Small business marketing doesn't allow much room for error—with limited time and resources, you simply can't afford to bank on something that's solely based on gut feel, the current fads, or your untempered love for your brand.
As a business owner or marketer, you also don't want to spend too much time and resources on a marketing plan/strategy that might eventually end up unsuccessful.
Maybe you haven't thought that much about marketing. Maybe you haven't made mistakes yet, but here's a list of common marketing mistakes you can avoid if you want to launch a successful and sustainable brand marketing strategy for your small business.
Weak brand identity
For a marketing strategy to work and sustainably deliver, you, a business owner or marketer, must first build and design a solid brand identity.
What does your brand represent? Who is your target market? And how do you want your brand to engage this target market?
First step: get a website/update your website. If you don't have a website yet, don't just consider getting one—you need to get one. Getting a website and building it to strengthen your brand is now a necessity.
If you already have a website, make sure it continually generates fresh and relevant content. How to do this? Employ social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—these and similar giant platforms no doubt help a lot in engagement.
You want to engage your target market, but you also need to make sure all your social media marketing directs back to your website, not the other way around.
Good content, the right content, engages your followers and directs them to your website. The right content need not be complicated: start with great visuals and informative, relevant text. Simple, relevant, and engaging content inspire action from customers.
Your social media presence must direct them to your website so they can now purchase and avail your products and services. Good marketing sells; good sales mean good profit.
Unsatisfactory communication with customers
After engaging your market, you now want to keep them coming back for more. You want to eventually strengthen your market reach, too.
Making sure you attend to all customer inquiries and proactively respond to their feedback is one proven way to keep your customers. It will also ultimately grow your market.
Always respond promptly and professionally. Respond with the information they need and the relevant content you want to keep them engage—don't just respond right away, but respond with the right content right away.
Unmindful of competition
Learn from your competition. Staying in your own bubble is a no-no, even for small business owners and marketers.
Keep updated and sufficiently informed with what your competition is currently up to. Get an idea on how they plan their future marketing strategies. This will help you create a clearer picture of your own future marketing strategies.
By taking the perspective(s) of your competition, you build a resilient marketing strategy that isn't just better in the present time, but has the potential to be better still in the near future.
To compete, you need to be able to understand what your competitors are doing with their brands, anticipate their next marketing move, and play an even better game than theirs.
Not doing marketing at all
Even big companies and more established brands do marketing: even if they tell you they don't. As a business owner, you need to understand that marketing has now become an essential part of any business.
Simply, your business can't do without marketing. Don't dwell in the illusion that eventually, the superb quality of your product or service will speak for itself—because most of the time, it won't. Doing this will only bring more harm than good to your business.
If you haven't yet, start planning your own marketing strategy now. Yes, you will devote some time and resource, but a sound and well-thought-of marketing strategy is always better than no marketing strategy at all.