Misinformation is a term commonly associated with the media these days. However, marketing misinformation and downright lousy advice can damage the prospects of any small business. Some of the misinformation and bad advice often given to small business owners can lead to detrimental results.
Marketing should not be approached with a one-size-fits-all type of mindset. Examples of misinformation commonly given to small business owners include:
You Must Be on Social Media
In a world seemingly obsessed with social media, this is perhaps one of the most common pieces of marketing misinformation. Small businesses, in particular, face various pitfalls when it comes to joining online communities such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. such as:
- Not having a well-developed social media marketing strategy
- Difficulty reaching your target audience due to online algorithms
- Damage to a business’s reputation from negative reviews
If you decide to utilize social media, it is vital to have a mapped-out strategy to deliver the right message and encourage engagement.
Your Brand Isn’t Important
In the world of marketing, branding is key to customer acquisition and long-term retention. Your brand will help establish a company culture for your employees and convey who you are to potential customers.
When developing your brand, be authentic and incorporate your values. In a superficial world that focuses on what’s currently “trending,” authenticity will help to attract long-term, loyal customers.
You Should Be Marketing to Everyone
Even if you have a versatile product and a diverse customer base, it is impossible to appeal to and resonate with everyone. As a small business owner, you need to identify your target market. Once you have done that, it is necessary to understand the various demographics, such as age, gender, and marital status. Understanding the needs and expectations of your customer base will help guide your marketing strategy.
It’s Okay to Cut Corners to Boost Profits
Some people may try to give what they call “business savvy” advice. This kind of advice is provided on the false premise that money is the most critical aspect of running a business.
Although you need to make a profit to stay in business, how you go about it is just as important. Transparency and socially conscious business practices are increasingly important to consumers and are often the deciding factors when finalizing a purchase.
You Don’t Need Help With Your Marketing Strategy
Running a small business and implementing an effective marketing strategy are both highly time-consuming endeavors, and professional marketing strategists devote considerable time to research and content development. If you are a small business owner, creating your own marketing strategy may seem overwhelming. Hiring a marketing consultant can help alleviate some of the burdens and help to ensure engagement with your business content.
Being a small business owner can seem intimidating in a world dominated by major corporations and retail giants. However, people have begun to favor grass-roots organizations, local manufacturers, and small, often family-run businesses for their consumer needs. As a small business owner, you can help to ensure your company’s long-term success by avoiding the various pitfalls of marketing misinformation.
Jeanne Grunert, president of Seven Oaks Consulting, is an award-winning direct and digital marketer with over 20 years of senior marketing leadership experience. She’s passionate about mentoring marketing managers and providing exceptional content marketing programs and services to Seven Oaks clients. Jeanne holds an M.S. (awarded with distinction) in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University and frequently lectures on content marketing, search engine optimization, and project management techniques.J