Marketing mistakes are easy to make, even more so if you are a small business with constrained resources. It doesn’t take much to send the wrong message about your brand. The wrong title, for example, can send your content’s effectiveness free-falling. It’s in your best interest as a small business to learn what those mistakes are before it’s too late. Here are 8 marketing mistakes small business owners should avoid:
1. Thinking That Only New Content is Important
Fresh and original content is compelling. It’s certainly more attractive to consumers than rehashed topics and thoroughly discussed issues. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to come up with something brand new every time. Not only is that impractical, but it’s also not necessary.
Just because something has already been discussed doesn’t mean that it’s not worth further discussion. Approaching an issue from a different angle can generate new viewpoints that may interest readers. Behind-the-scenes videos or expounding on a topic briefly covered in another article can get hits, just like your premier content. You also need to consider the content format − would your buyer rather read a blog post or watch a video? Maybe reformatting the content will increase your viewership.
2. Not Collecting Email Addresses
Not everyone is ready to have a newsletter off the bat. Maybe you don’t have the writers, or you don’t have much to send out yet, but you may want one someday. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it by collecting emails whenever possible.
Having emails on hand isn’t just useful for newsletters. You can also send customers a heads-up on any upcoming products or deals they may find interesting. It’s a good way to keep you in their minds and generate return visits.
3. If You Write It, They Will Read It
Years ago, it may have been possible just to put up a blog and expect readers. Today, blogs are like weeds. They’re everywhere, and whenever one shuts down, five come up, fighting for attention. Just putting up a site doesn’t guarantee visitors. You need discovery.
Fortunately, discovery is a matter of marketing. Sharing your posts on social media is a good start. You can also employ some search engine optimization to attract organic content.
4. All Eyes are Good Eyes
It’s fun to see your small business’s website light up with visits. What’s less fun, however, is realizing that most of those hits bounce off, and the rest rarely turn into actual conversions. Visits are useless without context. You don’t want just anyone; you want the right people. You want your target market to see what you’ve got.
For example, just sharing your post on social media isn’t enough. To get great results, you need a targeted campaign. It means having to pay, but the benefits are worth the cost.
5. It Must Be Professional All the Time
Professionalism is important, but it’s possible to take a good thing too far. Your social media posts don’t always have to be about business. There’s nothing wrong with showing a human side to your company. In fact, it might even be to your benefit. Humanizing your business makes it more relatable, and therefore, more trustworthy.
This is doubly true for your personal account. Don’t just talk shop. When your favorite sports team wins, cheer for them. If you see something interesting, take a picture and upload it. Show off your passion when it’s appropriate.
6. Old Posts are Meaningless
The problem with visitors is that they won’t always notice when you posted something, which can be an issue if they run into an old article. At best, they’ll get some bad advice and make a small mistake. At worst, they’ll think your company doesn’t know what it’s doing. You need to monitor old content, for a couple of reasons.
First, you need to make sure that all your content is still accurate. If anything has changed recently, do a quick search on your site to see if you have anything that needs a quick update. If it’s a big enough change, you may even consider creating new content and having your old stuff redirect to it, thus showing visitors that you’re on the ball and trustworthy.
Secondly, you’ll need to check if your links are working. A dead-end page has little chance of creating conversions.
7. To Stand a Chance, You Must Have a Presence on All Social Platforms
Having an account on every social media platform seems like a good idea. The more accounts you have, the more exposure your small business will get. While that is true in theory, in practice that’s often not what happens. Making a satisfactory account takes time and effort, two things that are limited in your company.
That isn’t to say that being on more than one account isn’t a good idea. It just means that it’s probably not a good idea when you’re a small business. Start with one, and work your way up from there.
8. Posting Once is Enough
One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make with its content is to share it only once. One share isn’t sufficient when potential visitors live in different time zones and have different habits. The question you face is two-fold: how often, and when?
You can answer both through testing. There’s no shortcut to figuring it out, as your audience is unique. Experimenting with titles, the number of posts a day, and upload schedules will give you the answer.
Now that you know what to avoid, it’s time to get started promoting your business in the most effective way possible. Marketing campaigns will require a lot of you. They’ll require attention to detail, perseverance, and a quick mind. Fortunately, those are all things you’ll need to run a successful small business. Just stay on your toes, and you’ll do fine.
For additional tips on how to get bigger results from your small marketing team, download our free eBook: “How to Run a Successful Campaign with a Small Marketing Team. It’s full of worksheets to get your next inbound marketing campaign up and running in no time at all!