There’s no doubt that marketing is an important factor in making sales and growing a business. For small businesses without a big budget for a marketing department, it’s easy to make mistakes when navigating the world of marketing online. To help you avoid major marketing mishaps and meet your goals, here are six common mistakes small businesses make.
1. Jumping in Without a Strategy
It’s tempting to start posting on every social media site, put up a few quick blog posts, and jump right in with spreading your message online. However, before you begin, start with a marketing strategy that will act as your guide for:
- Creating accounts
- Creating content
- Communicating with your customers
2. Not Knowing Your Message
First impressions are important. How do you want others to see your business when they find out about it for the first time? Decide on the message you want to convey and develop your brand’s online identity to match that message. Be sure that the message is consistent across all channels so visitors don’t become confused when going from website to social media to visiting in person.
3. Being Inconsistent
Having a social media account isn’t helpful if you aren’t using it. Think about the impression you’ll be giving customers if they visit your Facebook page and see that your last post was 3 months ago, or if they visit your website and see information for an event that took place last year. They might think you aren’t even in business anymore. Keep sites updated with current, useful information.
4. Not Going Online
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is not going online at all. Those who have locally focused businesses often fall into this trap, thinking that their customers will find them naturally in person. In reality, everyone can benefit from going online. With SEO and targeted ads, you can reach your ideal audience and let neighbors know you’re out there.
5. Not Connecting with Customers
From comments to complaints to reviews, customers can communicate many ways with small businesses online. Be sure to use all of that feedback to build customer relationships and improve your business.
- Respond to messages and comments quickly, professionally and in a friendly tone to let customers know you care about their feedback.
- Answer complaints as best you can online and offer help through direct messages when possible to resolve issues and bring customers back.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews to give others a better idea of what your business has to offer from those who have already been there.
6. Going at it Alone
It’s common for small business owners to wear many hats and try to tackle every task on their own. If marketing isn’t a strength of yours, don’t suffer from one of the most common mistakes small businesses make by trying to control it all on your own. Find out who on your team knows about marketing, get them the training they need and let them use their skills to help the business grow.
If you’re just starting out, try to avoid these mistakes while you build your online presence. If you’ve already made a few of these mistakes, don’t worry. There’s always time to resolve problems and rebuild your marketing strategy.