62% of small businesses plan on investing 4% or more of their revenue into local marketing initiatives.
As a small business owner, your daily challenges consist of trying to not only market your company, but increase sales, while maintaining employee retention and ensuring that your company runs efficiently. Of course, the list of challenges may not end there.
In this post, I’m going to highlight five small business marketing mistakes you can easily avoid. Additionally, I’m going to provide you with some quick tips on how to work around them to ensure your success.
1) Not Having a Professional Website
Did you know that only 50% of small businesses actually have websites? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that websites are too expensive and not worth your time. Your website could be the key to generating new leads and sales.
- Create your own website in under 5 minutes by using a service like BlueHost. I wrote a blog post around this that you can put to use now. To read it, go here.
- Utilize simple-to-use website design platforms like Wix and SquareSpace.
- Make sure there’s an easy way to contact you via a phone number or a form. Don’t make people search in order to be able to contact you. Be available and personable.
- Leverage Google Analytics and CrazyEgg to help you understand what people are doing when they land on your website, how they found you and your most popular pages.
2) Not Being Active and Present on Social Media
Only 34% of small businesses use social media to engage with customers and to market themselves. I’ve said this over and over again, but I’ll say it again: Be where your customers are. In today’s digital world, the ability to easily reach your target audience and expand into new markets is easier than ever. However, if you don’t take advantage of the technology to help get you from point A to point B, you’ll find it difficult to truly connect with your target audience and make the necessary changes to help your small business grow in the longer-term.
- Target the top 3 social networks your target demographic is the most engaged on and be present on those.
- Push for two-way communication. Stop making updates that only promote your business and be creative with your updates utilizing multiple content assets such as memes, posing questions, infographics, etc.
- Pay attention to what’s being said about you and even your competitors via social media monitoring. Doing so will help you better understand what your target/existing customers need and allow you to participate in their conversations providing tangible solutions.
3) Not Collecting Email Addresses
Be proactive when it comes to collecting email addresses of interested website visitors and even existing customers. Email marketing enables you to re-market to both leads and customers, which in turn, can aid in your efforts of getting new and repeat sales.
- Test pop-up forms on your website with messaging around discounts or obtaining free content to help your customers with any challenges they may be facing.
- Execute drip campaigns. For example, if a certain action is taken your website like someone downloads a guide or white paper, send them follow up emails with similar content to retain their engagement.
- Send out monthly newsletters and include a strong CTA (call-to-action) for both leads and customers to want to do business with you.
4) Not Writing and Creating Engaging Content
Mixing up your content is the best way to test out which types of content drive the most engagement such as shares, comments, likes, etc. Leading with compelling content increases your chances of actually building authentic conversations with your target audience and also can help expand your brand awareness.
- Be creative with the content you publish. From videos, how-to’s, webinars, gifs, seminars to interactive content like quizzes and infographics, test out three different types every month to see which ones gain the most traction for you.
- Make sure you use high-res images with your content. Leverage free image resources such as Pexels and The Stocks to help you find inspiration.
- It’s okay to add in some humor. This shows the human-side of your brand.
5) Not Encouraging Positive Reviews
Encourage happy customers to provide you with their own reviews and ratings so that you can showcase them on your website. This will help build credibility and authority. Additionally, 70-80% of people do online researches prior to visiting a small business or making a purchase from them.
- Be prevalent on reviews sites that are applicable to your niche like Yelp, BBB, Google, and Angie’s List.
- Get video testimonials from happy customers and publish them on your website.
- Do one-off case studies that show how you’ve helped other customers achieve their goals or change their life for the better with your solutions.
Marketing your small business can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a marketing background. However, start small and gradually add on more executions so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Always keep your target customers in mind with all that you do and find ways to create meaningful impressions and connections.
Most importantly, take massive action and make marketing a priority. This will only help foster your growth initiatives and ensure your business sticks around for the long-term.