How daunted are you about making your small business perform well in your industry?
It’s tough in today’s market, right? Marketing rules are changing: for one thing the internet transformed the competitive landscape. The number of competitors are more than ever before because they don’t only exist in your community; some of them are on the other side of the globe.
How can you outperform the others? Following the many guidelines found online and in books is one way to go about it. But you may feel demotivated at how much effort it takes to get to the top.
Our advice: do some preparation by at least preventing a few marketing mistakes so many other companies have made. If you know you safeguarded your business, you’ll feel less apprehensive and you can take the risks required to become the industry leader you want to be.
We list some of the most horrible marketing mistakes you simply MUST avoid in your small business’ journey.
Mistake #1: You Don’t Know Your Audience
This one is at the top of this list because so many of your marketing tasks will start here; or rather SHOULD start here. It determines whether you’ll succeed in the following aspects of marketing:
- Creating messages that speak to consumers’ emotions
- Picking a relevant company logo, brand color and slogan that your audience will respond to
- Advertising where your ideal customer is most likely to notice you
Many business owners make the mistake of marketing to everyone. Rather, study your ideal customer and cater for his or her unique needs.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Show You’re Different
Even if you draw your ideal customer’s attention you’re not guaranteed a commitment to your product or service. They may already support one of your competitors; you need to show them why it’s in their best interests to switch allegiance to you.
To set you apart you need to use your USP (unique selling proposition) in your online content and marketing material.
This approach also works because many consumers have a natural fear of missing out on something special. If you show that you have something unique to offer—that no one else can—it may be the reason they stay on your website or ask more questions about your product.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Study Your Competitors
Your USP must do is prove that you’re different than your competitors. But how will you know how to show you’re different if you don’t even know your opposition?
In depth knowledge of the industry and other similar businesses is vital to help you create effective marketing campaigns. This knowledge will serve two purposes:
- Know how to be different: Know what your USP is and make sure your brand such as your logo is easily distinguishable from other companies. You don’t want consumers to mistake them for you and end up purchasing their products.
- Use their knowledge against them: While studying your competitors you’ll also notice their marketing strategies. What can you learn from this? If they’re focusing on a specific demographic, perhaps you should do the same? Or perhaps they publish industry relevant eBooks and case studies online that you can use for insight.
Mistake #4: You Forget About Local Search
Even though you’re part of a global community consumers still enjoy doing business with companies in their immediate vicinity. This could be because they don’t trust delivery services when ordering products or they want to view your premises and products before committing to a sale.
But how will they know you’re the nearest vendor to their homes if you don’t make it known? Consumers often use local search features or the ‘near me’ phrase to find service providers close to them. And Google is perfecting this function: the search engine uses an individual’s location when filtering search results.
If you don’t refer to your immediate area in your website content, Google won’t know you’re one of the businesses that can help someone find what they’re looking for.
Make a list of place names near you and create content mentioning those buildings, streets, suburbs or cities.
Mistake #5: Social Media isn’t THAT Important
It’s common knowledge how popular social media is but still some business owners don’t utilize it.
It takes time and money to determine the best way to use this resource, such as finding out which platform your target audience uses the most. Some small businesses feel daunted by this task or they believe it’s something they can get to ‘later’.
As Facebook, Instagram and other platforms are extremely effective marketing platforms, don’t wait. Social media is how you’ll get the momentum you need and best of all there are cost effective ways of using this medium.
No matter your budget, you have no excuse to make this mistake.
Yes, some of these errors seem obvious. AND they’re avoidable. You don’t even need a huge budget to prevent these mistakes. Still, so many business owners make them. When you’re inundated with to-do lists and work stress it’s easy to err. But now you know what to guard against.
Effectively plan to sidestep these mistakes, make sure your employees are on board with your ideas and increase the chances of making it big!