The success of a small business is influenced by two major factors. First of all, the business idea itself needs to be viable. There needs to be a market for your products and services because if there isn’t a demand for them, growth will come at a very slow pace. Secondly, you need to know how to promote your business to maximize exposure and leverage growth opportunities. 


Unfortunately, for many beginner entrepreneurs, small business marketing is a bit of a minefield. Sometimes, it’s the lack of funds that makes marketing difficult. Other times, executives spend a lot of money on the wrong marketing efforts, and end up going bankrupt because they can’t manage to position themselves on the market. 


Marketing a small business definitely has its challenges, especially in a time when trends and audience expectations are changing. However, a lot of failures can be avoided if you tailor your marketing strategy to the requirements of your niche and address the biggest challenges of small business marketing


Lack of clear objectives

Ultimately, the goal of every small business owner is to generate more revenue and turn their company into a household name. But when starting a marketing campaign, you need more specific goals. Otherwise, you will go through the entire budget without any direction whatsoever. 


When talking to your marketing specialist, you should instead focus on goals that fall within these categories


  • Raise brand awareness
  • Generate more leads
  • Become a thought leader 
  • Earn brand ambassadors organically 


Insufficient marketing budget 

When a business has insufficient funds, marketing is usually the thing that goes first, which is a huge mistake because you’re cutting off the one thing that could actually help you generate more revenue. Besides, many business owners imagine that digital marketing is expensive and that you can only afford it once you’ve reached a certain level of notoriety. That’s also not true. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Even if you have a limited budget, a professional marketing consultant can help you use the right online marketing channels to grow your business. For example, they can suggest an AdWords or PPC campaign, or perhaps onsite SEO improvements that can help you rank higher in search results. In 2021, good marketing no longer means spending a lot of money on paid advertorials or billboards. On the contrary; you can achieve great things with a small budget, as long as your marketing efforts drive meaningful interactions. 



How can you gain more exposure if your business is up against large competitors who have been in business for longer and have a lot of funds for marketing? When you’re starting out, you may feel like a small fish in a huge ocean, but, with the right marketing tactics, being small can turn to your advantage. First of all, you’re not helpless against your competitors. By hiring someone to do competitor analysis, you can find out what strategies your competitors are using and what works for them. Secondly, we live in an age when people tend to trust small businesses more because they offer better customer support than big companies who are mostly profit-oriented. If you also take a stance on societal issues, you have an even bigger chance of succeeding. According to a recent study, customer expectations have changed, and people are more likely to buy from a small family business if their brand message resonates with their belief.  


Using the wrong marketing platform 

Thanks to the advent of digital marketing, you can advertise your businesses on more channels than ever before: 


  • Your website blog 
  • Paid search results 
  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc). 
  • Blogger outreach 
  • Email marketing 
  • Mobile marketing 


On the one hand, all this variety is beneficial because you can find your niche and leverage your presence on one of these platforms. On the other hand, choosing the best platform can be confusing. Depending on factors such as budget, target audience, and marketing objectives, some platforms might work and others not. For example, if you offer professional B2B services, email and LinkedIn might be more effective channels than Instagram and blogger outreach. Remember, the main goal isn’t to spam all marketing channels, but to use the right ones mindfully. 


Not tracking results 

Once you’ve settled on a marketing strategy, your job isn’t done. To make sure that marketing strategy is working, you need to track its results and make adjustments if necessary. A professional marketing company will always send you regular reports on your progress and advise you how to improve. For example, if you decided to start a SEO campaign based on certain phrases and links, you may discover that the initial choices don’t drive traffic, but others work well organically. Many times, digital marketing is a matter of trial and error, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged if something doesn’t work from the first try. 


Not knowing your audience 

Knowing your audience is one of the first steps in drafting an effective marketing campaign. Unfortunately, many small businesses spend a lot of time and money on creating the perfect product, only to create marketing campaigns that do not reflect the preferences of their target audience. In order for your strategy to  work, you need to consider factors such as: 


  • Demographics (age, gender, location) 
  • Income 
  • Profession
  • Preferred marketing channels 
  • Personality and interests 


In other works, you have to have a clear buyer persona in mind before getting to work. Understanding what your audience wants and what drives them to make decisions will help you draft relevant marketing messages and nurture meaningful relationships. 


Inconsistent branding 

Consistency is essential when promoting your business. Otherwise, your marketing messages may spark confusion and make it harder for customers to remember your business. To boost efficiency, your branding should be consistent both in terms of logo, colours, and other visual elements, but also in terms of tone, style, and structure. For example, if your audience has become familiar with a certain marketing style from your blog posts, but then you use another style in social media ads, they will not know what to associate you with. 

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison