Let’s face it, starting a small business is hard. Between concept and execution, there is a labyrinth of tasks an entrepreneur must navigate to make their idea work. It is becoming evermore obvious that online marketing can turn the tides in your company’s favor. However, what can help you, in this case, can also hurt you. There are so many options for getting the message out online about your brand. Each platform serves a unique purpose and has different users with distinctive motives. Getting lost in all of the services offered (paid or free) can waste your time, cost you money, and push your goals further away. Considering the facts, I thought making a list of common errors would hopefully help you diagnose your business’s online marketing problems. That is, unless, you’re already a marketing guru. 🙂
- Your website isn’t optimized for mobile.
70% of US mobile subscribers own smartphones (NIELSEN
). Why? Because they are affordable, do-all, portable devices. We are able to do everything from checking our email to letting our phone guide us straight to a desired address. From personal experience, I know that when I land on a page that doesn’t work with my phone, I’m done with it immediately. Pinching and scrolling around to read an article or search for a product/phone number is unacceptable (especially on the go). So why are most small businesses still kicking the proverbial can when it comes to optimizing for mobile? Most of these business fail to realize this is seriously hindering their traffic. Just two years ago BIA/Kelsey found that 93% of small to medium sized U.S. business websites are not mobile compatible. Stepping in to the mobile website realm is easy, affordable, and will add tons of credibility to your brand. So stop wasting your customer’s time and take your website mobile.
- Concerning social media, you try to walk before you crawl.
Every entrepreneur has heard that social media must be an integral part of their marketing plan. This is true, but there are some exceptions. Social media can seriously increase engagement, conversions, and buzz surrounding your brand. However, being a jack of all trades is not the best strategy. Spreading yourself too thin will inevitably take its toll on the quality of your content and waste your time resources. Find out where your customers spend most of their time online and then leverage that knowledge to get them engaged with your brand as much as possible.
- You don’t think like your customers.
Stop thinking like a business owner and start thinking like the people who actually consume your product. This is a huge and easy mistake to make. We all have perceptions of our business and products that have developed from days, months, and years of being involved with it. Too often we forget who we are serving, why they buy, and what keeps them coming back for more. Create personas of regular customers that fit into categories based on purchasing decisions. This will help you define how and where to spend your resources online.
- You’re not using the data right (or at all).
The absolute best thing about online marketing is data. Never before with mailers or magazine ads could business owners track exactly how consumers are engaging with their brand. Online analytics give us the opportunity to track every step users take down our purchasing funnel. This resource offers the ability to study how they found you, what they were searching for, and why they did or did not buy your product.
Most businesses believe they lack the resources to dedicate time and energy to data research, but that’s a perception problem. There are tons of resources online to help champion your data. Google Analytics, for example, is free and has extensive training materials to help you navigate their interface. Once you begin playing with the tools and seeing your customers from a bird’s eye view, you’ll be hooked. Finding information like what kind of device customers use and where they are located will help you decide where to place your precious resources and, in turn, increase sales!
- Your budget is not in line with your goals.
Every small business owner has problems deciding where their best ROI will come from and where to invest it. Just like everything else in life, you will reap what you sow. Online marketing is no different. If you have big goals, you need to set aside a budget specifically relating to those goals. Stop bargain shopping for the cheapest designer, having unrealistic expectations for your PPC advertisements, and reposting unoriginal content if you expect customers to engage with your brand. Stop making excuses to keep spending resources on newspaper or tv ads and start investing in the avenues where consumers can actually interact with your brand and start making purchases.
In conclusion, online marketing can be the most valuable resource you are not using correctly. Focus on creating attainable goals and leveraging the proper channels to achieve those goals. Make a plan with your team, allocate a proper budget, and start living out the brand you are selling by creating original content that is relevant to your customer’s habits.
We are Nektur Marketing. Our goal is to alleviate these problems. Visit us at www.Nektur.com
or fill out our contact form below. We would love to help optimize your digital marketing strategy.