Creatively marketing your small business is a key growth strategy. Here are five mistakes to avoid so you can get the most out of your marketing efforts.
1) Not Optimizing Your Website for Mobile
For most companies these days, one of the biggest pieces of the marketing puzzle is their website. Your site might be the first point of contact for many potential customers. Mobile search has overtaken desktop and continues to grow. Online consumers are more likely to look for your small business via tablet or smart phone. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile to keep your customers engaged and your business top of mind.
2) Ignoring Your Online Reputation
These days, Yelp and other online review sites are often a first stop for consumers. If you’re not on top of what people are saying about your service or product online, you could pay the price in lost revenue. If you participate in social media marketing, keep a close eye on the comments and ratings. If you do see a less-than-positive review, address it ASAP. If you don’t have the time to devote to reputation review, assign an online savvy staff member to monitor. For more information, visit the SmartBiz blog post “Gathering Customer Feedback”.
3) Failing to Implement Email Marketing Best Practices
Use a reputable email service provider (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) to build your mailing list. Best practices include developing permission-based email marketing. Current and potential customers will be more likely to open your email and less likely to mark it as spam. Never rent or buy an email list – that practice can backfire and you could end up losing customers.
4) Not Being Detail Oriented
Your customer facing advertising, emails, social media copy and other marketing materials need to be grammatically perfect. Double and triple check any copy you’re going to publish online or in print. It’s really hard to self-edit (take it from this blog writer!). Grab an employee or family member to give everything a look with fresh eyes before you finalize.
5) Treating Marketing as an Expense
You might be thinking, “But marketing IS an expense!” Actually, you should treat marketing efforts as an investment, not something to cut when going over your budget. If you are constantly cutting your marketing budget to keep costs low, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Cuts in marketing can lead to cuts in your profit. Marketing drives revenue and your brand needs to constantly get in front of consumers.
6) Not Tracking Your Marketing Efforts
Almost everything is trackable these days. Invest in tracking tools that are readily available to gauge the performance of your marketing efforts and return on investment. Things you can track include your website landing page, email campaigns, coupons – both physical and online coupon codes -variable URLs and more.
The SBA has an informative article to help small business owners figure out how to allocate money for marketing. Check it out here: How to Set a Marketing Budget that Fits your Business Goals and Provides a High Return on Investment
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