7 big digital marketing mistakes small business owners make

Identify the social media platforms where your customer are most apt to be instead of trying to use them all.

By Cate Palmer

In 2017 the success of your business is strongly influenced by your online presence. While this may terrify those with no previous experience in digital marketing, this is definitely something small business owners should feel happy about. With proper investment, the right digital marketing campaign can allow a small business owner to get a much better ROI than larger competitors. Nonetheless, inexperience sometimes results in expensive, easily avoidable digital marketing mistakes and here are seven of them.

-Quality doesn’t sell itself

According to the law of supply and demand, if your product is good enough it should create its own customer base. Unfortunately, this is not the case and even the greatest product ever made in your industry is completely worthless if no one knows you have it. Although the quality of service might earn you some great word of mouth recommendations, on its own, it won’t be enough to get you the critical audience you need to become profitable. Investing in the best inbound marketing will ensure that your great product finds the audience you need to succeed.

-Ignoring quantity

Another mistake made by a lot of people who are new to digital marketing is to completely ignore quantity of their social media and blog posts. You see, while it is true that quality of content needs to be paramount, if you don’t post frequently enough, you are likely to get forgotten. The greatest problem most people have with this particular phenomenon is the fact that they may not have enough quality content to post every few days. This can be solved by posting something minor like an image, a link to someone else’s piece or even a teaser of a content you are currently working on.

-Inability to focus

Even though making a social media account and posting on it doesn’t cost a thing, you need to keep in mind that not all of these networks are worthy of your full attention. Every demographic has its own network of choice. For instance, people who sell software or gadgets have the best odds of attracting YouTube audience, while those advertising arts and crafts might find Pinterest to be a favorable market. Some of the bigger names like Facebook and Twitter are always worth your attention, but the key thing is to know where your target audience is gathering and focus your efforts there. By trying to reach out to everyone you may fail to reach the people most likely to buy your product or service.

-Focusing on desktop

One of the errors a lot of small business owners make in digital marketing is focusing too much on desktop users. Sure, this is a demographic with a high conversion rate and great shopping habits but, at the moment, they are the minority of people online. You see, since 2015 the number of people who browse Google from mobile devices is officially larger than a number of people who do so from their desktop setups. So instead of working on a traditional website, you need to focus on mobile users instead. This can be done in one of the several ways. Either you A) optimize your website for mobile, B) make two versions of your website (mobile and desktop) or C) make an app.

-Disregarding the budget

It is true that most startups operate on a tight budget and there are not many places where they can save a dollar or two. Still, according to SEO experts, trying to save money on one’s digital marketing budget is bound to backfire. Even though some of the above-listed tools, tips and tricks are free, you still might want to hire a professional web designer, engage in a PPC campaign, or hire an SEO expert to assure you get full value from your digital marketing efforts.

-Not testing

The best thing about the efficiency of digital marketing is that there are analytics tools that can help you easily monitor the effect of every change you introduce. For instance, you can see where your online traffic is coming from and therefore see which of your marketing efforts are bringing you the most audience. Checking these tools is something you need to do as often as possible.

-Ignoring online marketing altogether

One last thing, although, this may seem a bit odd in the 21st century, you would be surprised to learn that a large number of websites in the U.S. alone still don’t have a website. Reasons behind this are numerous but the most frequent ones are the fact that they use social media business profiles instead, that they lack necessary technical skills, or that they believe online presence isn’t necessary for their line of work. They couldn’t be more wrong.

The best thing about these particular mistakes is that they are incredibly easy to avoid. The greatest problem with new business owners is that they usually try to micromanage everything. This is why some of the above-listed tips that save time might be even more valuable than those that are meant to simply save resources. This is definitely something to ponder on.


Cate Palmer is a designer by day and a writer by night. Her fields of expertise could be summed up to web design and digital marketing. Her interests are, on the other hand, wide and ever evolving. These days she is researching and writing about the latest digital marketing trends like crazy.

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