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The Biggest Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Marketing

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running your business. Without it, you can’t attract clients, generate leads or close sales. So perfecting your marketing is important. Yet many business owners make simple mistakes that could easily be rectified.

So what are the biggest mistakes small business owners make, how do you fix them and what difference could they make for your business?

1. Website Speed

Everyone knows the importance of a website in a world that is becoming more online. Two-thirds of Americans shop online at least once a month, and 33% shop online at least once a week.

While price is a major deciding factor in whether a consumer will buy from your website; there are other factors. One of these is website speed. Research has shown that every second it takes for your website to load onto a consumer’s browser, you’ll lose 7% of your revenue whether you are a B2C or B2B company. With the average load time being approximately four seconds; some companies can lose over a quarter of their revenue.

There are many reasons why your website might be slow. However, one of the biggest causes is your website being hosted on a shared server. These might be cheaper, but they don’t give your website the best service or speed.

Instead, you should move onto a Virtual Private Server. These are slightly more expensive, but they offer a remarkably better service for their price. Also look for a server based in the country (and if possible State) where the majority of your clients are based.

Other website speed tips can include:

•       Minimizing HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

•       Enabling browser caching.

•       Optimizing website images.

•       Removing query strings from static resources.

You could also use tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom’s Speed Test to give you a list of what you need to do to improve website speed.

2. Selling On Social Media

Too many brands sell on social media. They directly publish content that aims to convince the customer to buy a product. However, selling on social media can be worthless. Research has shown that only 1-2% of all online sales originate from social media updates, and many consumers distrust heavy sales messages on Twitter, Facebook and in particular LinkedIn.

Therefore, despite that 22% of online time is spent on social media, it can be a relatively poor sales channel. However, when part of a longer sales path, social media can be used to feed your lead database. Then you can use other marketing platforms, like telesales or email marketing to convert customers.

Content that should be promoted on social media includes:

•       Blog posts.

•       Free resources and tools.

•       Third party content.

•       Conversational content.

•       News about the company.

By using this kind of tactic, you can build trust with your audience and generate more interest in your brand over the long term. This relates perfectly to the trend that 80% of purchases require between 5 and 12 interactions between consumer and brand.

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3. Not Using Email

Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels you can use. Research has shown that consumers prefer email marketing as a way to be notified about promotions and products. Email marketing is also one of the most cost effective ways to market. Using mail sites like MailChimp, you can communicate with up to 2,000 leads and send 10,000 emails every month for free.

You can also predetermine your emails and create auto-sequences, which are sent to subscribers when an event is triggered (subscribing to a list, clicking through on a previous email or downloading a resource). This is a very cost effective way to progress someone through your sales funnel to a point where they are ready to speak to you.

At the same time, you can use email to find out what interests your subscribers. Then contact them via phone or email to push the promotion of your products.

Here are some other email marketing tips to improve your email marketing campaigns:

•       Don’t buy email lists; these can earn you a fine and are ineffective.

•       Don’t send your emails too often.

•       Send emails on a regular basis (i.e. every Tuesday).

•       A/B test your emails.

•       Use a personal name as the sender.

•       Segregate your email marketing list.

4. Forgetting Offline Marketing

While we now spend a lot of our time online, don't forget your offline connections. In fact, your offline activities can be just as productive, if not more so, than online activities. There are several activities that you should regularly conduct in order to generate interest in your business offline – these include:

•       Attending shows and trade events.

•       Going to network meetings and business conferences.

•       Organizing and attending face-to-face meetings.

There are also other ways to market offline yet still earn money. If you hold training sessions for some basic elements of your trade, you might be surprised at the uptake of your services afterwards.

Try putting aside at least one morning a week where you are out of the office and meeting people face-to-face. This helps to build trust and bonds between you and perspective clients.

5. Segregating Your Marketing

What works on one platform is unlikely to work on another. Likewise, what one lead will want is not what another wants, so how do you market to them all without offending or annoying some? The simple answer is to segregate your marketing so the content published on one platform is designed for that audience, and another only gets content that is relevant to them.

The advantage of this strategy is that you will have less lost leads from those unfollowing you on social media or unsubscribing from your email marketing list.

There are many different ways to segregate your email marketing list, including:

•       By behavior on your website and tools they’ve downloaded.

•       Be demographical information (age, gender, etc.).

•       By previous products bought.

•       By interactions with your sales team.

•       By their behavior on your previous emails sent.

Conclusion

Marketing mistakes are made by all businesses, big and small. However, you can reduce the mistakes you make by conducting an audit of your campaigns and resources to ensure that you don’t annoy audiences and push them away from your brand. Consider the above points in your marketing audit and whether you have the best practices.

How effective is your marketing plan? Does it generate leads and sales?

Let us know in the comments below or contact a member of the Ragain Financial Team; we’re here to help.

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