5 Common Online Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

As a small business owner you’re likely to feel like you are juggling many plates, especially with the current Covid 19 situation. Online Marketing is generally one of these plates! I decided to write up five very common mistakes small business owners make to try to help you on your way. Perhaps you are making some of them? Hopefully this will help you to fix up what you’re doing and take some small steps to improve your marketing strategy

  1. Posting for the sake of posting.

    This is a hugely common issue when businesses post on social media. You need to invest your time wisely as a small business owner (or your money wisely if you’re paying someone to do this stuff for you). It doesn’t matter how often you post or how many followers you have if what you are posting isn’t useful or relevant to your audience. Ask yourself what your key business goals are and work out how your facebook or instagram page can help with that. For example, if you are a new business a key business goal is likely to be brand awareness. Do people know you exist? Why not use your blog to post informative content that actually sets out to solve common problems your audience faces. Spread the word about your business by demonstrating your extensive knowledge. Build brand awareness by adding genuine value to their lives. If it’s really helpful they might even share it with their friends. Perhaps you’re a more established business but you have a product you want a specific demographic to know about. Think about which channels this audience would be on and think of a creative way such as video content to explain the benefits of the product.
  2. Having a website that doesn’t work on mobile
    This is a huge issue and not to be underestimated. Mobile web traffic has accounted for about half of all web traffic globally since the beginning of 2017. If your website doesn’t work on mobile browsers then you’re potentially missing out on reaching a huge percentage of visitors to your website. As a small business, budgets can be tight. If you’re not ‘techy’ and can’t afford to hire someone to do this for you right now, why not consider using a website builder such as Shopify or Wix to get you started? I can even help you create it – get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.
  3. Focusing on ‘vanity metrics’
    It’s easy to become overly obsessed with how many followers you have on instagram or facebook. This is classed as a ‘vanity metric’ which can give you a false sense of success. You’re better to have a small but active & engaged following than a huge following who aren’t really interested and don’t engage. Ultimately, unless you’re running your social media as a hobby, it needs to convert to sales and that is why it’s important to focus on the right metrics when looking at your social media analytics, Mailchimp stats or Google analytics for example. So yes, follower count is important but not if you’re using it as something to celebrate in its own right – when you should really celebrate is when you see real business objectives being achieved as a result. The same can be said for page views of your website – of course it’s important to get traffic to your website but the main objective is converting this traffic to paying customers. There’s only so long you can carry on celebrating your metrics without seeing positive results. If you aren’t seeing results it’s time to ask yourself (or me!) why.
  4. Just posting but not interacting on social media

    Sometimes as business owners we feel compelled to be posting on social media. Often this is surrounded by an incredibly busy family life and many other plates being juggled. However, if it means posting/scheduling less often in order to spend quality time engaging with your audience then so be it. On Instagram in particular, get to know your followers, competitors and likeminded people by genuinely interacting with posts and stories that you find engaging. All of a sudden friendships will form and your marketing will become less of a ‘push’. This ties into the two points listed above. If your metrics aren’t converting to sales, is there more ‘value’ you can add for your followers? For example a genuinely useful video or blog post once a week, an ebook that helps answer a problem that needs solving or even a free webinar can often add genuine value to their lives. Long story short – it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.
  5. Not being recognisable

    It amazes me how many businesses post branded content from other organisations/businesses, particularly on Facebook. Why post someone else’s quotation graphic in their brand colours when you can get your designer to create a custom branded one or hop on canva and create your own version? If you have a strong visual brand identity, use it. Apply your brand colour palette, use the font you’ve committed to and design creative content that is unique to you. Don’t look like every other business – look like you and begin to increase your brand recognition while you’re at it.

Can you relate to any of these? That’s fine. Don’t fret. It’s all easily fixed and the lovely thing about much of it is that you can fix it a bit at a time. Start with a list and work your way through it.

Really struggling to keep up or just need a little bit of a steer in the right direction? I help small businesses with creative marketing strategy, branding & design with services starting at £40. Get in touch today on Facebook, Instagram or via my website – I would love to hear from you.

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