted at local users.
- When there are very few customers the value of email marketing increases. The smaller the mailing list, the more individual the approach to each client.
These and other digital marketing ideas for small businesses allow you to receive benefits from those sources that will be ineffective for large corporations.
Missing Out on Social Media as One of the Digital Marketing Tools
In this article, we have already touched upon the topic of social influencer marketing. Social networks are really important for businesses, including small ones, and here’s why:
- This is an opportunity to announce a business to a huge audience.
- Promotion on social networks requires almost little to no costs, and the availability of the budget increases the effectiveness of marketing at times.
- On social networks, it is very easy to establish contact with the target audience.
- The specificity of social networks allows you to run the effect of “word of mouth”, so that customers themselves will find your brand.
Every entrepreneur or manager, thinking about the marketing strategy, should ask himself the following questions:
- How to promote a page on Facebook for a small business.
- How to use Pinterest for business marketing.
- How to set up Instagram for business, etc.
At first, it is recommended to focus social media outbound marketing on those social networks from which there is the greatest return. In keeping the right perspective, it is desirable for even a small company to have pages on all significant social networks and to conduct the regular activity.
Not Leaving It to the Pros (Outsource Marketing)
Small businesses often outsource some functions. Outsource marketing in this regard is no different from accounting or legal tasks, but entrepreneurs are less willing to hire third-party firms for this. So why outsource marketing makes sense, what are the advantages of digital marketing in outsourcing?
- Attracting third-party specialists frees up the time of their own employees and, most importantly, removes routine tasks from the manager.
- Thanks to outsource marketing, it is possible to look at the same tasks from different points of view.
- No need to worry about hiring new employees and providing them with a social package.
- Often, outsource internet marketing is more profitable financially.
- Another benefit of outsourcing marketing is that marketing agencies have more resources and experience than one specialist.
Finding the right digital marketing agency isn’t easy. There are many reasons to learn something about how to hire a marketing agency. Some organizations need to completely outsource their digital marketing, while others might just be looking to augment their in-house team. To hire a marketing team is always a good idea. No matter what the reason is, the digital landscape is in such a constant state of flux that you’ll need to partner with an agency that will keep you ahead of the curve.
So, why do companies hire advertising agencies? The advantage of hiring a digital marketing agency is that they’ve already figured out the basics, as well as advanced marketing strategies that can take you years to figure out alone. Digital marketing agencies are uniquely focused on the fast-paced digital marketplace and are equipped to stay up-to-date on the latest strategies and tactics while you run the rest of your business.