Marketing is constantly changing an evolving. And this brings it’s own set of challenges for you as a small business owner.
Such as trying to keep up with the latest online digital marketing trends, social media algorithm changes and more. On on top of all of this you have the day to day running of your business.
In this post I will share some some marketing problems that you may be facing, and more importantly solutions to fix them.
1. Vision – Have you lost your passion for your business?
If you have ever felt that you were losing your passion for what you do, and for your business, here are some quick steps you can take to set you back on track:
- Do an assessment of the tasks you love and dislike in your business – Look for ways to spend more time on the tasks you love. Then outsource or delegate the tasks you dislike. You will feel a sense of relief almost immediately. I outsource work to my virtual assistant, copywriter, SEO team and web developer. Because that’s their area of expertise not mine.
- Understand the value of your business – Get on the phone to your regular and most satisfied customers, and find out what they like about what you do. Think about how they would be negatively impacted if you weren’t in business anymore. You will soon realise what an impact you and your business makes, and adds value to so many lives.
- Build in time into your week for big strategic thinking – By outsourcing the tasks that are time consuming and you don’t enjoy, this will allow time to do CEO like activities. So this includes strategic thinking and planning on how to grow your business.
2. Marketing Strategy – Are you attracting the wrong customers?
Let’s face it you want to attract loyal customers, who refer you to their friends and family. Because a happy customer is your best marketing tool. So if you find you are attracting the wrong type of clients, maybe it’s time to develop your buyer persona, so you get a really clear picture of the types of customers you would like to attract.
Do your research, look at your existing customer database, find your most profitable clients, and identify those clients that also refer business to you. There will be some common themes, patterns and behaviour. This will help draw up your buyer persona sketch. Then plan your marketing tactics to attract more of these customers.
Deliver amazing customer experience at each step of the buyer journey and plan your marketing tactics accordingly. Find out what your ideal customer likes and what search terms they use. Then you can put these into action with paid ads, SEO, email automations, social media marketing, and video marketing.
Here is a handy template to help you to get started with building your marketing strategy and plan:
3. Are you struggling to differentiate yourself from competitors?
You need to identify a core difference that sets you apart from your competition. Otherwise customers will shop around on price, if they can’t clearly identify what you do differently, and possibly charge a premium for.
Your core difference could be:
- What you sell (if that’s unique)
- How you sell (if that’s unique)
- Why you do what you do (if that’s unique)
Your core 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 core difference, research your target audience, their demographics, know where they shop online, what social media channels they use etc.
Ask your existing customer base what do you do really well, what set’s you apart from your competitors. All businesses have a point of difference, you just sometimes have to dig a little deeper to find it. Your core difference will evolve over time so test, analyse and tweak it.
The other place to look for clues as to your point of difference are in your Google Reviews. What are your customers saying about you? Are there common themes? Also look at your competitor reviews and you will find out a gap in the market.
4. Is your website not converting visitors to customers?
So you went and spent a load of money on a website, and now it’s not performing as well as you had hoped. 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 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?
If you are not showing up in Google 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 etc.
6. Is your website home page cluttered 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. Your homepage must help you:
- Get found
- Build trust
- Educate your target market
- Inform your target market
- Nurture visitors towards a purchase
- Help convert visitors to customers
An effective home page includes the following elements:
- Communicates the benefit to your target market – Your promise, and that you understand and empathise with their problem.
- A sub-promise – Which demonstrates that you are the solution, demonstrated by videos, reviews, 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 etc.
- Contact details – Make it easy to find your contact details, your email and phone number.
- Visual branding – That echoes what your brand and brand personality is all about. Use language that matches this.
- Video – Take 60 seconds to do a video which shows your potential clients that you understand them, and you can help.
- 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. Are your lead generation activities not delivering results?
Do you feel like you are wasting money on ineffective lead generation tactics?
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.
Start with building the foundations, which evolves around the customer journey:
- Identify your who your ideal client is.
- What problems do they need to solve?
- How do you reach them? Where are the seeking solutions to their problems?
- And why should they work with you?
Build your messaging around the answers to these questions. And build your marketing
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.