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11 Mistakes New Business Owners Make That Sabotage Their Digital Marketing

Written by: Torie Mathis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If you're a small business owner, you know that it's important to market your business in order to attract new customers. But if you're new to digital marketing, you may not know where to start or what pitfalls to avoid. After working with thousands of small business owners across the globe, I can tell you the same mistakes are being made by most new business owners. These mistakes diminish their credibility, cost them customers, and, unfortunately, waste time and money, but all can be avoided!


Upset young women with laptop and tablet  looking at camera at shop.


Here are 11 mistakes new business owners make with digital marketing and how to avoid them.


1. Not Defining Their Target Audience

One of the most common mistakes new business owners make is failing to define their target audience. Without a clear understanding of who your ideal customer is, it will be very difficult to create effective marketing campaigns. Take the time to research your target market and create buyer personas to help you better understand their needs and desires.


"In my opinion, understanding who your target audience is, and what they want, and writing to them (and only them!) is the most important component of being successful." ‒ John Locke

Take action: Define your target audience and create buyer personas to help you better understand their needs. Then use this information as the foundation of all of your marketing efforts.


2. Not Having a Solid Marketing Strategy

Another mistake that new business owners make is failing to develop a solid marketing strategy. Without a well-defined plan, it will be difficult to set goals and measure your success. Take the time to develop a detailed marketing strategy that includes both short-term and long-term goals.


Take action: Develop a solid marketing strategy with both short-term and long-term goals. This will help you stay on track and measure your success over time.


3. Not Investing Enough in SEO

Many new business owners mistakenly believe that they can save money by skimping on SEO. However, this is a mistake that can end up costing you dearly in the long run. Search engine optimization is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy and should be given the attention it deserves.


"The reality of SEO is the reality of any successful endeavor: It will take strategic, consistent, and sufficient efforts to rank well." Viola Eva

Take action: Invest in SEO and ensure it's an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. If you need help getting started, check out the SEO for Beginners Guide. Even if you decide to outsource all of your SEO, you need to understand the basis of SEO Strategy so you can make more informed decisions.


4. Not Creating Compelling Content

If you want your marketing campaigns to be successful, you need to create unique, compelling content that resonates with your target audience. Whether you're writing blog posts, creating infographics, or producing video content, make sure it's high-quality and informative. Otherwise, you'll risk losing potential customers.


"Don't just create content to get credit for being clever — create content that will be helpful, insightful, or interesting for your target audience." ‒ David Ogilvy

Take action: Create compelling content that resonates with your target audience. Think in terms of edutainment that both educates and entertains your audience. See what content your audience engages with the most and make more of that type of content. Look and see what content your competitors are making that is this popular, and add that type into your mix too.


5. Not Promoting Your Content

Creating great content is only half the battle – you also need to make sure it gets in front of your target audience. There are a number of ways to promote your content, including social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. Experiment with different tactics to see what works best for your business.


Take action: Promote your content using a variety of methods, including social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. Measure your results to see what is working and what is not. There are many free ways to promote your content, so don't be afraid to experiment with some free opportunities before paying to promote.


6 Not Tracking Your Results

Another common mistake new business owners make is failing to track their results. Without data, it will be impossible to know what's working and what isn't. Use analytics tools to track your website traffic, conversion rates, and other key metrics. This information will be invaluable as you fine-tune your marketing strategy.


"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." ‒ Peter Drucker

Take action: Use analytics tools to track your website traffic, conversion rates, and other key metrics. For your website, tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console will give you priceless information about your website traffic. Use SEO tools like SEM Rush or Ubersuggest to learn about your keywords and search engine ranking and use the insights inside each of your social media platforms to see what content is working best.


7. Not Putting a Call to Action on Every Page

If you want people to take action, you need to give them a clear call to action. Whether you want them to sign up for your email list, download a white paper, or make a purchase, make sure your call to action is prominently displayed on every page of your website.


Take action: Place a clear call to action on every page of your website. Make it easy for visitors to know what you want them to do, and make it easy for them to take that action. Use strong verbs and make your call to action stand out from the rest of the content on the page.


8. Not Building an Email List

An email list is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customers and prospects, and it gives you a direct way to promote your products and services. If you don't have an email list, now is the time to start building one.


Take action: Start building an email list as soon as possible. Include a sign-up form on your website and offer a lead magnet (something of value) in exchange for an email address. Then, start sending out regular emails to your list, promoting your products, services, and content.


9. Not Leveraging Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that should be leveraged as part of your digital marketing strategy. However, many new business owners make the mistake of using it solely for self-promotion and thinking magic will happen in the first week of posting. While it's important to promote your brand on social media, you should also use it to build relationships and connect with your target audience and realize social media is a long game.


"When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They're playing the sprint. They're not worried about lifetime value and retention. They're worried about short-term goals." Gary Vaynerchuk

Take action: Use social media to build relationships and connect with your target audience. Share interesting and useful content, engage in conversations, and be responsive to comments and questions. Avoid using social media solely for self-promotion – focus on providing value and building relationships.


10. Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Website

In today's mobile-first world, it's essential to have a website that is optimized for mobile devices.

According to Zippia, "the average American checks their phone 96 times per day, or once every ten to 12 minutes. Though, we actually touch our phones up to 2,617 times per day and unlock our phones 150 times on average."


If your website is not mobile-friendly, you risk losing potential customers. Make sure your website is responsive and easy to navigate on all devices.


Take action: Use a responsive design for your website, or create a separate mobile-friendly version of your site. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how your website fares. If your website is not mobile-friendly, make the necessary changes to ensure a good user experience on all devices.


11. Not Seeking Professional Help

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is failing to seek professional help. While there's a lot you can do on your own, sometimes it's best to leave it to the experts. Hiring a digital marketing agency can be a great way to get the results you need without having to do it all yourself.


Take action: If you're not getting the results you want from your digital marketing efforts, seek professional help. Hire a digital marketing agency or digital marketing coach to assess your situation and provide guidance on how to improve your results. Don't try to do everything yourself – get help from the experts when you need it.


Grow your Business with Digital Marketing!

By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll be well on your way to success with your digital marketing efforts. Just remember you don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business; in fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be smart, and digital marketing is SMART for your business.


Want to know if your small business marketing is SMART? Take the SMART marketing quiz and find out!


Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs like you use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART. Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their small business, with her husband Sean Mathis, and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn digital marketing for your small business at toriemathis.com


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



 

Torie Mathis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs like you use digital marketing to grow their businesses without wasting time, money, or sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and digital marketing coach. She'll show you how you don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART. Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean, a fellow entrepreneur and founder of the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. She is also the creator of SMART AF Magazine and Smart Arsenal. You can learn digital marketing for your small business with Torie at toriemathis.com

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