If you run a small business, then you most likely do not have a large marketing budget. You can’t afford to make any mistakes. Read on to learn some common marketing mistakes that your small business needs to avoid, and what you should do instead.
I needed a few tips on internet marketing for small businesses, so I called one of the best in the business, Bryan Scott, the owner of Rockstar Marketing, in Destin, Florida. He and his company manage hundreds of accounts for the biggest names in the industry. One of his clients has well over 4 billion views on YouTube alone and also reached over 100 million people with a single Facebook post. I guess you could say I’m in good hands.
Don’t Waste Money on the Wrong Marketing Channels
Never just spend your advertising budget on the most popular marketing channels. Advertising on all of them in the hope of casting as wide a net as possible is even worse. If you want to get the most out of your marketing dollars, you need to know exactly where your company’s potential customers can be found. Some audiences spend more time on certain social media platforms than others. If your prospective clients are older, you might want to spend your budget on Facebook, a bit younger, then Instagram. If they are somewhere in between, you might want to hit Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Some listen to the radio and others do not. The issue with radio is that there is no way to track your audience. Sure, a salesman at the radio station will tell you they can hit the exact demographic you are looking for but, they can’t tell you if those individuals are visiting your business. Another negative for the radio industry is that it is pricy and so many are listening to Spotify, iTunes, SiriusXM or their personal playlist and not terrestrial radio anymore.
Some drive past billboards but many do not. Again, traditional avenues such as billboards are expensive and there is no way to track your audience. Only when you understand the habits of your prospective customers will you know which marketing channels will work best for you.
Don’t Go too Big too Fast
It can be tempting to spend big on a big marketing campaign in the hope of drawing in a lot of customers at once. That is a mistake that a lot of small businesses make. People make purchasing decisions based in part on how well they know a brand. Many consumers will be hesitant to spend money on a brand they have never heard of before. That can make your big marketing spend into a big waste of money. Instead, you should start slow. Build some brand awareness before you risk doing a big campaign. Get some experience marketing your company’s products or services and find out what works best before putting a lot of money into it. There are many free YouTube videos on how to market your business, you don’t have to be the expert, you just have to know where to look.
Don’t Take Forever Trying to Make it Perfect
If you don’t want to waste your marketing money, it is understandable that you would want to spend a lot of time making sure every element of your marketing is perfect. A lot of small business owners feel this way. However, a lot of them also take this perfection too far. They spend so much time redesigning their websites that they never launch them. They write and rewrite blog posts so often that they never end up posting anything. There is a misunderstanding in the small busines community, many think that they should be blogging every day to have fresh content for their website, do you want to be a blogger or run your business, there is a happy medium, find it.
Striving for perfection will accomplish nothing but wasting your money and your time. Instead, you should just get things in “good enough” shape and make any needed changes as you go along.
Never Chase Your Competitors
It can be tempting to copy some of the elements of your more successful competitors’ advertising campaigns. You should resist this temptation, though. Nothing says “amateur” like copying your competitors. People will see your brand as a cheap imitation. It’s much better to come up with your own advertising. Hire some professional marketing help if you need to.
Marketing is a critical element of your small business’ success, period. If you take care to spend your marketing budget carefully and follow the rules described above, you can be sure that your budget will be well spent.