Marketing is an exciting and dynamic area and comes with an air of the unknown. It changes constantly with new and inventive ideas to promote your business. The success and the growth of your business depends on it. A strategic plan will stand you in good stead and will allow you to understand your customers and their needs.

As a small business owner, you do not have to be aware of every new marketing solution on the market. If you do find these solutions, understanding how they work can be time consuming and eventually not give a good return on  investment. The following are some guidelines for each of the different points of contact with your potential customer. Take these as a start and build on them as you grow your marketing portfolio. If you are planning for a new website or a social media campaign, make sure you research that task in more detail for the pitfalls and benefits that you may encounter.

1. Social Media Follies

a. You need to be on ALL social media platforms – FALSE – Pick and choose which would be the best forums for your product and services. There are over 100 different social media platforms for you to choose from, the main ones are Facebook (Meta), Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Choose carefully based on where you know your current clients are registered, and where you think they should be registered and active.
b. You should use lots of hashtags – FALSE – keep them to 1 or 2 – a report from Salesforce has shown that posts with 1 or 2 hashtags receive a 21% higher engagement rate than those with more!

2. Mailing Lists Blunders

a. Enormous email blasts are a good thing – FALSE – massive untargeted email shots or direct mail shots are a waste of time and money and just clutter everyone’s mailbox and inbox! Sadly, they do not generate incredible responses…if you honestly answer, you probably do not look through the junk that comes every week with coupons in your mailbox, hitting your delete key becomes a regular action when checking email or you just do not bother reading the emails.
b. Add lots of the recipient’s personal information in your message – FALSE – You are better off picking and choosing carefully who you send an email to…make it personal (but not overly personal), do not lie and say you have spoken to them before, and most of all make sure your message is relevant!

3. Automation Omissions

a. Marketing automation solves all your problems – FALSE – automation requires a constant feed of new leads to be efficient and to convert the usual suspects into actual customers. If conversions are petering out, look at your funnel and see if there is a bigger issue that you need to give some attention to.
b. Automation does not completely remove any manual processes…planning and tweaking
should be part of your “automated” job list.

4. Viral Miscalculations

a. If you write a blog article, or post a vlog, it is guaranteed to go viral – FALSE – Sadly there is a lot of junk out there that you are fighting for top spot with so that the chances your incredibly well written article will go viral is not very likely.
b. There are a variety of items you need to consider when trying to write a viral post…it is not just luck…make sure your post has; data driven content, imagery value and always includes a call to action. It should be consistent, short, relevant, authentic, up to date, and finally be entertaining and educational!

5. Website Flaws

a. You do not have to worry about your website being mobile ready – FALSE – According to CNBC, 72.6% of internet users will access the web solely via their smartphones by 2025 which is equivalent to 3.7 billion people.
b. A badly designed mobile version of your website will lose you 95% of your potential customers. Be sure you check your website on ALL devices.

6. Call to Action Fallacies

a. Your call to actions should always be in red – FALSE – there are a variety of reasons that your call to actions on your website will get better results…these include color, size, text, forms length and type (email, call, subscribe), etc.
b. Call to action forms get better responses if they are shorter – FALSE – the shorter the form, the leads will be lower in quality, but you will get more, longer forms generate better leads but a lot less of them. I have successfully used a mix of the two.

7. Follow-up Oversights

a. Following up with one call or email is enough – FALSE – Be consistent with your process when it comes to following up leads. Firstly, be proactive, call and email as a follow-up as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. Follow-up again a couple of days later with a call and email. Follow-up again (three is a charm) with an email and phone call within the 7 days of the original date the lead came in. Follow up again the following week with a note indicating that you are available at any time and that you have added their email address to your marketing database.
b. Add the lead to your automation queue to ensure contact with the lead. Always send a message asking if they want to receive your marketing messages.

So, the moral of this story is to never believe what you are told. Do your research and figure out what is best for YOUR small business. No business is alike, and no business has the same needs. You will identify what works best for you and in this quest, we wish you luck and hope for immeasurable successes.

About the Author

Alyson Stasek is the owner of The Little Web Design Shop, LLC based in Mount Olive, Mississippi.  The Web Design Shop works with small businesses to help them with their online identity, website, social media, marketing, and search engine optimization.

Essentially, The Web Design Shop helps small businesses to grow, succeed and to develop an online identity and brand that will take them into the future.  This can include helping right from the beginning and the initial concept for a company.  Services include designing of a logo, writing a business plan, domain & hosting purchases, email, and set up social media accounts, in addition to web design, development and marketing support.

The road is long, and full of distractions and hazards.  Let The Little Web Design Shop help guide you and support you. | Office 601 667 0009 |


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