ENTREPRENEURSHIP / OCT. 29, 2014
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How to Avoid Small Business Marketing Mistakes

If you have a small business, you know the importance of marketing. Without a good marketing strategy, others may not know about your product or service. And lack of customer knowledge can result in low revenue. Fortunately, there are several ways to get your business name out in the public. And for your business to succeed, you need to recognize and avoid common small business marketing mistakes.

1. Be Consistent

Purchasing a single print ad may only produce modest results. Sometimes, you need to repeat certain marketing strategies to generate a huge buzz. Therefore, don’t give up on a marketing strategy just because your first attempt didn’t return your investment. Growing a business is about brand recognition. A person may see your ad today, but not require your service. However, when you continue to advertise, your name slowly becomes engraved on their brain, and they’ll think of your company when they do need your service.

2. Don’t Be Afraid of Social Media

Maybe you’re used to traditional advertising methods, such as print, direct mail and television. But if you want your small business to be successful, you need to explore other ways of advertising. Social media marketing may seem intimidating, but you don’t need special skills. Creating a Facebook or twitter account for your company is a good starting point. Basically, you need to provide users with quality, informative content related to your product or service. The more useful the information, the more likely readers will share it with their social circle. And as they share, word about your business spreads.

3. Don’t Forget to Offer Promotions

It isn’t enough to advertise your business, you need to offer promotions. Advertisements introduce your company to others, but promotions are what bring new customers through the door. For example, if you’re advertising an office cleaning business, it’s good to sell your company and promote the services you offer. But to generate customers you need to do more, such as offering one free cleaning or half-off services with a three-month contract.

4. Don’t Try and Sell Everyone - Know Your Target

benefit from your service or product. Therefore, you shouldn’t waste time trying to reach everyone. If possible, look into ways to target your marketing efforts. For example, if you run an office cleaning business, you might use a direct mail campaign and only send postcards to local businesses. On the other hand, if you own a window replacement company and want to market to homeowners, you might target your marketing efforts and advertise to those within a certain ZIP Code or neighborhood.

5. Make Your Business Different from the Competition

If your business offers the same exact services and products as other businesses within your niche, you might not receive the customer base you need for success. It’s okay to tap a market that’s covered in your area, but you need to dig deep and offer something unique or specialized. Using the example of an office cleaning service, there might be similar companies in your area. Therefore, you could market yourself as an eco-friendly office cleaning company. You can use green cleaning methods and eco-friendly solutions. If a company is seeking a green janitorial service, they may choose your company over another.

6. Don’t Think You Don’t Need a Blog or SEO

Just like experimenting with Facebook or Twitter to promote your business, you also need to include a blog on your company’s website. Blog posts don’t have to be long – as little as 200 to 300 words. The key, however, is providing tips, advice or information related to your product or service. It should be entertaining and personable; and at the end of the article, you need to include a call to action which encourages readers to use your service. Also, it’s important to incorporate keywords naturally throughout your posts. This way, you can improve your ranking on search engines. If you don’t want to tackle this job yourself, work with an Internet marketing or SEO company.

Bottom Line

As a small business owner, you may not have a marketing degree. But this doesn’t mean you can’t succesfully promote or advertise your product or services. However, you’ll need to educate yourself and understand methods that work, and those that don’t.

Image Credit: Flickr

 

 

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