Marketing is constantly changing and evolving. And this brings its own set of challenges for you, as a small business owner.
Such as trying to keep up with the latest online digital marketing trends, new social media platforms, algorithm updates, new social media functionality and more. On top of all of this you have the day to day running of your business.
In this post I will share some marketing problems that you may be facing, and more importantly solutions to fix them.
1. Is your email list not growing?
Building your email list is crucial in any business from the get go.
Email marketing is an important marketing channel for your business, as it helps you to build relationships with your:
- Potential clients
- Current clients
- And even past customers.
It gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, and they will open the email at a time that’s convenient to them.
But if you haven’t quite got there yet, here’s why building an email list is so important:
- It’s the simplest and easiest way to get a message to your customers
- You can segment your contacts into different lists
- Emails can be personalised
- You can target past customers to come back with new products/services or offers
- Your ideal customers want and like to hear from you
- It has a high return on investment!
And accorging to Oberlo, the average ROI (Return on Investmetn) for email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent.
Here’s some suggestions for how you can start building your email list:
- Deliver some free content like an ebook, guide, recipe, workout etc. in return for their email address.
- Include a subscribe button on your website, so that browsers can subscribe to your blog.
- Run a competition with entering with an email address as part of the entry mechanic.
- Add a subscribe button to your email signature.
- Turn your blogs into pdf downloads, in exchange for an email address.
There are so many ways you can build an email list, and generate sales, by taking advantage of this low cost option.
2. Are you attracting the wrong types of customers?
Do you know who your ideal customer actually is?
I always remind clients to paint a clear mental picture of the customers they wish to attract. These customers are your loyal customers, who leave you those wonderful reviews and then refer you to their friends and family.
Attracting these customers will be your best marketing tool, as they will refer their friends and family to you, and WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing is free!
Some tips for if you’re attracting the wrong customers/clients:
- Develop your buyer persona, so you get a really clear picture of the types of customers you would like to attract.
- Make sure you do market research to validate any assumption you have made in your buyer persona. You can do market research with 5 – 10 of your ideal clients and find out how they search online for your product/service. What’s their path to purchase? How do they choose between brands etc.?
- You can also do your research by looking at your existing customer database, and finding your most profitable clients, and identify those clients within that segment that also refer business to you. That’s the kind of client who you want to attract more of!
There will be some common themes, patterns and behaviours in your market research findings. This will help draw up your buyer persona sketch.
If you want to learn how to attract more customers to your business and increase your revenue, check out Marketing School:
3. Are you struggling to differentiate yourself from competitors?
So let me ask you this, what makes your business fantastic and unique?
You must have something that sets you apart from the competition. So start showing off how great your business is and identify that core difference that sets you apart from your competition.
If a customer can’t see the value that you will bring to their business, and can’t see how you are different from your competitors, then they will purely be shopping around based on price.
Your point of difference could be:
- What you sell (if that’s unique product/service)
- How you sell (if that’s unique)
- Why you do what you do (if that’s unique)
- Your business’ core values (how do they differ)
- You (if you are a professional services business it could be your breadth of experience and skils that is applicable to your customers business).
Your point of difference should always be customer-centric so that it resonates with your ideal customer, and helps to solve a problem that they have.
Research is vital to help craft your point of difference. So research your target audience, their demographics, get to know where they shop online, hang out online, what social media channels they use etc.
There’s also great benefit from asking your existing customer base what they think you do really well. This can be done through Google Reviews.
Read your existing Google Reviews, and I would suggest looking for any common themes – this could uncover your point of difference, that you had even considered a point of difference! It may be simple really simple.
All businesses have a point of difference, you just sometimes have to dig a little deeper to find it.
4. Is your website converting browsers into buyers?
So you went and spent a load of money on a website, and now it’s not performing as well as you had hoped. Where are all the new customers and sales?
This happens all to often, unfortunately. Here are some reason why your website is not performing:
- Clear call to action – Is it obvious what you want visitors to do? Is it easy for a visitor to book a consultation, download an eBook, purchase a product etc. Make it really obvious what you want them to do. What action do you want them to take? How are you moving them further along their buying journey.
- Navigation – Is it easy for a visitor to navigate through your website? Provide a clear path for users to navigate through your website, and place your navigation bar at the top of the website.
- Confusing home page – Do you have a clear description on your website around the types of clients you can help and the problems that you solve? A clear an concise headline will summarise your site and what you do. Also lot’s of sub headings and clean white space will make your website easier to browse, and read.
- Nobody can find your website – Research the keywords that you want to rank for. Don’t just consider the products and services that you offer, but also include the problems you solve for customers. You can use tools such as Google autosuggest or Ubersuggest as a great starting point.
- Mobile friendly – Google prioritises websites that load quickly and that are mobile optimised, as most users check on their phones. Check if your website is fast to load on mobile via the Google Mobile friendly test, or Google Page Speed Insights.
To improve your website performance begin with your marketing strategy. This will lay the foundation for success for everything that you do in your business.
5. Are you not showing up in Google search results?
Wait, you mean that Google won’t simply show my business name and website with any related search?
That’s right, there’s actually steps you have to take to get your business name to show up on Google as some search results may be saturated. If your business is not showing up in search results, here are a few factors that will affect your presence in search results:
- Is your business verified on Google? Have you completed all of the information on your Google My Business page Take the time to do this. This information should be an exact match for what’s on your website. NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number).
- Is your website optimised for search engines? This means your content, keyword placement, keyword saturation. Then technical factors such as speed, how it looks on mobile, the page titles and internal errors that occur.
- Do you have any content on your site? A great way to get ranked on a search engine is to provide useful, educational content. A blog is a great way to do this. Write about a topic that people are searching for on Google, then share your blog across social media, your newsletter and you can also run an ad to boost the post to get more readers.
- Does your website have many links to other sites? Reviews, comments and stories about your business will impact your rankings. The more links back to your website from other sites the better e.g. directories, strategic partner sites, guest blogging etc.
Check out my media page on my website for examples of the guest blog posts I have written, or aricles that I have featured in that have created back links to my website.
6. Is your website home page uninviting and confusing?
If you home page is confusing or uninviting your bounce rate will be high.
This means that visitors bounce off your site without looking at any other pages. You want your browsers to spend a decent amount of time on your website, so that they can discover that you can help the solve their probles.
Your homepage must help you:
- Get found on Google
- Build trust with potential customers
- Educate and add value to your your ideal client
- Nurture potential customers towards purchasing from you
- Help convert your browsers into buyers.
An effective webite home page includes the following elements:
- Communicates the benefit to your target market – Your brand promise, and that you understand and empathise with their problem.
- A sub-promise – Which demonstrates that you are the solution, demonstrated by videos, reviews, case studies and your unique value that you provide.
- A call to action (CTA) – Which encourages your visitors along to the next step, such as book an appointment, download an eBook, sign up for a newsletter, or purchase a product online.
- Contact details – Make it easy to find your contact details, your email address and phone number.
- Visual branding – That echoes what your brand and brand personality is all about. Use language that matches this. Make sure your graphic designer develops brand guidelines for your brand so that you have consistency across your website, your social media and your printed collateral.
- Video – Video is fantastic as it increases dwell time on your website. So have a welcome video on the home page, and add videos on your about us page and your invividual service or product category pages.
- Updates – Keep the content fresh, and publish compelling content e.g. regular blogging, videos, newsletter etc.
- Core products and services – Have these front and center on your home page. This highlights to visitors that you have the solution that they are searching for. And then have an individual product/service page for each one of your products and services.
Have a comprehensive navigation section in the footer of your site also. Make is easy for visitors to find their solution.
7. Is your marketing actually working and generating leads?
Do you feel like you are wasting money on ineffective lead generation and marketing activities?
The biggest obstacle for many business owners is lack of a marketing plan.
Without a clear marketing strategy and marketing plan, you may succumb to shiny bright tactic of the week. However this is no way to build a sustainable business that will grow over time.
Start with building the foundations, which evolves around the customer journey:
- Identify your who your ideal client is.
- What problems do they need you to solve with your products/services?
- How do you reach them with your marketing? Where are the seeking solutions to their problems?
- And why should they work with you? What makes you different?
Build your messaging around the answers to these questions and build your marketing strategy and plan using market research to understand all the customer touchpoints, in their buying journey.
These are just a few examples of marketing problems that you may be experiencing in your business, and I hope you found the solutions provided useful.