The Biggest Mistake Businesses Make

If you’re new here then you should know I create these blog posts to give new business owners quality information to use. So far, we have discussed IF you need a graphic designer, WHAT to do if you don’t have the budget for one, and even where to NOT get your marketing images from. However, those still do not touch the WORST decision a new business (or even current business owners) make. …I truly could rip my hair out when I think about this.

I will scream this every second of everyday if I have to: YOU DO NOT NEED A LARGE MARKETING BUDGET TO HAVE QUALITY MARKETING! However, you do NEED to make sure you put efforts into your marketing. I see this time and time again. The most frustrating part? I’m going to keep seeing it, until the end of time.

Please stop putting all of your marketing efforts off because they “aren’t important.” FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, PLEASE. “Kierst, calm down!” No. No, I cannot.

Why is SOME marketing SO important?

Whether you realize it or not, marketing drives your entire business. Word of mouth, social media, website traffic, window displays, flyers, business cards, and so on. It’s all under the marketing and advertising umbrella. You can literally have FREE marketing that is decent quality. If you have a budget, then I don’t see an excuse in not trying to have quality marketing.

Why is this the biggest mistake?

Aside from everything being marketing, you are missing potential clients. You are probably even missing past clients who have stumbled upon a different business that promotes better. Listen, I’m realistic enough to know that last sentence is inevitable at times. But when you aren’t putting efforts in and making it one of your priorities, you’re hurting your business and in-turn yourself/staff. This isn’t just small businesses, low marketing budgets, or no marketing budgets, it’s in the corporate, association, education, and non-profit worlds as well.

I genuinely cannot understand it so let me break this down for you as to WHY you need to make marketing or hiring for marketing a priority. Let’s take a campaign from start to finish:

Step 1 – Graphics/Images
Large budget: Hire a graphic designer that can create your brand or follow your brand. Yes, this will cost you. But the ROI you will see at your event, during your sale, or in your everyday sales (with persistence) will pay for itself in the end.
Small budget: Do you have someone on hand who can create your images? Maybe you have a program that can? Even in a small budget, the ROI will be there, with consistency.
No budget: Sucky place to be but it’s no excuse! We now have products like Canva that have a FREE level and come with templates (for those who truly have no creative side to them). Use Google to search out some ideas and let the rest flow.

Step 2 – Getting your campaign out
Large budget: More than likely you have a marketing and/or advertising person on staff. If you have a large budget and do not, then 1. Hire one but 2. Pay a contractor. You need a plan for advertising your campaign. Have you been collecting emails? Great! Email marketing campaign is one way – schedule those emails! Do you have social media channels? You absolutely should – schedule those images with a CTA caption and provide the registration or purchase link. Do you do mailings? This isn’t as common but still important for some businesses. If it works for your target audience and your budget allows, then let’s go. Gather the team and start mailing. You want to hit every avenue possible – radio show, local news channel, local paper, advertisement in the community, magazine ads, etc.
Small budget: Now that you have your graphics but could be low on funds, let’s talk about the best way to get the word out. Social media is FREE. No matter the size of budget, that should be an absolute for you. You probably need to get creative and do some research in your hashtags (location, topics, similar topics, and see what your competitors are using). Think about your ideal customer – what hashtags are they following? If you want, you could use some of your budget for paid ads. You don’t have to get fancy. Boost a post on at least your most active platform and see where it goes. Make sure you have a call to action in that caption! You could also do some advertisements like listed above (news paper, magazine, local radio, billboard, etc). One of the best things you could do is team up with another local business or content creator and do a collaboration or cross promotion with one another. (Make sure they have a similar target audience so no one’s efforts are wasted).
No budget: I don’t have to tell you, it’s time to get creative – you know and I feel you. So, let’s brain dump. Social media – absolutely must. Hit those hashtags hard, make sure you have the geotag on, and tag some accounts in your post (DO NOT spam tag. Make sure you have consent or it’s an account meant for tagging and sharing). Have a few different images to rotate between. Keep it light, keep it fresh, and most importantly STAY ENGAGED with your audience. Take a little more time throughout the day to bop around to accounts and interact. Engaging with accounts will grow your following and in-turn hopefully boost your campaign. If you have $25, boost a post. It isn’t a ton but that’s a few hundred more eyes than what saw it before. Make sure you are post on all of your channels as well. Make sure anyone who can, is sharing! If you’re on Facebook I want you, your mom, your dad, Grammy, aunt Linda 2 states away, and your twice removed cousin sharing. Man, relationships and family are work, this is their payback 😉 If you have a website, make sure it’s on there. Send out to every channel you already use.

3. Keeping up on your campaign
ALL of you have to keep up on your campaigns. Just because you have a large budget doesn’t mean you get to set it and walk away while no budget is grinding. And just because you have a small budget doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work harder than the other two. Your budget sizes usually reflect your company size (not always…hence my frustration). But, once you launch any campaign on any platform, there is maintenance and attention it needs. Listen to your audience, tweak what isn’t working. How can you make it better? Keep the wheels spinning on how to grow this to get that ROI.

4. Deadline is here, now what?
Large budget: Was it an event? Send the “thank you for attending” whether that is email, social media, mailings, etc. At bare minimum, put a thank you on social media and tag some people. I would boost that post too, especially if this is an annual event or if you have similar ones. That will get the word out on the event and could hit eyes the campaign never did.
Small Budget: Send “thank you for attending” anyway you can that relates to the campaign. Maybe you don’t do mailings but you do capitalize on your emails – send an email. Same branding as the campaign, a link if ones needed, maybe some pictures (if it was an event). This is a chance to make the email FUN and show them WHY they attended, purchased, viewed, whatever it was. Give them information about that next one or put a link at the bottom for upcoming _____ on your site. Just make sure you thank them and let them know about something else or what’s next. Keep that engagement with them.
No budget: You’ve been as creative as you can be in the campaign but now it’s time to be personable. Post a thank you or two on socials. Maybe even send a few private DM’s of accounts that attended, purchased, etc. Also, make sure you are in the comments of posts! Whether it’s your comments or accounts that tagged you or used your brand hashtag. You should absolutely be following your brand and location hashtags! ENGAGE! ENGAGE! ENGAGE! These are the people who are going to financially build your company so you’re at the top of this list with a Large budget. Appreciate them like you should be appreciating your hard work!

Ya’ll killed your campaigns! My work here is done. If you are struggling with marketing and advertising like discussed here, reach out! I do marketing consulting and these are the types of things we cover. I want you to have your best campaigns and see that ROI! That is what keeps you going! Full disclaimer: I won’t take “we don’t need it” or “I just don’t see the point in a campaign”. Don’t call me if that’s your attitude.

all the love and espresso, 

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