small business marketing mistakes

Small businesses are the backbone of the global economy. They account for more than almost half of all private sector employment, and their share of GDP is even higher. In developed countries, small businesses make up about 60-70% of all businesses, and in developing countries, that figure is even higher. In addition to providing jobs and driving economic growth, small businesses also play an important role in innovation and competition. They are often the source of new ideas and technologies, and their competition helps to keep prices down for consumers. Without small businesses, the global economy would be far less dynamic and productive.

But unfortunately, many small businesses don’t realize the importance of digital marketing and how it can help them reach more customers and grow their business.

Digital marketing is the process of promoting a brand or product through electronic means, such as the internet, social media, and email. It can include a variety of tactics, such as paid advertising, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and more.

Digital marketing is important for small businesses because it allows them to reach more customers than they would through traditional marketing methods, such as print or television advertising. Additionally, digital marketing is more cost effective than traditional marketing methods and provides small businesses with a way to compete with larger businesses.

However, small businesses often make common mistakes that can hurt their chances of success. Here are six of the most common mistakes small businesses make in terms of their digital marketing strategies and how to avoid them:

Not Having a Clear Goal

One of the most common mistakes small businesses make in terms of their digital marketing strategies is not having a clear goal. Without a clear goal, it can be difficult to know what tactics to use or what results to expect.

When small businesses don’t have a clear goal, they usually fall into one of two traps: they either try to do too much at once or they don’t do enough. Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming and small businesses often end up not doing anything at all. On the other hand, not doing enough can mean that small businesses miss out on opportunities to reach more customers or grow their business.

To avoid this mistake, small businesses should start by identifying their primary goal for their digital marketing strategy. Once they have a goal in mind, they can then determine which tactics to use and how to measure their success.

Not Targeting the Right Audience

Another common mistake small businesses make in terms of their digital marketing strategies is not targeting the right audience. When small businesses try to target too many people, they often end up reaching none of them. It’s not totally their fault as we humans try to maximize everything or should I say we generally think that “more is better”. They feel if they target the superset of customers, they will get someone at least instead of if they target only a smaller subset.

This notion is totally wrong. Don’t believe us, then just put yourselves in your customer’s shoes and think when was the last time you clicked on a generic ad on Facebook or Google or somewhere else? Never, right? So mostly you might have responded to ads or marketing communications that you felt were personalized to you or specific to you as a person. This level of personalization can only come from segmenting your audiences and not just targeting all.

Similarly, many small businesses, that attempt to target a smaller subset of the potential audience sometimes still misses the mark. It is due to a lack of clarity or data to define their target audience. Businesses need to understand their audience traits first before they define them, but this is impossible without proper data and many small businesses lack at this step or tend to ignore it. Which eventually ends in increasing their digital marketing spend with lesser outputs.

To avoid this mistake, small businesses should start by understanding their customers and what they want. They need to research them either through secondary research options like online forums their potential customers visit or blogs or simply search on Google or even from queries on platforms like Quora. If you have a budget, then I can recommend to hire a small marketing agency to do an initial market study for you that will help in clearing out any doubts about your customer wants and traits with proper data backing. These details can then help you create something that we marketers love to call as the buyer’s persona or in simple words a detailed description about your potential buyer and their traits. This helps not only in segmenting the audience properly but also creating personalized targeted content and advertising that speaks to your needs.

Once that is done, you can then determine which tactics to use to reach them.

Not Creating Quality Content

Quality content is essential for small businesses to stand out from the competition and reach their target audience. One of the most common mistakes small businesses make in terms of their digital marketing is not creating quality content. Quality content is essential for small businesses to stand out from the competition and reach their target audience. If they create low-quality or spammy content, they will not only turn off potential customers but will also be penalized by search engines.

As a result, small businesses today need to focus on creating high-quality, original content that is relevant to their target audience. This can be a challenge, as creating quality content takes time and effort. However, there are a few key strategies that small businesses can use to generate quality content. First, they can identify the main pain points and needs of their target audience. Then, they can create content that addresses those needs explicitly. Finally, they can ensure that all of their content is well written and informative by hiring professional writers/freelancers or content marketing experts. By following these steps, every small business can create quality content that will help them reach their target audience and grow their business.

Not Using Social Media Effectively

Many might think that most small businesses today definitely use social media as their main tool for organic promotions then why am I including this here. Well, there is a difference between using a platform and using a platform “effectively”.  Though there are many examples of ultimate rockstars when it comes to small businesses who are making it big on social media, there are many more who make the mistake of not using social media effectively.

They may create a profile on social media but then fail to post regularly or engage with their followers. As a result, they miss out on opportunities to connect with potential customers and build relationships with them.

In order to use social media effectively, small businesses should post regularly, at the right times and share interesting content that is relevant to their target audience. Two of the most important traits that we have seen in ensuring your content is engaging are –

1. Create content that shows the human side of your brand, i.e. like put a face to the brand (especially the owner’s), tell stories, or share thoughts

2. Go with the trend but align it more towards the brand and excite your audience for a reaction or comment

Not just that businesses should also respond to comments and questions from followers, and collaborate with other businesses on joint promotions. By engaging with followers and collaborating with other businesses, small businesses can create valuable connections that will help them grow their business.

For a more comprehensive approach to social media strategy for your small business, we recommend having a look at DesignRush’s laid-out framework of Small Business Social Media Strategies that are really great if you are looking to get the best results out of your social channels.

Not Measuring Results

One of the most important aspects of any digital marketing campaign is measuring results. Without measuring results, small businesses today will not be able to determine whether or not their campaigns are successful and make necessary adjustments.

Many small businesses make the mistake of not measuring results or only measuring them partially. As a result, they are unable to determine which tactics are working and which ones are not. Additionally, they often do not have the resources to track all of their data. As a result, they may only track website traffic or social media engagement.

To effectively measure results, small businesses should track all of their data including website traffic, engagement rates, demographics,  social media engagement, marketing channel performances, campaign or post analysis, leads generated, sales, and more. By tracking all of this data, they can determine which tactics are working and which ones need to be adjusted. Additionally, small businesses can use this data to create reports that can be used to show the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns.

Not Staying Up-to-Date with the Latest Trends

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and small businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in order to stay competitive. Many small businesses make the mistake of not staying up-to-date and as a result, they miss out on opportunities to reach their target audience, especially when a particular trend has a virality aspect embedded in it.

Some small businesses may not be aware of the latest trends, while others may be aware but not sure how to implement them. Either way, they need to make sure they are staying up-to-date in order to remain competitive. They can follow digital marketing experts and blogs, actively look for the latest viral posts/videos on social media, attend webinars and conferences, and experiment with new tactics. By following these steps, small businesses can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and ensure that their digital marketing campaigns are successful.

Well, that’s not all, there is a seventh mistake too – Failing to utilize digital marketing services at the right time

Small businesses often make the mistake of trying to do too much when it comes to their digital marketing initiatives. They may attempt to create and manage their own website, social media profiles, and email campaigns, which can be a lot for them to handle. As a result, they may fail to utilize digital marketing services at the right time or not at all.

Additionally, small businesses sometimes feel they may not have the budget to hire a digital marketing agency and as a result, they miss out on opportunities to reach their target audience or optimize their strategies in the best possible way. By failing to utilize digital marketing services, small businesses are putting themselves at a disadvantage compared to their competitors.

But that notion is completely wrong. There are digital marketing agencies around the globe that are focused on SMEs and they are all within the reach of small business owners.

So, sometimes it’s better for small businesses to focus on their strengths and outsource the tasks that they are not good at or do not have the time for. This will allow them to focus on their core business activities and yet be able to reach their target audience through effective digital marketing campaigns.

Marketing Launch Team gives global small businesses that flexibility. Our digital marketing services marketplace is designed for businesses of all sizes and requirements. It is a one-stop shop for the specific digital marketing services that small business owners might need to help them in their growth journey. So, they get the expertise of a growth-focused creative agency yet the flexibility to choose the service/product they need immediately and also of any size.

Check out our digital marketing services marketplace today or drop us your queries at contactus@marketinglaunchteam.com and we will love to connect on this.


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