Trying to market your small business and just not seeing the results you were hoping for?  While you may be doing a lot of things right, if you’re making any of these 7 marketing mistakes, you may be hindering your efforts. Learn how to avoid or fix these marketing mistakes to help your small business grow.

You’re relying only on marketing to bring in business

sales and marketingMarketing and sales are considered two totally different activities and small business owners should be doing BOTH to grow their business. Sure, you should make sure that you’re integrating your sales efforts with your marketing efforts, but don’t treat them as the same thing. Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation and control of business activities to bring together buyers and sellers. It’s messaging to many. Sales, on the other hand, is typically a one-on-one activity to transfer goods or services to another party for a price. Unfortunately, many businesses assume that if they only market, they’ll close business, but that’s not true. First of all, marketing creates the opportunity to sell, but it doesn’t close the deal. Second, business owners should always be proactively prospecting for new business, not waiting for their marketing efforts to make the phone ring. Make sales and marketing work together in conjunction for the best results.

You’re not targeting your marketing message

People are individuals and marketing messages need to be individualized. This means segmenting email marketing lists to ensure your email messages resonate with the recipient. This means understanding the different groups within your target audience and individualizing your message for each group. Be sure you have a solid, deep understanding of who you’re trying to market to, and endeavor to individualize your marketing message to them. Mass communication simply doesn’t work anymore.

You never researched where your target audience resides

It’s surprising how many small businesses have been in business for years and still don’t truly know how to reach their target audience. If you don’t take the time to do even the most basic marketing strategy, you won’t have a good idea where your target audience is. Which social media networks should you target?  What kind of content should you create?  How does your target audience consume information? If you can’t answer these basic questions, your marketing is likely ineffective.

You’re ignoring retention marketing

Retention marketing should be incorporated into your marketing efforts. It’s easier to sell to someone you’ve built a relationship with, and it’s more profitable to sell to your existing customers than to try and drum up new business.  As a matter of fact, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere in the 5 to 20 percent range.

You’re creating content without any thought given to what your prospects need

editorial calendarIf you’re consistently creating content on a regular basis, congratulations!  Great job! Content marketing is not easy, so committing your efforts to creating content consistently is a big accomplishment. However, if you’re simply checking the box so to speak by writing a weekly blog post, you’re missing the point. In order for your content marketing efforts to be effective, you have to understand what kind of content your prospects and clients are looking for. What are their pain points?  What questions are they asking?  Are their needs seasonal?  Just creating content without any planning is a marketing mistake that’s greatly undermining all your hard work. Do some research, create an editorial calendar and stick to it.

You’re not measuring your marketing ROI and adjusting efforts

If you can’t measure the ROI of your marketing efforts, you shouldn’t be doing it. All marketing comes at a cost; either your time or your money. As a small business owner, you should be sure you’re getting a good return on investment, which means you need to be measuring the impact of your marketing efforts. That means looking at what kind of results you’re getting with each marketing tactic and see what’s working and what isn’t. If it’s working, keep it. If it’s not, it may be time to look at your approach or simply try a different effort. You can measure results on social platforms, email marketing programs such as Constant Contact, Google Ads for paid search, and Google Analytics for website performance.

You’re not trying new marketing tactics

We get it!  As a small business owner, your time is precious. You don’t have time to chase down every new shiny marketing tactic that comes along and you shouldn’t. You should only use the tactics that make sense for your target audience. However, if you’re not trying a marketing tactic simply because you don’t know how, you may be leaving money on the table. A good example of that is video marketing. Many business owners don’t embrace it because they don’t know how to do it, think it’s too expensive, or don’t know how to measure it. Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience. If you haven’t looked into it as a small business owner, now is the time!  If you’re unsure where to start, find a marketing resource that specializes in video marketing. Same goes for new social platforms. Not sure?  Find a small business marketing pro to help you.

Avoiding these 7 marketing mistakes will help your efforts be more effective and grow your small business.

Patty Hughes
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