Updated: Jul 22
As a small business owner, you're busy. You have to manage your employees, keep up with all the latest industry trends and technology, and make sure that your company is staying on top of its game.
But there's one thing that you should not be neglecting: marketing. Having a strong marketing plan will help keep your repeat customers coming back and connect you with a new group of potential customers. But as we all know what works in marketing changes quickly, especially in the digital space. Without a solid plan, things can go sideways quickly and you could end up focusing on a tactic that doesn't move the needle very much. Here are some of the most common marketing mistakes I have seen and tips on how to avoid them:
1. Not setting your goals first
You've been inspired by a recent ad you saw and you want to create a commercial of your own. You spend time and resources creating the perfect commercial, but you haven't stopped to think about what goal this supports. As exciting as it may be, stop to write down the business goal/objective you want to fulfill, the marketing strategy that will help support this goal, and who you are targeting before you create anything.
2. Trying to sell to everyone
Approaching every problem from your clients' perspective is one of the most critical steps in building your business. You can't sell to everyone. Doing your market research and developing personas early on will help you in the long run. Be sure to check out my recent Step by Step Guide to Creating Buyer Personas (+Free Templates). And don't forget to print your buyer persona out and tape it to your wall in a prominent location to see every day.
3. Spreading your marketing $ too thin
You want to be everywhere, but spreading your marketing dollars across too many channels can dilute your message. If your budget is small, focus on selecting a channel or two that your target audience frequents. Depending on the media they consume you can focus on things like selecting one social media channel to start and growing from there.
4. Using the wrong marketing message
I've seen branding messaging used on a product page and acquisition marketing campaigns that don't have a strong call to action. Depending on what your marketing objective is and what you're measuring, will help you determine the type of language you use and where you direct people with your call to action.
5. Not having a strong call to action (CTA)
Not every ad needs a call to action, but when it does, be sure to make it timely, offer an incentive, and keep it succinct. Why? People respond well to offers that expire. It gives them an incentive to take action.
6. Only focusing on new customers
New customers are great, but they are 5 times more difficult to acquire than your existing customers. Be sure you are nurturing your existing customer base through various channels. They already love your product or service, so if you have a loyal customer base be sure to build a retention strategy. You can start out easy with an upsell campaign and build out more complex cross-sell strategies as you grow. You can also incorporate strategies into your existing sales strategies as well.
7. Subject lines that get your email sent to SPAM
If your email doesn't get opened, the copy in the email you spent weeks crafting will never get read. Be sure to focus on drafting a strong high-quality subject line. Avoid words that will get your email sent to Spam and always A/B test your subject lines. Here are a couple of quick links to free subject line checkers:
8. Not double-checking your creative before it goes live
Every time I review an ad I call the phone number. I also cut and paste the URL into various browsers to ensure it's working. I do not retype it. I've seen it all: Your brain can play tricks on you, a part of the design file could go missing, the copy can drop off at the printer or the publisher can pick up the wrong file. 5 minutes spent reviewing an ad will save you stress down the road.
9. Expecting marketing to fix everything
Marketing isn't a quick fix. It takes time and expecting immediate results will only set you up for disappointment. Start with a plan, build a campaign, and always test something new. Finally, review your analytics to see how your audience responds. And remember this motto: done is better than good. It can help you get your campaign out there, rather than overthinking things.
10. Trying to do everything yourself
You can't be an expert in everything. That's why having a marketing expert you can lean on helps you level up your marketing efforts quickly.
Reach out to Tenth Man Marketing today to get support for your next marketing campaign.