“Common Marketing Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners”

November 21, 2014 9:35 pm0 commentsViews: 115
"Common Marketing Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners"
 
Running your own small business means that he burden of every decision, no matter how small and insignificant it may be, falls on your shoulders. When you have to juggle many things at once in your head, you get used to making decisions on the fly. That’s OK in terms of your everyday operations, as long as you stay the course you’ve already determined.
Some other decisions, however, require a bit more thought and planning. Yeah, I know that there’s only 24 hours in a day and so many other things you need to take care of, but things like marketing strategy for your operation require you to find some time to get to know your market and determine an approach that’s going to get your message across to the biggest effect and with the least amount of resources possible.
Pressed with many other burning issues, small business owners often tend to go for a quick-fix solution, the one that will give them an illusion that they are doing something to promote their business, without actually doing much at all. That quick fix solution, in most cases, is social media marketing.
The logic behind this decision is sound, at least in theory: social media is free, it doesn’t require your constant engagement, and if you’re creative and able to engage the public, you can grow the public profile of your business venture without breaking the bank.
 
In practice, things are a little bit different. The most successful social media marketing campaigns also require a lot of thought and planning, especially if they are not conducted by an advertising professional. It is not enough for you just to HAVE a website and BE on Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad of other social platforms. You need to formulate your message and make sure that it gets across to the right people, and that’s going to take time and work – time and work you thought you were saving.
Now, the point of this article is not to say that social media marketing is the wrong choice. Social media provides you with a platform to directly reach out to your potential clientele and give your business venture a voice that can be as unique and distinct as you want it to be. However, social media marketing may not be the best fit for your business, and over-focusing on it could prove itself ineffective, or even detrimental to your overall business. Here are a few practical tips that will hopefully help you formulate the best marketing strategy for your business.
 
Know your audience
Before you get down to promoting your business, you need to take a closer look at it. What is it that you provide? Who are your potential clients? What are their habits? Where do they turn for information? It may very well be that your target clientele consists of young people as well versed in modern technologies, in which case social media are a perfect (if not the only) marketing platform. But it may also be that the habits of your desired clientele indicate that they spend far more time listening to the radio, watching TV, even reading the papers or doing none of those things. The point is, your marketing strategy should probably involve a few different approaches with a strong focus on one of them. You should gather all the necessary information before you decide what you want to focus on.
 
Make peace with spending
Perhaps you’re a natural born marketing genius that can make gold with the turn of a phrase, but chances are you’re not. If that is the case, perhaps you should consider reaching for your wallet. One of the sad but undeniable facts about the world is that nothing comes for free, and if you’d like an effective marketing campaign for your business, it’s going to cost you. Determine how much you are willing to spend and consult a professional so you would know the options available to you in that price range.
 
Don’t forget promotional goods
People love freebies – that’s one of the things that remains a constant in the ever-changing marketing landscape. Quality products embellished with your company logo can go a long way in increasing your brand awareness. Don’t go for the cheapest option available just so you would have something to give away; corporate gifts can be an indicator of your status, and you should be careful where you put your logo. Traditionally, leather bound notebooks and quality pens are the mainstays of the corporate gift variety, but you should also consider more contemporary options such as sleek USB sticks or laser pointers, or even something out of the box as water bottles with personalized labels. Set some money aside for these purposes. Some people don’t care about the latest buzzy marketing trends, but they do enjoy tangible goods.
 
Don’t lose track of your “real” work
Marketing is just a part of the way your business will be received in public. It is also the aspect which you can’t fully control, since there is no sure way of determining the outcome of any marketing campaign. Another aspect of your public perception that is arguably even more important than your promotional efforts is the quality of your service. Your number one priority should still be the overall quality of your business, which includes both the product or the service you provide and your commitment to customer support. It would take a pretty effective marketing campaign to compensate for the lack of substance to your business, so make sure that your business operation has substance. Word of mouth can often be the best promotional tool for your business, especially if you’re operating in a smaller market.
 
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Author bio:
Jenny Hahn is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. She enjoys exploring the world first hand and writing about anything that might tickle her fancy. You can find her on facebook, google+ or twitter.
 
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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