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7 mistakes to avoid with your small business marketing

Evan Goodman
Written by Evan Goodman

Many entrepreneurs find that marketing their business can can be an art form.  There are thousands of ways to market any particular product or service. The most rewarding part of marketing is  you can use these combinations to tailor a marketing solution that works perfectly for your business.

In general, making mistakes as you try different marketing strategies is actually beneficial to your business. It helps you learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s also wise to learn from the mistakes of others through research rather than making them on your own and wasting  resources in the process. Take a look at seven common marketing mistakes that small business owners make.

Proceeding without a marketing plan

Promoting your business without  a marketing plan is like shopping for clothing with a blindfold on. While you may get lucky at some point and come by the results that you hope for, you will usually waste a great deal of time and money getting there. A marketing plan isn’t optional. Every business needs one.

Not knowing what makes your business unique

Most people start their own business to fill a niche in their industry or offer a unique product or service. . It is  a great idea to make sure  your customers know what makes you unique. Really think about your business’s unique selling proposition or point of difference and use this as leverage for your marketing activities.. It will  help your customers realize  why the should choose your brand over others.

Seeing everyone as a potential customer

Many businesses make the mistake of using one marketing strategy for their entire customer base, or targeting an audience that is too broad. If you do happen to have a product that appeals to a wide audience, you should use separate marketing strategies for different subsets of that audience. Different demographic groups, age groups and genders respond better to differing advertising tactics. Don’t ignore individual preferences when you market your business.

Being intimidated by social media

Social media has become an effective and affordable marketing channel in recent years. Nevertheless, many small business owners are not sure how to utilise the medium correctly, and  neglect social media marketing opportunities.  Social media can be an immensely productive, cheap and effective way to get in touch with a new customer base, convert and retain them. Do your research and make sure  you are using the right social media platform for your client base. If you are not confident in your own abilities, you can hire a professional to do your social media marketing for you on a part time or even casual basis.

Not understanding how powerful word-of-mouth marketing can be

Word-of-mouth marketing will occur naturally if you offer a great product or service. If you offer outstanding products, services or even great customer services, customers are likely to tell their friends and family about their experience. Many small businesses underestimate word-of-mouth marketing and don’t encourage it. It’s important to always maintain a professional and courteous demeanor and to deliver the best service that you possibly can. Once you’ve got that in place, asking your customers to leave referrals on Google, Facebook or even your website is a great step to take. You can incentivise your customers to do so with discount codes or small gifts. An interesting advertising campaign is a great way to get people talking about your business.

Sticking to the same old marketing strategy

Small business owners often need to wear many hats and rely on strict routines to get everything done. Unfortunately, this means  they often have little time to try new things. New marketing approaches are the first thing to go out the window. Marketing, however, is an ever-changing landscape.  Keep up to date with the latest trends to make sure that your marketing strategy is fresh, relevant and effective. You need to be willing to take risks and try something out of the ordinary.

Not paying enough attention to your competition

It’s certainly a good idea to be original and do your own thing when it comes to marketing your business and its products. However, some business owners obsess over originality and constantly reinvent the wheel. There’s a lot that you can learn from your competitors about how to effectively market your business. Check out your competitors’ pay-per-click marketing on Google, their social media channels and their print and event marketing. You can come by lots of ideas for what works within your industry and what doesn’t when you check out the competition.

Now that you’re aware of the kinds of mistakes that businesses often make with their marketing, you can avoid those mistakes, allowing your business to grow and prosper.

 

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