Are critical miscalculations lurking within your marketing strategy? Advertising success is by no means a given. While simply plugging away at tough jobs may serve you well in other areas, your PR campaigns require a more unique, measured approach. Here are five of the mistakes you might be making and tips on changing your small business marketing for the better.
1) Getting on the Content Marketing for the Sake of It
You may be raring to market online, but remember that consumers can easily detect insincerity. You can’t simply create generic content just to put yourself out there.
Be genuine about your marketing. If you publish a dispassionate blog post simply because you want to keep up with a competitor who recently wrote about a similar subject, your readers will lose respect for you. On the other hand, writing about something you feel strongly about or possess intimate knowledge of makes it easier to imbue your content with value. Your readers will appreciate the fact that you took the time to provide them with information they find useful.
True, digital presence is vital to small firms that want to expand, but there’s a difference between establishing an effective presence and simply building a website. If your sites don’t look and feel as professional as possible, you’ll have a hard time convincing visitors of your validity.
2) Not Taking Advantage of Data
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to realize the potential of digital marketing analytics. Without structured user-data analysis and tracking, you’ll find it difficult to improve your marketing efforts and get real value out of your investments.
Be sure that your forays into the digital world serve some well-defined purpose. Build blogs and social media profiles that promote specific information you want to share and direct traffic toward your official sites. Follow the paths users take to learn more about how people interact with your brand, so you can discover where you need to focus your efforts.
3) Missing the Big Picture
Ideally, your Internet marketing should encompass a multi-pronged approach. Instead of simply investing in marketing or random blog content, you need to develop and implement a strategy that presents a unified front.
Let’s look at a real-world example. Suppose your firm is promoting a limited-time sale, but you’ve failed to remove the storefront posters advertising your previous offer. While you can easily clear up consumer confusion by explaining your mistake, the fact that you didn’t anticipate it makes you look highly unprofessional.
The Internet is no different. If your blog-based marketing strategy doesn’t tie into your Twitter posts or websites, people will just feel confused by what you present. Before long, they’ll find someone else they can understand, and you’ll be out of luck.
4) Failing to Interact
What do you do when someone responds to your Twitter posts or comments on your blog? Many business owners let these golden opportunities slip right through their fingers by failing to interact. Your dedication to following up could make all the difference in how people perceive your organization.
True, you’ll never be able to keep up with every single conversation, but that doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to try. Your consumers may not follow the designated routes when they want to make complaints or ask questions about your products. If you’re not monitoring your social media and making an effort to reciprocate when they initiate contact via comments or posts, you’ll seem uncaring.
So, how can you keep track of everything that’s going on around you? Begin by adopting a managed approach to your marketing. Automate processes like checking blog comments and social media pages by enabling instant email notifications when someone makes a post. Connect your corporate email account to your phone so that you retain awareness of what you need to be monitoring. By leveraging these technologies intelligently, you’ll maintain a consistent level of interaction and still have time to run your firm.
5) Not Preparing for Tomorrow
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a small firm is not investing in sustainable marketing. For example, if making a post on your current blog system requires insane levels of technical know-how, you’ll limit your ability to share information in a timely fashion. Similarly, paying more than you can afford for consulting in the hopes that you’ll magically see huge returns makes it difficult to continue marketing later.
Make sure that your marketing is commensurate with your consumer base and current growth level, but leave yourself with room to expand. Adopt a management strategy that incorporates discrete components such as blogs, social media sites and cross-marketing tools that you feel comfortable using personally or having a trusted employee manage. This is the easiest way to retain command of your small business marketing as you move forward.
About the Author:
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, which helps businesses of all sizes accept credit cards. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.