Owning your own business means a lot of numbers to crunch, people to please, and reputations to maintain. On the other hand, business functions such as marketing serve as the fun and creative outlets of running a business! While there is a lot of creative freedom in marketing, there are also missteps that professionals make when developing strategies. Luckily, marketing strategies for your small business do not have to fall down that path!
Here are 6 avoidable mistakes and solutions when developing marketing strategies for your small business:
A major misstep in maintaining these marketing plan techniques is inconsistency. Inconsistency comes in a variety of ways such as changes in messaging, colors, and themes from platform to platform. It is important that you remain consistent in order to form connections and relationships with your clients and consumers.
Solution: Keep a running document or list of taglines, colors, codes, fonts, etc. Go beyond a list to develop an entire “brand book” which houses all style guidelines for your business. Remember to keep this list or book updated!
Just as it can be difficult to remain consistent when working with various strategies, staying relevant is also a challenge. Irrelevancy stretches from a selection of a target audience to communicate messages in an untimely, out-of-date fashion. Consumers and events are constantly evolving. Make sure your company is staying on top of changing consumer trends, wants, and needs.
Irrelevancy is particularly a struggle when it comes to web traffic. The internet never sleeps, and neither should your website. Neglecting to maintain and update your website properly or often negatively resonates with your clients.
Solution: Set a schedule for how frequently you need to adjust your website, web presence, or traditional marketing tactics. Add to your business calendar to check your website whenever you post or develop new content. Stay up-to-date with current events and respond appropriately.
#3: Not Following Up
Picture a marketing funnel beginning with awareness and ending with advocacy. Your business could do everything correctly in leading to a conversion or generating a desire to collaborate with your company. However, businesses may “slack-off” when it comes to retention, relationship-building, and advocacy after that initial desire.
Retention is crucial to cultivating a strong client base as well as spreading good word-of-mouth marketing. For example, figure out how and what led to client satisfaction or what caused any dissatisfaction? A valuable first step for you as a business owner is to understand the entire consumer journey for each client.
Solution: Reach out to consumers. Exceed the average 1-5 numerical satisfaction scale. Ask “how was your experience?” and have an open space for each client to fill out themselves. In addition, ask your clients to leave reviews for other people to learn about your services. Tip: keep a standard email template to send to those clients who interact with your company for feedback.
#4: Unrealistic Metrics and Goals
Small and large business owners alike tend to think of the overarching “end” goals for their company. This may include topping charts, increasing sales, or expanding the size, market, and location of your business. Long-term goals are great for continuing to drive performance. However, short-term goals, such as gaining 15 new followers by the end of the week, are necessary for achieving excellence in the long-term.
However, depending on the size and specifics of your business, some of the chosen metrics and goals set, whether long or short-term, maybe “unrealistic”. Continue to set both short and long-term goals that are in the scope of your business.
Solution: Utilize the SMART goals systems. This means you want your goals to be specific, measurable, achievable/attainable, realistic, timely. Physically write-out your goals in a convenient location for easy reference.
#5: No Analytics
On the outside, marketing may seem to be creative content development. However, numbers are just as important when it comes to delivering messages. Measuring is key.
You have your goals. You know what you want to achieve. But, are you actually reaching those parameters? Look at the data to understand questions such as:
- How is the public responding to your brand?
- Which media forms are working and which ones are not?
- How many likes, comments, and impressions are your posts getting?
- Where is your audience located?
- Are you constantly gaining new clients? Are you connecting with your existing ones?
Solution: Use tools such as Agorapulse and Google Analytics to watch how your brand is performing. Browse through search engines to find posted reviews of your service. In addition, look to competitors for comparison as well.
#6: Minimizing Exposure
Do not sell yourself short by not using certain social channels and traditional marketing tactics! Small businesses may “write-off” certain means of communication without investigating how their audience will respond. In addition, it may be possible to gain a new secondary audience by utilizing new means of communication.
Solution: Research! Investigate both classic and modern forms of marketing. Do not be afraid to take risks in marketing your services such as trying out a channel you never thought of using before.
Whether you are looking to heighten one or all of these methods, our team of marketing professionals at Sweet Rose Studios can help optimize marketing strategies for your small business today! Contact our team to learn more about how we can work together to achieve the goals of your small business!