6 Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make Every Day

marketing mistakes

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Back in the old days, marketing meant throwing out a few flyers or advertising in the local newspaper. Nowadays, with so many cheap and readily available options such as social media, SMEs certainly have plenty to choose from. All too often, businesses make those choices badly, opting for useless quick fixes and spurious marketing strategies that at best have little or no effect and at worse can seriously damage their online reputation.

There are no quick and easy solutions when it comes to online marketing – no magic wand you can wave and have people rushing to your site. You have to build a following, engage them, and prove that you are a good person to do business with. You can’t simply go out and buy popularity.

Here are some prime marketing mistakes all businesses should try to avoid:

1. Buying Followers

It’s a waste of money and it doesn’t work. All you get is a bunch of spam accounts attached to yours which makes you look unprofessional and takes an age to get rid of when you realise what an idiot you’ve been. That’s why it’s only £10 for 1000 REAL followers. Sellers of this kind of product just press a button and send a bunch of spam your way.

2. Buying Likes and Retweets

The same goes for spending your limited marketing budget on likes for Facebook or retweets on Twitter to make your posts look popular. People can recognise this kind of scam a mile off and you’ll lose more customers than you gain. If someone has the gall to tell you that it boosts SEO then hunt them down and drown them in pineapple juice.

3. Buying or Making Up Testimonials

Would you be surprised to learn that some of the major brands still do this? It might seem like a great idea to make yourself seem popular but doesn’t actually work. The practice has led to people not trusting testimonials at all. One or two in depth and honest case studies are worth a thousand fake thank you notes.

4. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

Yes, they are important but only to a certain extent. If you stuff your prose full of keywords you’ll end up sounding like a robot stuck on repeat.

Content needs to make sense. Don’t get too focused on having X amount of keywords in the hope that it’s going to improve traffic. Marketing online is all about having a holistic approach – you need to combine good content with a solid social media strategy at the very least. By all means throw in a few keywords but don’t get obsessive about it.

5. Taking the Wrong Advice

With the growth of websites that allow you to work from home, there has been a big rise in the number of people setting up marketing businesses. Unfortunately, this means that you can get saddled with someone who has learned their trade off the back of a crisp packet (or worse still by reading the wrong articles on the internet). Do your own research about what works and what doesn’t and don’t be afraid to shop around or be critical of someone who purports to be an expert.

6. Going Cheap

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for in this world. If something is excessively cheap then the chances are it’s going to be poor quality. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper the service the more likely you are to be the victim of marketing mistakes.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find some bargain solutions out there, you just have to search pretty deep to find it. Don’t give all your work at once to a new marketing organisation, test them out with a small job first. The same with anyone you hire on a freelance site. And remember to monitor their progress – it’s amazing the number of companies that start off bright and breezy because you are a new customer but begin to flag in the ensuing months when they think you are hooked.

If you’re a new business, you’re going to make marketing mistakes. It’s part of the process of finding what works for you and your brand. The trick is to box clever, don’t part with your hard earned cash based on half-baked promises, and allow time for your strategy to develop in a positive direction.

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