The 6 Most Common Online Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Many current business owners do not actually suffer from information overload. If that was the case, university students would walk into the library and leave shaking from horror and bewilderment. The key to business success is having the ability to make decisions that directly lead to immediate action.

Therefore, the top 6 definitive online marketing challenges that business owners are facing - are all in relation to the "lack of decision". With this post, the solution is to get rid of "paralysis by analysis" by offering actionable steps to begin marketing NOW.

#1 - How Many Social Media Channels Should I Market On?


You've probably came across gigantic lists of social networking sites all across the internet. You wonder to yourself:
1. "Should I try to market on all of these sites or should I select 1-3?"
2. "Which social networking sites should I use?"

Social Baker is a tool that allows you to bypass any guess work that you may have. Targeting networks such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, & Google+ - you will be able to know which networks you should spend more effort on. Furthermore, you will have the ability to hone in on a specific demographic, manage client conversations, and build your business's brand through social media.

#2 - Are My Proposals Even Being Read? What Should I Do?


Getting through to decision makers and convincing them that they need your product or service isn't the easiest thing to do. They were probably interested when you sent the proposal through to them, but when it comes down to signing it - it just collects virtual dust in their e-mail.

So this is what you did:

1. You tried to e-mail the proposal and have them sign it and scan it back to you - FAILED ATTEMPT #1

2. You tried to use e-fax so that the decision maker would just sign it and fax it back to you - FAILED ATTEMPT #2

3. You used an online meeting tool like to go over the proposal face to face with your client and then you e-mailed them a link to instantly sign the .PDF using Right Signature. - SUCCESS! - IT WORKED.

#3 - Should I Hard Sell Now or Should I Wait Until Later?

What the heck is lead nurturing and why do I need it? A Gleanster report back in 2010 reported that 30% to 50% of leads that enter your pipeline are more likely to purchase your product in the future than now. This means, that the same way you nurture a seed, you will be responsible for sending regular, valuable content to your clients. This way, when they are ready to buy your goods or services - they will seek your brand first! It's critical that you become a master in the art of lead nurturing.

#4 - Finding the Perfect Quality/Quantity Balance with Content Marketing

Content marketing seeks to solve the following problem - how can I get my brand exposure if a company is dominating the top spot on the search engine? This is the beauty of the internet - there is always a way for your brand to get exposure. Therefore, when it comes to content marketing - quality trumps everything.

That's right, it is better to have one piece of content that flips the internet upside down than it is to have a million pieces of mediocre content that repeats the same standard information. Therefore, it's a great idea to join a community like Inbound.Org - this community is constantly giving advice on how to succeed through inbound marketing channels - content marketing being a bulk of the conversation!

#5 - Should I Optimize My Landing Page For Humans Or SEO?


If one were to analyze the internet 5 years ago, the answer would've been "SEO!" hands-down. 1 or 2 years ago, the answer would've been, "sure, and make sure to add new media signals". Nowadays with the expansion of social media, the answer is leaning closer to "human relationships and user engagement built via easily consumable content".

Social signals are becoming a larger factor in the world of SEO (content and links still rule) and social media marketing is something that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, when a visitor goes to your landing page - you want them to be captivated and motivated to buy, right? A wonderful tool that will allow you to do this is Unbounce.

Combine paid and organic traffic to further build relationships with direct response marketing. That means highly engaging call-to-action driven landing pages that are continually tested.

#6 - Online + Offline = Intrusive?

With the emergence of online marketing for the past 10-20 years, there has been a significant rise in online marketing bias. Why? Simply put, people believe that they are intruding into the lives of others if they pick up the phone and cold call (they usually are). Furthermore, things like face to face meetings are seen as "inefficient".

However, nothing can replace traditional human interaction. While cold calling may seem outdated (it is) - warming up a client through cold e-mailing, social media, or online inbound marketing is a great strategy to open up the cold call and to turn it into a warm one.

It's always best to engage and to set up an appointment to talk, especially for professional service businesses. Even e-commerce businesses need the human element for trust building and getting repeat business.

By utilizing these six tips and making a decision to be successful - you can overcome in-decision and implement effective techniques into your online marketing campaigns NOW.

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