1. Focusing on traditional, BTL marketing and ignoring online opportunities
While flyers and posters are still the norm for local based businesses, attracting a younger audience requires online advertising or SEO.
Whether you run a service based business or a brick and mortar location, you can take advantage of Google search by preparing to be found online. Any brick and mortar location should have a Google my Business listing, with a focus on reviews so that your location is bumped up to the three-pack, or at least first 10 results.
Where service businesses are concerned, a content marketing (blogging) approach is recommended. If the market is too competitive, you can get an edge by enlisting your business on professional aggregators, running ads on them or using Google Adwords.
2. Not asking for reviews
You may think referrals are the only way to go but, according to this study from 2016, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Furthermore, 7 out of 10 clients will agree to leave you a review once prompted, so you really have no excuse.
Since online shopping is become more and more popular, consider that many of your potential clients will check the reviews before buying a product. In fact, the same study reveals that
90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
3. Keeping tricks of the trade all to yourself
A report by Kissmetrics shows the importance of sharing information with your potential client base. You may believe that educating clients will turn them away from enlisting your services, but experience reveals that it will, in fact, position you as an authority in your field. Trust in your business will grow, and you will develop a loyal fan base that will come to you for their needs.
4. Not standing out
When developing a marketing campaign, you need to create a hook, a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your unique value proposition should be included in all marketing materials.
Whatever your market is, you have to first analyze the main players, then ask yourself what you can do better. This translates to offering a discount to first time customers, adding and extra service or implying higher quality through the use of extended warranties.
5. Ignoring your existing customer base
Customer loyalty is key to any sustainable business, so it’s important to keep your clients coming back.
First of all, keep in constant communication with them, by asking for contact info online or in person. Online, you can achieve this by setting up an email capture system on your website and preparing custom emails beforehand. In a brick and mortar location, you can give out cards to returning clients.
This method will lead to reviews and referral, which are vital to any business, but you need to remember your hook. Offer discounts or special offers to loyal clients, keep them informed about promotions you are running or having rare products in stock. Focus on the long term advantages of your marketing efforts, rather than short term gains.