4 Common Mistakes In Small Business Marketing

Keeping new customers coming into your small business is vital. In fact, new customers are like oxygen to your lungs. But there’s a lot of confusion about the best ways to add new customers to a small business. And as a result there’s plenty of bad advice that’s waiting to steer you in the wrong direction.

In today’s article, I’ll show you 4 common mistakes to avoid when advertising a small business.

Are you ready?

Small Business Marketing Mistake #1: Using the cheapest marketing.

This is a common mistake I hear all the time. In fact, you should not look for the lowest priced advertising. What you want is the most effective advertising that at least breaks even, and even better puts money into your business on the first go round. The only measure of a good small business marketing promotion is whether or not it puts enough new customers into your store to at least pay for itself. Sometimes, a great piece will even make money on the first go.

But remember, the money in new customers is their value over a period of time.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #2: Getting concerned over image.

This is another mistake that’s very common. And I understand why it’s made. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your business. So it only seems right that your marketing image should be foremost in your mind.

But understand this:

The sole purpose of your marketing is to get a new customer. Plain and simple. And what works is being outrageous. Being fun. And grabbing attention so you set yourself apart from your competition that are busy launching boring (me too) campaigns.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #3: Not testing.

Many people have opinions on what they think good marketing is. But few are qualified to give advice. The way around this is TESTING. Testing your marketing trumps opinions, theories, and beliefs from all the so-called small business marketing experts. So if someone recommends you do something, then so be it. But make sure you test this idea to see if it produces or not.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #4: Not being clear

Don’t try to be cute or funny in your marketing. Instead focus on giving your reader something that benefits them. Maybe that’s a sample of what you sell… or a one-time deal… or even some free information to help your prospect make a decision. But no matter what, your advertising must deliver crystal clear benefits to your target audience.

So keep these four small business marketing mistakes in mind the next time you try to attract new customers to your business.

The Top 5 Small Business Marketing Tips for Budget-Minded Business

When it comes to running a successful business, marketing is essential. For a small business, marketing often seems like a daunting task – especially when it comes to marketing your business on the web.

Many times, budget-minded business owners fear that small business marketing needs to be expensive in order to be effective. Fortunately – this isn’t true. Here are five simple tips for small business owners who are looking to save dollars, while still running an effective online marketing campaign.

1. Optimize Your Website

There are three simple steps to take so that you can be sure that your website is working for you.

The first is to use a descriptive title for your site as well as keywords and a description that allows search engines and site visitors alike to know what they will find when they visit your web page. Once that’s taken care of, make sure that you are placing keywords appropriately in the text of your website.

Your keywords should be specific to your products and services, and should be chosen with consideration for the terms prospective customers would use when searching with Google or Yahoo or whichever other search engine they use.

Finally, these keywords should also be used in the alt image tags as they relate to the photos and illustrations that you post to your website.

2. Market Your Website with Articles & Distribute Press Releases

Article marketing is an extremely effective way to draw visitors to your website. By creating an informative short article that relates to your business, your area of expertise and your keywords, you can show readers a bit more of what they’ll find from your business – which you can link to in your resource box at the bottom of the article.

Online press releases are another effective marketing tool. Like conventional press releases that let local newswires pick up a story about a new staff member or a new product line, online press release distribution will allow you to get the word out to those who publish online newsletters or who review products and services like those that you offer.

Both articles and press releases published online create valuable, relevant inbound links to your website (via the link to your site in your resource box at the end of each article or press release). Search engines place a great amount of value on the number of inbound links you have to your site, so this is an excellent way of building popularity with the search engines, as well as your human customers.

Both article marketing and distributing press releases will enable you to establish yourself as an expert and your company as a source for products or services. Each is effective, and often, submission to article directories is free – that’s right, free marketing for your business, all it takes is a little bit of time.

3. Start a Blog

It’s a common statement when it comes to Internet marketing: content is king. A blog – short for a weblog – allows you to create fresh content at regular intervals, driving traffic and search engines to your website.

Like article marketing and press release distribution, having a blog allows you to establish your expertise about the products and services that your small business offers. Unlike article marketing and press release distribution, however, a blog allows you to begin to carry on a dialog with your current and prospective customers.

Your blog works like search engine magic for your website. By linking your blog to your website, you draw the search engines to your website. Your site will rank higher and your customers will have a much easier time finding your site.

4. Commit to a Link Building Campaign and Submit Your Site to Directories and Search Engines

As a small business owner building and promoting your business on the web, having quality inbound links is important. Links allow your site to be found by those who visit similar sites looking for the products and services that your company offers.

Links – like those at the end of your articles and press releases, like those that link back to individual products or services from within your blog, and like those from others who have purchased from you in the past – help to improve your site’s search engine rank.

By submitting your business’ website to relevant directories and even to industry-specific – niche – search engines, you’ll begin to generate additional links. More importantly, however, these niche directories are increasingly used by those looking for very specific sites. Having your listing present will make it even more likely that your prospective customers will find your page; that makes them a particularly valuable marketing tool for your business, and, again, it’s often free to submit your site.

5. Look for Joint Ventures with Other Like-Minded Business People

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to work together – a movie theater and a restaurant offering coupons for a discount if you spend the evening at both places. In my past life working with large corporations I realized that the largest companies grow by means of joint ventures all the time. However, many small businesses do not look into joint ventures when it comes to marketing their businesses.

Is it always easy to find the right joint venture for marketing your business? No, of course not. But it is possible to find like-minded business owners whose customers could benefit from your products or services just as your customers could benefit from those that they offer.

As a result, both small businesses will be better able to extend their outreach and develop a wider customer base. If you are going to enter into a joint venture, search for companies with similar goals and a similar customer base but a different type of product or service. Stay on the lookout, keep an open mind and you just might find the perfect opportunity to market your business to a new audience.

A perfect example of this principle is a recent joint venture I did with a company who specializes in teaching business credit skills to small business owners. This company markets to the same clients that I wish to add to my customer list, but they offer a completely different service. By working together, we were able to market our services to each other’s mailing lists, resulting in both of us attracting new customers we would not have had otherwise. The great part about this joint venture was that there was no out-of-pocket cost to either of us – just our time and a little creativity in coming up with suitable promotions to each other’s lists!

Taking your business to the web does not need to be difficult, nor does it need to be expensive. By taking a creative approach, small business owners on a tight marketing budget will be able to find traffic and increase their customer base.

Focus on reaching the search engines: use the right keywords and use them appropriately. Let people know that you have the information they need with articles and be sure to get the word out by distributing press releases. Interact with your customers with a high quality blog, and focus on getting great links. Lastly, take advantage of partnerships with like-minded business owners.

Marketing your small business website may require a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t require a lot of money – oftentimes, the best results are derived from the most creative (not the most expensive) solutions.

Give Me Local Small Business Marketing And I’ll Whip My Dreams Into Profitable Business Over Night

If local small business marketing is unfamiliar to you, look at it this way. The target of every business is to get the word out to the maximum number of people to maximize marketplace exposure. In business, market exposure correlates with sales.

Go Online With Local Small Business Marketing

Today in our cyber era, having an effective online presence is of utmost importance. As people spend more and more time in front of the computer, chances are better and better that they will search online for the products and services that they will buy. The Internet allows small business owners to display your expertise directly to eager buyers. Unlike traditional media like billboards, television advertising and Yellow Pages, with online media local small business marketing no longer requires huge amounts of money.

Local Small Business Marketing Is Affordable

It’s true! There are some really cool ways to promote your local business, many of which are free, to attract the targeted leads you desire. Here are some of the methods:

  • Create web pages that feature keywords specific to your particular products and services. What do we mean by “keyword?” Anticipate what eager buyers type into the search engine box before they click [Search]. Savvy buyers are getting savvier. With local small business marketing you want to attract local customers.
  • Make sure to choose terms that people will look for to find local products and services. For example, if you own a Detroit furniture business, you don’t want to target phrase “furniture.” It’s too generic. Google it yourself and see 257 MILLION web pages containing that word. Instead, Detroit buyers will type the phrase “detroit office furniture” and search. Now I find 700 thousand competitive web pages and also that local map featuring local furniture merchants.
  • Build a blog and they will come. Your blog is the ideal way to tell your story and interact with an interested audience. You know? I know you’re great telling your story and persuading prospects sitting across the table from you. Write each blog post that way, as if you’re eyeball-to-eyeball with the largest possible audience. And they will hear your story today, tomorrow and next year — when they’re ready to hear it. Once you’re done writing your post, bookmark it in social book marking sites like Digg.com and StumbleUpon.com to promote even more traffic.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget a Facebook fan page. Now that Facebook is the third largest country in the world (China, India, Facebook, United States…) your Fan page facilitates keeping up with your customers regardless where they are. Local small business marketing benefits from Facebook patrons Like-ing your page and telling the world how great you are. Local patrons frequenting Facebook are more likely to pay attention to your local business when privy to your popularity. Additionally, Facebook facilitates instant communication with your audience whenever you do something noteworthy, like a special event or a special promotion.

Dream Big With Local Small Business Marketing

As local business marketing becomes easier and more familiar to you, eager buyers will notice. To maximize marketplace exposure your local business must be found. In business, market exposure correlates with sales. What do you have to lose by dreaming big and making local small business marketing an overnight sensation?