Along the way of establishing your small business, there have undoubtedly been triumphs as well as mistakes. Don’t you wish someone had told you what those mistakes might be beforehand? Unfortunately we don’t have a time machine, but we can warn you about these 6 common marketing mistakes!
1. Absent on Social Media
Maybe you think, “Well my business doesn’t market to high schoolers glued to their Facebook and Twitter accounts!” While social media used to be geared towards younger audiences, you can find practically anyone connected on at least one platform.
Users are beginning to expect to find businesses on social media. Business profiles often list hours of operation, location, customer reviews, and product/service updates. This is also a great way to share coupons, sales, and give your business a brand and voice.
2. No Website Presence
Not only do some small businesses not engage on social media, they literally have NO website! It may be hard to believe nowadays that anyone would skip a website, but alas it is true. According to a non-profit organization SCORE, only 51% of small businesses have websites. Say it isn’t so!
Many local businesses believe they can survive solely by word of mouth. While this might be possible if you own the only gas station around for miles, the majority of businesses suffer greatly without a website. More than half of all searches are local. Most consumers want to find out what kind of business you run and services you offer before making the trek across town.
3. No Data Tracking
While data tracking may not be a top priority for many small businesses, it definitely deserves a spot on this list. It’s nearly impossible to consistently improve and effectively market without facts and real data. Mistakes are bound to happen. That’s okay since you’ll be able to learn from them, right? Not so without tracking!
There’s a long list of programs and websites that can be used to track marketing campaigns and lead interaction. Google Analytics is free and a great resource for businesses of all sizes, but can be daunting to say the least. Many small businesses elect to hire marketing companies to manage their marketing efforts, as these companies already have the appropriate programs available to them and have experience.
4. Poor First Impressions
There’s a whole heap of reasons why users might leave a website with a negative first impression. Here are some of the common culprits.
- Often, small businesses are completely unaware of the importance of mobile optimization and a responsive web design. Many template-based websites leave mobile and tablet users in the dust.
- Websites jam packed with information can cause headaches and decrease usability. Don’t forget whitespace!
- Excessive load times are also often caused by an abundance of images and animations.
- Websites with shabby text and wording can be a big turn-off. Nothing says “unprofessional” quite like a million grammatical errors.
- A bad overall website design can include any combination of the above, or simply lack visual appeal. Did you know that first impressions are 94% design-related?
5. Weak Branding
Having a consistent design, right down to color scheme and logo, ensures that your small business is recognizable. You might own a restaurant in the heart of a buzzing city. Even if you’re surrounded by other restaurants, it’s possible to set yourself apart with a unique brand and design.
As mentioned already, being present on social media is another great way to strengthen small business branding. When a business interacts with it’s target audience, it shows that they are relatable and in-touch with their buyer personas.
6. Undefined Buyer Personas
When all’s said and done, marketing boils down to knowing the audience you’re marketing to. Have you ever noticed after doing some online shopping, you might suddenly find banner ads for similar items on completely unrelated websites? While this is a little more aggressive and intrusive than typical inbound marketing, it shows that the advertising company is using what little they know about you to spark your interest. Effective inbound marketing and buyer persona use is seldom noticed. Maybe you’ll find yourself clicking on a Facebook article share, and really enjoy the website without realizing that every element is catered to the buyer persona that you align with.
Small businesses without buyer personas often begin to gradually phase-out over time. To stay relevant and harmonious with leads, take some time to define your unique buyer personas. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve done the groundwork for you. Check out this free guide.