Irrespective of your business size, your business’ marketing budget is a precious resource. It is your own investment, which can help you grow your company’s business and stock value. So you surely want it to give results for the growth of your business.
Large-scale businesses usually have high marketing budgets as compared to small-scale businesses. Small companies normally allocate a small budget for marketing due to their limited resources. It means that if you are a small business owner you do not have the finances to put to waste.
As a small business owner, you need to ask yourself these questions:
“Are you spending your budget on the right tactics?”
“Are you making effective and optimal use of your budget?”
“Is it really working for your business?”
To put in simple words, are you wasting away your marketing budget?
Adobe conducted a research on how effectively companies spend their marketing budgets. It was not a surprise that most of those companies were not doing a good job.
Do you feel that you also fall in the category of these small businesses that are not spending their marketing budgets the right way?
Then you should continue reading to know the silly ways in which you might be wasting your marketing budget and how to fix them.
1. Use of social media for building following: Undoubtedly, social media is a great tool for small businesses to use for their marketing. But most businesses start their marketing on social media without a proper strategy.
Gone are the times when Facebook marketing was free and reach was high. Now you need to invest money and efforts in Facebook marketing thanks to its evolving algorithm. Small businesses need to spend on the paid advertising to make their business ads visible and get their content seen by the target audience.
How to fix this?
The price of Facebook ads is not too high but due to increased competition, it is likely to get higher in the near future. This means you may need to spend more money to make your content visible to your followers. Presently, what you can do is use your social media investment to build an email list of your followers. This will allow you to have direct communication with them. Give incentive to your followers for sharing their email addresses.
2. Expecting instant and high-end results: Many small businesses begin with a strong ambition, but most of them fail within a few months. The problem lies in their unrealistically high expectations. Actually, they want to see results in just a few months following their launch. And when they fail in getting those results, they back out.
How to Fix this?
As a small business owner, you should expect a ramp-up period of two years. If this looks impossible to you, smartly create a marketing strategy to keep your marketing engine fueling and running. Then, create as much influential and informative content as you can afford to create to promote your business.
3. Inability to understand your target audience: To grab the attention of your audience, it is necessary that you understand the behaviors and attitude of your potential customers. Otherwise, you are just making your marketing budget go down the drain.
KNOW your target audience, their behaviors and attitudes before you even create a content strategy. Then figure out ways to communicate with them effectively.
4. Not realizing how you succeeded in attracting your valuable customers: You can refer to them as your loyal customers or valuable customers who come back to you again and again. You should know what marketing techniques and content brought those invaluable customers to your business. These top 20% customers may give you nearly half of your business revenue.
5. Spending a significant portion of your advertising campaign: You can find lots of marketing tactics to give a try. Some of these may perform great, but in most cases, they may not work for you especially when you have a limited budget to give a one-time shot. Small businesses should avoid diving into big-time five figure spending on marketing campaigns.
What is the Fix? You need to adopt a test and trial method before investing big. First, make an investment of $1000 or less. If that particular marketing tactic does not work at an investment of $1000, it is highly likely that it will not work on $1500 or more.
6. You are not keeping proper track of your marketing investments and efforts: Many small businesses set up a Google Analytics account, but don’t use it. In case, some are using it they don’t know how to make optimal use of it and get the benefit. Same is the case with Google AdWords for PPC. You may buy the space for ad campaigns, but end up wasting a lot of money without analyzing how those ads performed.
An Easy Fix!
You can easily learn Google Analytics tracking and AdWords through free online courses on Google. Setup conversion tracking for your advertising campaigns in Google analytics. This enables you to effectively see and analyze the activity of your potential customers on your website. If you haven’t done this yet, do it right away!
7. You are trying to be the jack of all trades: Small business owners with limited resources often try to manage multiple things alone. You cannot afford to hire a complete marketing staff, but just one or two people for it. You cannot manage the entire marketing strategy all alone.
A simple solution!
Keep your focus on understanding your audience, on which platform you can mostly find them and which marketing tools and content they like.
8. You are following the same marketing strategy for years: This is the biggest mistake because the marketing landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, nowadays. While focusing on the above-mentioned things, it is also recommended that you try a few new techniques every year.
The solution: With the evolution of marketing tactics, you need to evolve as well! Always remain on the lookout for the latest marketing techniques that fit your low budget.
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