Five Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make (And How to Correct Them)

mistakes small businesses make

Written by Amber Swenor

As Soul Seed Strategy's founder and Brand Strategist, Amber works with clients to evaluate their brand, understand their goals, and develop a strategy that will deliver the results they seek.

October 25, 2017

After months of planning and preparation, you’ve finally opened the doors to your small business. You have a great new product or service to sell to a target audience, and you have fine-tuned many of the logistics…but what about the marketing? These are the five marketing mistakes that small businesses aren’t aware they’re making.

Mistake #1: Saying ‘No’ To Marketing

The first and biggest mistake you can make as a small business owner is to think you don’t need marketing to sell your product or service. Even if business is going well, anyone with experience will tell you that one of the most dangerous things to do in business is to stop generating leads and getting them into the funnel for the future. By implementing a marketing plan, you will continue to generate leads that eventually convert to long-lasting customers, helping to bring business success. Say ‘yes’ to marketing by taking some time to set up a marketing plan with strategies that will benefit you and your business.

Mistake #2: Avoiding New Marketing Strategies

As a small business owner, you will find yourself overloaded with priorities, making it easy to fall into a routine that will help your business run more efficiently. However, there is little room for innovation when you follow a routine, meaning your marketing strategies are going to become outdated and ineffective.  For instance, let’s say your only marketing strategy is promoting your product on Twitter. What happens when your audience no longer uses that platform or switches to another social media site? Marketing is ever-changing, and in order to effectively promote your business, you need to keep up with trends and be willing to try new things. For some inspiration, try something new from this list of 101 marketing activities.

Mistake #3: Missing or Dysfunctional Website

You might rationalize your decision to push off creating an updated website that’s designed to entice visitors and create a positive impression of your business because your list of responsibilities keeps getting longer. However, 3.58 billion people worldwide were surfing the web this year, so it’s easy to say that a large majority of people use the internet as their first and/or only resource for information these days. Eighty-one percent of consumers are researching companies online by visiting websites and reading reviews, making a decision about their top two or three choices before even coming into your storefront.

If you don’t have a great website that’s designed to convert visitors into leads, you are losing sales without even knowing it. Feeling a little intimidated by the web design process? Hire someone to design your website for you. Build a website that avoids design flaws, that loads quickly and is visually appealing, fully functioning, and easy to navigate, and you’ll keep your customers happy and draw in business.

Mistake #4: Poor Social Media Management

In a world increasingly focused on and driven by technology, social media has become one of the best promotional tools for businesses. Besides its ease of use, social media is a great way to reach your audience by sharing meaningful and engaging content that can help to build awareness and a positive reputation for your business. However, social media requires consistency and proper management to ensure you post regularly and at the proper time of day. Generally, people use social media for entertainment purposes and to connect with others, so your audience would be more likely to engage with appealing content that relates to your business rather than constant promotions. The 80/20 rule of social media can be helpful to manage your social pages by creating 80% shareable and quality content, and 20% promotional content.

Next time you’re looking for a new marketing strategy, try using social media; it’s a fun and easy way to connect with your audience. If you find it difficult to keep up with a consistent schedule, try using a social media calendar, or reach out to a marketing agency for help.

Mistake #5: Overlooking Search Engine Optimization  

There is a massive number of websites on the internet, making it nearly impossible to get on the first page of search results without the help of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a comprehensive process that involves modifying several elements on your website to help people find you online, such as your content, title tags, and images. Adding SEO to your website is one of the best ways to reach your audience on the web, and it’s especially important for small, local businesses that haven’t quite gotten their name out to the public. That being said, if you’re considering placing SEO on your list of marketing strategies to implement, be aware that there’s a steep learning curve. If a challenge is not what you seek, we can help get you to the top of the internet search results in no time!

We know it takes a lot to stay on top of trends and to implement strategies that will benefit your business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything on your plate, call us for a consultation so we can lighten your load by helping to set up your marketing strategy.

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