Marketing your small business should be one of the most exciting parts of running your business. Marketing is the creative, visual, and memorable side of the business that establishes your brand and image in the mind of your consumers, prospects, and more!
This is why small businesses spend so much time and effort developing effective marketing strategies. Because think of the success that comes from marketing to your target audience the right way.
Marketing, specifically digital marketing, done correctly can be a positive experience for your brand that promotes growth, saves you time and energy, makes generating leads easier and saves you money as long as you avoid a few key mistakes.
Here are 5 common digital marketing mistakes small business owners make that YOU can avoid…
- Not having a digital marketing plan. By not setting up a digital marketing plan, you are missing out on opportunities to promote your business and likely wasting your time doing one-off things online. Before creating a plan, first establish your goals, budget and expectations. A complete digital marketing plan will include everything from setting up your social accounts and email campaigns, to creating all the digital content (for your blog, emails, posts, etc.), running pay-per-click ads, keeping an updating website (or landing pages) and more. Every small business needs a marketing plan. We can help you plan out and execute one for each month, quarter, year or whatever you need. Remember, “trying to promote your business without a marketing plan is like shopping for a red shirt with a blindfold over your eyes. You may get lucky and end up with the end result you want, but chances are you will waste a lot of time and money in the process” (source).
- Not building a good website. You cannot market yourself online without a website and/or landing pages. In the digital age we live in this might seem like an impossible mistake, but according to SCORE, only 51% of businesses have websites. Many still rely on word-of-mouth or print advertising. And when it comes to designing and developing a website, you want to not only convey information about who you are and what you do, but you want to drive customers to buy, sign up for your service, or in other words, convert. Websites should be designed for conversions and not just to deliver information and when they do this, you are “twice as likely to see a large increase in sales,” according to Neil Patel. Creating a website that converts mean designing effective calls to action, headlines and content that not only tells a story but gets picked up by search engines. Our team at PSC can help you design or update your website beginning from scratch, or edit and update the copy and design you already have.
- Not investing in social media. Social media marketing has exploded in the last decade and is actually one of the most affordable digital marketing techniques, especially for small business owners who want to yield big results! First, you can’t be scared of social media. You need to invest in the right networks and be clear about your target audience and goals. We specifically like this approach or these core fundamental steps to follow when it comes to diving into social media and pay-per-click advertising…
- Identify your audience
- Start small and focus on one platform at a time
- Select key success metrics
- Analyze those metrics
- Create a social media marketing plan
- Not setting aside a marketing budget. As a small business, we understand you are not going to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to set aside for marketing, but it is important to have a reasonable budget for digital marketing. For new businesses just launching, this might be small, but anything helps! The US Small Business Administration suggested that in 2020 you would want to spend 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing. And other figures suggest the spend should be proportional to how much you wish to grow. For new small businesses this could be closer to 13-20% if you want to build your brand and gain new customers. This might seem like a lot, but if you need to get help with your marketing plan, website and ad design, digital content and social media, this money will be well spent (and go faster than you think). Having all these positions in-house, our team can help you do some or all of this– however small or large your budget.
- Not prioritizing SEO. Engine Optimization (SEO) is focused primarily on expanding your company’s visibility in organic search results. It helps a business’s website rank higher in search engine result pages (SERP), drives more traffic to your site and increasing conversions. In short, SEO drives two things: rankings and visibility. Rankings is the process used to determine your place on a SERP, and visibility is how prominent your domain is in search engine results. If you have high visibility, your website is ranked higher in SERPs. Lower visibility occurs when you are not ranked as high on the page. But both are responsible for the main SEO objective: increasing website traffic and conversions. In our Beginner Guide to SEO for Small to Mid-Size Businesses, we expand on this topic. Generally, some form of SEO is a good fit for almost every business. But the real question is, is what is a good fit for your marketing goals and budget. Organic search visibility is always important, but it should not be the only digital marketing you do. Many times, PPC advertising can help deliver fast results while you begin SEO, which takes time.
There are a few things we always consider before starting SEO with our clients:
- Budget. We will examine your budget to help you decide what to spend to compete in your market.
- Timeline for results. SEO can take many months to see results, especially in competitive markets.
- Competitors. Some search terms are dominated by the big guys, so it can be hard to compete. We will help you find search terms you can use to your advantage.
These are just a few tips for mistakes to avoid when you are marketing your small business online. And now that you know what not to do, let our team help you get focused on what you can do to grow your small business online today.
Let our team focus on what you should be doing to get the results, leads, conversions and more.
Call us today to get started!