3 Digital Marketing Mistakes SMB’s Must Avoid
A recent AT&T poll showed that SMB’s are prepared to increase spending on digital marketing channels in 2013. According to AT&T Executive Vice President Cathy Martine
“U.S. small business see incredible value and opportunity in digital marketing and are clearly increasing their presence as a way to gain access to new customers.”
But as SMB’s move forward with their plans to expand digital marketing, there are pitfalls along the way to avoid, particularly for those entering the digital arena for the first time.
As recently as February 2013, it is reported that as many as 40% of SMB’s still have no website of their own. While it’s tempting to forgo the expense of putting a professional website in place in while building audience on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networks it is a significant mistake to do so.
A website is an SMB’s home base on the digital frontier. It is where the greatest opportunities exist to sell products and services, drive loyalty and build long-lasting relationships with customers, as well as their authority in their particular niche or local area.
Building your digital presence on someone elses’ land (e.g. Facebook) is equivalent to digital sharecropping and the SMB will always be at the mercy of someone else’s ever changing rules.
For SMB’s that don’t have a website, or one which is outdated, creating a viable digital home base is the first priority.
Failure to accommodate mobile browsers is no longer an option. Mobile use is on the rise, and the importance of mobile in local commerce is growing fast. With 80% of most family income spent within 15 miles of home and an increasing number of searches happening on mobile, accounting fo consumer mobility is requisite.
Even for SMB’s which aren’t as locally focused, it’s important to recognize that sharing is a common driver of traffic to their site, either between customers or on social networks. Either way, mobile is here to stay.
Being Search and Visitor Friendly
Search is still the number one way people find what they’re looking for. And while search is changing it’s never been more important for your digital presence to be friendly to search engines and the visitors that use them.
Inaccurate, incomplete or out of date information plagues SMB’s and creates a poor customer experience. SMB’s must be cognizant that putting up a website is critical, but keeping it up to date is just as important. Incorrect hours, prices or incomplete location information all detract from the SMB’s ability to obtain and keep customers.
Digital channels are an essential aspect of SMB marketing but with them come new considerations for SMB’s. Fortunately, most of the foundational aspects of digital marketing, like having a website which is properly mobilized and keeping information up to date, are easy to manage. And there is a lot media companies and publishers can do to help SMB’s win that fight.
Without those essential elements, a business is building it’s digital marketing on a weak foundation.