It can be easy to overlook the importance of marketing, particularly for SME owners. You can’t afford to spend precious time or finances on something that may or may not bring in customers. You need a sure thing.
In order to help overcome this hurdle, head of affiliate development at Affilinet Richard Greenwell has compiled a list of the six most common SME marketing misconceptions, and how to put them right.
(1) Marketing to as many people as possible will bring most success
This is an important one to understand – because trying to market to everyone can often actually lead to marketing to no one. Rather than casting a wide net, it is crucial to understand and cater to, your target audience.
By understanding their opinions and needs, you can tailor your marketing strategy towards this specific audience and generate more custom that way.
(2) Posting more content will generate more custom
Similar to the previous point, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the more you post the more you will benefit. Less really is more when it comes to content marketing, and your audience can become very quickly disengaged if you pummel them with content.
Content is essentially worthless without shares or engagement, and evidence suggests that it is beneficial to publish only when you have something worth publishing, as opposed to posting for the sake of it.
(3) Social media doesn’t require too much attention
It can be thought that just having your company on social media is sufficient to bring in business, or that posting content is enough to engage the market. As highlighted in the previous point, overloading your clientele with content is not necessarily effective, and tailoring and engaging with your users is much more important.
This is the case as well for social media. Rather than just posting, make sure you engage with your audience, and encourage two-way conversation, as this is how social media is at its most effectual.
(4) Collecting your own data is sufficient
Collecting data is a vital part of marketing and pivotal for tracking your progress. However, the data you collect is essentially worthless unless you take the time to analyse it to figure out what it means.
By tracking and analysing things like conversions through ads or measuring foot traffic off the back of a campaign, you can see where your efforts are successful, and where they need more work, thus showing you where you need to direct your strategy next.
Furthermore, it is vital to pay attention to what your competitors are doing in terms of their marketing effort. You can apply what you learn from them, in terms of what works well and what doesn’t work so well, to your own strategy, thus staying one step ahead of the competition.
(5) Hiring a marketer will solve the problem
It might seem an easy solution to the problem, to simply hire a marketer and have done with it. However, it’s crucial that you gain an understanding of marketing before turning to this option, so that if you do need to hire someone, you can get the right person, who focuses on the right areas.
If you get the wrong person to do your marketing, it will end up expensive no matter how ostensibly cheap they are, because it won’t garner any results.
(6) Current marketing strategy is working, why change it?
If your marketing strategy is currently working, why alter it? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Whilst this is the case in a number of things, marketing is not one of them.
In order to stay ahead of the field, you need to make sure that you’re ready to adapt and change with the landscape. Change is inevitable, so it’s vital to be able to adapt and adjust as it happens.