The nine most common mistakes small businesses make with digital and social media marketing

Everyone needs to be a marketeer these days and the advent of digital and social media marketing means pretty much anyone can take a stab at it. 

The marketing profession has been turned upside down by the proliferation of channels, platforms and tools which virtually anyone with a smartphone and a 4G connection can access.

But as well as huge opportunities, the ‘democratisation’ of marketing and media brings with it some significant challenges.

The explosion of digital marketing means its more important than ever to establish what will work for your business and stick to it. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve learned a lot about digital marketing by making loads of mistakes.

Here are a few common ones to try to avoid.

Neglecting your website because social media is easier and more user-friendly

That’s probably true – but ‘easy’ is not the key priority here. In the long term, producing quality content for your website will also provide a more structured framework for your social media strategy.

Putting 20-somethings in charge of social media – they understand all that stuff, right?

Yes. But do they understand your customers, brand, USPs, tone of voice and values?

Becoming too reliant on Facebook for marketing communications

It’s a cost-effective way to reach customers – but it’s getting more expensive every year and never lose sight of who controls what your target audience actually sees.

Expecting web developers to create your content for you

They will design a great website, but creating engaging content isn’t usually part of the package.

Expecting designers to create your content for you

A good designer is essential – but their job is to make things look good – not write the copy.

Trying to do it all yourself

As the only person who understands all your business objectives, you are absolutely the best qualified person to implement your marketing strategy – but do you really have the time?

Getting addicted to data

The granular detail provided by Google Analytics or your social media platform is truly astounding – but do you really have the time to analyse it in the depth required to gain useful insights?

Running out of momentum

Lots of small businesses and entrepreneurs launch into a digital marketing strategy with bags of enthusiasm, but without someone to bounce ideas off or maintain focus, they often struggle to maintain the consistent, structured approach that’s essential to securing ROI.

Putting channel strategy ahead of quality content 

Creating different content separately for each channel (website, direct mail, social media) is enormously time-consuming and risks diluting or compromising your core message. Identify your audience, choose the appropriate channels and create content that works across all of them with minimal repurposing.

If any of these sound familiar, get in touch for a jargon-free chat about our simple, cost-effective approach to digital marketing for small businesses.

Author: Mark Sutcliffe

Freelance writer and editor specialising in the outdoors, environment, walking, cycling, food, travel and adventures.

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