Marketing is an essential part of growing your business but getting it right can be quite tricky. Many well-established business owners can tell you a story or two about the times they lost a ton of money through the marketing mistakes they made.
If you’re a small business owner, you really can’t afford to make huge blunders. Of course, mistakes happen in life and they should always be treated as learning curves but, wouldn’t it be great to be warned about them beforehand?
Here are the 5 most common marketing mistakes that small business owners make and how to make sure you avoid them.
1. Not Having a Clear USP
Your Unique Selling Point (USP) is what sets you apart from your competitors. This is what makes your target market choose you over another similar business. If you’re not clear on what your USP is, then you’re just going to get lost in the crowd of other businesses in your industry.
If you’re struggling to find your USP, answering the following questions may help you:
What aspects of your business cannot be imitated by your competitors?
What makes your product or service really good?
What gap in the market are you filling?
Once your USP is defined, you can then market yourself effectively by highlighting this special trait.
2. Not Paying Attention To Competitors
One of the best strategies you can employ is to learn from your competitors, especially the well-established companies who’ve been doing this for a while. They’re getting something right and it is your job to find out what “it” is.
You can be glad we’re living in the digital age because there are plenty of tools that can help you analyze how your competitors are doing. From Buzzsumo, which helps you analyze content that is performing well in your industry, to SEMRush, which has amazing competitor analysis in relation to SEO.
Paying attention to your competitors’ marketing strategies – the content they are posting, how often they are posting, what platforms they are using, and how well their products or services are being received by the market, will help prepare you moving forward.
You certainly don’t want to copy the marketing strategy of another company but knowing what works and what doesn’t is always a great place to start.
3. Not Having a Clear Target Market
This is, perhaps, one of the most important points on this list. Who are you selling your product or service to?
Most small businesses make the mistake of trying to cater to everyone because they don’t want to alienate potential customers. Although trying to cast a wide net is understandable, it is crucial for any business to clearly define who it’s selling to.
Once you have defined your market, you can then start analyzing what needs they have and how best to serve them. Defining your market will also help you identify which social media platforms are best for you to reach them on.
4. Not Taking Advantage of Social Media
Social Media marketing is one of the best things to happen to small businesses and startups. It is much more affordable than traditional marketing and has the added benefit of businesses getting an instant response from their market.
You can take advantage of social media by putting together a social media marketing strategy that details which platforms you’ll use, what content you’ll be putting out, and what your goals are.
5. Leaving the Marketing Company to Do All the Work
I’m a strong believer in everybody sticking to what they do best. So, if you would like to hire a professional digital marketer who can handle all your online content, that’s a step in the right direction, however, this is your business and you still need to be on top of things.
You’ll need to keep up with industry trends and news. This will help as you will be able to advise them on what is currently working and what your market has seen enough of.
Now that you’re clear on the marketing mistakes to avoid, it is time to get out there and change the game in your industry.
Can you think of other marketing mistakes small businesses make? Leave your answers in the comments section below.