A good marketing campaign can generate some real buzz around your products or services. Mistakes cost a small business customers and revenue. Although marketing can seem overwhelming at first, a time investment in getting it right will pay off in dividends for years to come. Let’s check out some key marketing mistakes which smaller businesses should try to avoid:
1. No Marketing
The biggest marketing mistake you can make as a small business? Drum roll, please….not marketing at all. If you haven’t been marketing your business, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, almost half of small businesses still don’t have a website.
Sure…creating a marketing strategy, a website and a social media presence can seem overwhelming or time consuming at first. That being said, if you have the opportunity to make more sales from existing customers and to obtain new ones while you’re at it: why wouldn’t you?
Tip: If you’re starting from scratch, try starting small. Create a Facebook page for your business. This immediately gives your business a place to call home on the web – and a place for you to start connecting with your customers.
2. Too Much Marketing
Another huge marketing mistake many small businesses make? Doing way too much of it! From Instagram to Facebook to in-house raffles, there is an abundance of ways to connect with customers both offline and online today. You want to avoid spreading yourself too thin so that you have the time and focus to fully develop a few solid marketing channels (like building a great email list). Let’s put it like this: would you want to go to a pop-up store with just a few items or to an established one with lots to look at?
Tip: If you are currently marketing your business, look at which areas are most effective and focus on them. For example: which has greater ROI for you – email or Facebook? If it’s email, spend the time you would be snapchatting on crafting compelling emails to send out.
3. Ignoring Existing Customers
When it comes to marketing, the customers who are already supporting your business are your most important asset. You know that they are interested in your products and services because they’ve purchased them; further, they’ve used them.
Market to your existing customers – and get your existing customers to market for you. Whenever you have contact with an existing customer, find a way to bring them into your marketing by prompting them to follow you on social media, sign up for your emails or leave you a review.
Tip: Host a raffle for a small product or service you offer in exchange for getting your customer’s email addresses.
4. Lacking a Unique Selling Proposition
Do you know what truly makes your business different/better than the competition? If you can’t answer that immediately, bad news: neither will the people you want to become customers. Know exactly what makes your business unique to customers and be able to say it…in 10 words or less.
Tip: The best way to figure out what makes your business unique is to directly ask your customers. Conduct a survey, in person or online, in which you directly ask your customers what sets you apart from the rest.
5. Not Knowing Your Target Market
If you don’t know who you’re selling to, how can you sell to them? Marketing to anyone and everyone is a lose-lose. Figure out who your ideal customers are. What do they want? What are their concerns? How does your business help make their lives better/easier ?
Tip: Take some time to write out some descriptions of your ideal customers. Give them names and backstories – get creative! Doing this will help you better understand who it is you’re talking to when you create a blog, a sign, or even a menu.
Now that you know what not to do, evaluate what you have been doing. How can you improve upon your current marketing initiatives? Have you been making any of the mistakes above? Figure out what you’re doing that works, keep doing that — and always work on finding new ways to reach your target customer base.