The Small Business Marketing Mistakes – Part 1
We get it, marketing is no easy feat, and especially small business marketing. The budget is tight, and you need to be creative to make it work. That probably means that there are some shortcuts you’re taking along the way. Unfortunately, it also means that you’re probably making some of the most common marketing mistakes. It’s OK, everybody makes mistakes, but it’s important to recognise them and fix them, so your marketing can shine and bring you the best results possible. Here are 5 small business marketing mistakes that you should be mindful of:
1. Using your Facebook or Instagram profile as a website
Many small businesses owners make this mistake: not starting a website, and instead using their social media profiles as a secondary replacement. It’s understandable: your audience already seems to be there, you just throw in some images and words, and voila: you have online presence. Why did you ever think you needed a website, right? Wrong.
Facebook and Instagram are no substitute for a professional website. First of all, it’s pretty hard for new customers to find your business if they’re unaware of it, as opposed to finding your website through a Google search or an ad.
Secondly, a social profile doesn’t bring the same marketing value to a business a website does. Writing about your business is limited (character count) and often, you can’t include as many images as you would want; also featuring your products and services can be very restricted. When creating a website there are endless bespoke, and templated options.
Social media is designed so businesses can share posts with their followers, so they can get to know their customers overtime. It’s more about brand awareness than anything else. But to attract new business, a website is the way to go. Here are more reasons why you need a website.
2. Not Driving Potential Customers to Your Website
Let’s say you do have a website. You’ve designed your website like a pro (like a pro on a budget, of course), and you’re very proud of your slick website. But the problem is you’re not doing anything to drive customers to it.
So, you might have sent an email to your customers saying you have a brand new website, but that’s it, that’s where it stopped. This is a mistake for so many reasons. Your website is the perfect channel for attracting new business and for retaining existing customers. There is so much you can do to leverage your website for these purposes – it’s surprisingly easy!
Did you know you can start driving your social media followers to your website? When they’re on your website, it’s so much easier to convert them into paying customers, either with contact forms for them to leave their info, or driving them to your online store or booking calendar, so they can buy from you online.
Another way to go is through SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. You make SEO adjustments on your website, to be able to rank higher on search engines and make it easier for customers to discover you. You can also create an ad campaign that will drive potential clients to your website. These are all great ways to leverage your website to get new business.
3. Sharing the Same Content to All Your Social Networks - no marketing strategy
It’s definitely easier to share the same content across all of your social channels. But it’s doesn’t mean it’s wise.
Social networks are different: their audiences are different, the posts shared on each are different, and that means that your followers will expect a certain type of content on each one.
When it comes to Facebook, it’s usually enough to add a nice stock image and some written content. People will see the image but will be able to focus on the content of your post. On Instagram it’s much easier to get away with a generic post. Instagram is all about the image. That’s why you need to dedicate extra attention to how your Instagram images look, and not just share something with a pink background and a few words, like you would do on Facebook.
Another example is Linkedin. Linkedin aims to help its users get professional advice and grow their professional network. This is why your Linkedin posts need to have a professional, and not a casual, tone of voice and focus on business-related content. It’s not enough to copy your Facebook post to Linkedin – you also need to adjust the tone so it fits the voice of your overall content, keeping what your users see on Linkedin as consistent as possible.
Make sure you learn and understand the differences between all the networks and what kind of content your audience expects to see on each social media site.
4. Not Leveraging Your Existing Clients to Attract New Business
Your clients are a goldmine. They have the power to attract new clients to your business, and if you’re not capitalising on this potential, that’s a marketing mistake.
There are lots of ways you can do that. One of the best actions is rewarding your customers for their referrals. Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tactic, since it leverages a key element customers look for when picking a business: trust. They trust their friends and their recommendations, and that’s why they’re significantly more likely to buy from a business their friend has referred them to.
Another way to leverage word-of-mouth is online reviews. Facebook, Trustpilot and Yelp are just a few examples of portals that allow customers to review businesses. By asking your happy customers to go on review sites and write about your business, you can get you more positive reviews. This in turn can drive new customers to your business. Here is more information on how to get your customers to drive new business.
5. Ignoring Your Reviews
So we’ve established that reviews are important. But they can also be tricky. You’re not sure if you should reply to the positive ones, and you know you definitely have no desire to tackle the negative ones. But if you’re not replying to your reviews, you’re making a mistake.
53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, that is why you should not only reply to your positive reviews, but also to your negative ones. In fact, by replying respectfully and professionally to a bad review, you can make things better and change the situation around. You can always offer a customer some sort of compensation – show that you care about their experience and about your customers in general, it will go a long way in bringing in new customers and maybe even get some old ones back. You can learn more about all the ways to handle negative reviews here.
for your business
(not anybody else’s)