Managing a small business is never a walk in the park. It comes with its ups and downs. Many have gotten burnt in the process due to mistakes which mostly could have been avoided. But you don’t have to be a marketing expert, you simply have to be aware of how to build and execute an effective marketing strategy.
We have put together five highly costly marketing mistakes that are often made by small businesses and how to avoid them.
- Failure to Identify Your Identity – Create a Niche to Stand Out
There are thousands of boutiques. What makes yours different? What is the extra value you offer? Why should a customer look to shop with you among numerous alternatives? What exactly stands your business out from the crowd? Now especially If you find that you are in saturated business industry, the essence of carving a unique selling point cannot be overlooked. Finding this niche is critical to your success.
As a small business, you stand a higher chance to be overshadowed by the big giants and preexisting names in your industry. However, a sure way to break out is to clearly think of ways to distinguish yourself. This could be in your customer service, extra value, follow-ups with customers, quality and more.
- Failure to Target Your Right Audience
In the bid to reach out to as many people as they can, e find that most small businesses practically pay little or no attention to who they advertise to. Remember that chief amongst the reasons behind advertising is to generate leads that would convert into sales. The begging question becomes how much percentage of your advertising budget comes back to you in form of ROI.
While it is important to reach as many people as can be, it pays, even more, to identify who your target audience is and how best to communicate your business to them. Look out for who interacts with your contents. Establish what time of day your website and social networks are most engaging, the gender your brand speaks to, the age bracket, their social likes, preferences and the platform they socialize the most, that’s where you should be advertising.
- Failure to Measure Results and Performance
How do you claim to be making progress when you are unaware of your comparative numbers? Did you know that social media platforms have algorithms built in? Are you aware that there are some apps and tools that could help you quantify your progress, establish your numbers and identify your growth level as to what is working and what is not?
Google Analytics is a key example. Here you can test your social campaigns and identify what needs to be changed, eliminated or improved on. Measuring performance is a tested and trusted way of getting more out of your marketing goals.
- Failure to Diversify your marketing strategy
This could be quite harmful to your business without even noticing it. The idea behind marketing is to reach target audience; to take your business to them but if you only stick to one or two marketing platforms, you’re seriously short selling yourself and reaching only a small subsection of your overall potential customers.
Have you explored digital advertising, content marketing, podcast ads, and promoted search results? Is your business capitalizing on YouTube? Are you maximizing the new trends in social media advertising? How well do you deploy video marketing? There are quite a number of platforms to distribute your marketing. The idea is to increase outreach from as many subsections as possible. The farther you reach, the more your visibility and expected leads generated.
- Failure to Consult Experts
A lot of small businesses hardly see any relevance in this. It’s often assumed that capital is the only challenge to setting marketing goals. However, one may have all the budget required for an advertising campaign but then lose all of it due to poor strategy and planning. But it pays to have a mentor in business, someone to look up to, a partner to consult, learn the ropes and avoid unnecessary marketing mistakes that may cost you in the long run.
Ideally, small business owners are advised to closely follow the marketing strategies of successful businesses in their industry, observe what works for them and try to recreate it in your own ingenuine way.
Surmounting the challenges of small business marketing can be daunting for even the most accomplished entrepreneurs. But the moment you’re able to identify what is working and what’s not, you can redress your steps, re-strategize and develop tactics to make the most of your marketing budget. We hope you find these tips useful to get you there.