5 Common E-Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make
Rookie mistakes are easily made when running a small business, but they can also be easily avoided or remedied if attention is paid to the proper problem areas. Over the decades business marketing has shifted more and more to the digital front, but not without its pitfalls. In the business of helping small businesses for more than 20 years, I’ve found a few common mistakes that all small business owners need to be mindful of.
1. Missing out on a strong web presence.
The internet provides access to a resource that works for you 24/7 virtually for free – use it to your advantage. Creating a web presence that will be positive and lasting should always be a proactive effort rather than a reactive one. Not only can the Internet service requests from your customers at their own convenience, it can also provide you with needed data to measure the success of what you’re doing through your business.
2. Forgetting about the purpose.
Your website needs to clearly COMMUNICATE your business intent to prospective customers. This starts by communicating your intent to the search engines. Many small businesses place far too much focus on the look-and-feel of their website and neglect the areas that will truly make a difference, like search engines, creating a mobile-friendly site and making basic information locatable. A pretty homepage means nothing if it is not easily navigable, nobody wants to search your site for how to get in touch with you.
3. Deepening engagement and collecting data.
The Internet has an uncanny ability to help small business owners deepen customer engagement and collect relevant customer data. Customer engagement is critical, so is data. Engagement should be something that happens immediately when clients come to your site, but it should also feel, to them, like it’s happening organically. Help engage the customer, but let them do it on their own terms. And, use real-time data to better the customer’s experience. Engagement and data go hand-in-hand.
4. New is not always better.
It is far easier to re-engage with an existing customer than it is to go out and find a brand new one. Invest in keeping your old customers satisfied. Make use of simple CRM techniques that will bring your customers through the front door and keep them engaged, monitor your website analytics and traffic often to measure consumer interests and preferences, and data mine to find what makes your customers tick and what services you can remarket to them.
5. Free can be expensive.
All too often I encounter business owners who have been wooed by “free.” While that DIY website or friend with “some” marketing experience appears to be a great solution off the bat, the long-term effects of not fully committing or investing in your e-marketing will far outweigh the out-of-pocket expense. Don’t let yourself be side tracked by a “free” price tag. While it sounds great in theory, you truly get what you pay for, or don’t in this case.
The good news here is that these mistakes are easily avoidable. It’s important to focus on the relevant tools that will keep your business growing. Pay attention to the everyday operations management needs and remember that the digital plane is here to help shoulder the burden. Running a business requires careful planning and execution – invest in these 5 areas and watch your business soar.
Rahul Razdan is the CEO of Ocoos.com, a comprehensive digital platform for small business. Razdan has achieved much success in the technology startup industry and has had two successful exits at Pwrlite and WiPower. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard University.