Ever wonder why your business is not taking off or stalling? The answer might not be so surprising. While you should focus on doing the right things in your marketing campaign, avoiding certain marketing mistakes is equally important. Here are the five most common marketing mistakes you should avoid when putting your marketing plan into action:
1. You’re focused on traditional marketing and ignore online opportunities.
While flyers and posters are still the norm for local-based businesses, attracting a younger audience requires online advertising or SEO.
Whether you run a service-based business or a brick-and-mortar location, you can take advantage of Google search by preparing to be found online. Any brick-and-mortar location should have a Google My Business listing with a focus on reviews. This way, your location is bumped up to at least the first 10 results.
As far as service businesses are concerned, a content marketing (blogging) approach is the way to go. If the market is too competitive, you can get an edge by enlisting your business on professional aggregators, running ads on them or using Google Adwords.
2. You don’t ask for reviews.
You may think referrals are the only way to go. However, according to this study from 2016, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Furthermore, 7 out of 10 clients will agree to leave you a review once prompted, so you really have no excuse.
As online shopping is ever more popular, many of your potential clients will check reviews before buying a product or contracting a service provider. In fact, the same study reveals that 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
3. You’re keeping the tricks of the trade all to yourself.
A report by Kissmetrics shows the importance of sharing information with your potential client base. Educating clients won’t turn them away from you, but it will position you as an authority in your field. Trust in your business will grow, and you will develop a loyal fan base that will come to you for their needs.
4. You’re not standing out.
When developing a marketing campaign, you need to create a hook, a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your unique value proposition should be included in all marketing materials.
Whatever your market is, you have to first analyze the main players, then ask yourself what you can do better. This could mean offering a discount to first-time customers, adding and extra service or implying higher quality through the use of extended warranties.
5. You ignore your existing customer base.
Customer loyalty is key to any sustainable business, so it’s important to keep your clients coming back. First of all, keep in touch with them constantly by asking for their contact info online or in person. Online, you can achieve this by setting up an email capture system on your website and preparing custom emails beforehand. Social media is also a vital way to keep in touch with your fans or customers. In a brick-and-mortar location, you can give out cards to returning clients.
This method will lead to reviews and referrals, which are vital to any business, but you need to remember your hook. Offer discounts or special offers to loyal clients, keep them informed about promotions you are running or having rare products in stock. Focus on the long term advantages of your marketing efforts, rather than short term gains.
As long as you avoid these marketing mistakes, your business will flourish at its own pace. Looking for more tips to kick off your small business development efforts? Here’s a place to start and another one if you want to research further. Social media marketing is also important in your pursuit to drive your business to success. Check out these top 5 social media marketing trends for 2017.