As a small business or startup, a little mistake can turn into a major setback for your business. You may not even realize you made a mistake until it’s too late! Here are some common marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not creating a marketing strategy and budget

This may seem obvious, but it’s very easy to skip over or rush through the process of creating a strategic marketing plan. Take the time to do market research on your target audience and set aside an appropriate marketing budget. While it may seem tedious to devise a plan for the whole year, it will benefit your business in the long run.

Remember, strategies can be edited and tweaked throughout the year, so it’s better to start with something rather than to simply go with the flow.

2. Not having an easy-to-use, optimized website with SEO

If you have a business, you should have a website. But is your website user friendly? If it’s not, you’ll likely lose potential customers because they’ll find a competitor’s website that’s less complicated and frustrating.

Furthermore, make sure to optimize the SEO (search-engine optimization) of your website. This will ensure your website or blog post shows up at the top of a search engine like Google. Read this helpful Beginner’s Guide to SEO to learn more.

3. Not sticking to a consistent brand

Having a consistent brand is key to retaining customers. Inconsistent branding will confuse your audience, so make sure to keep your logo, colors, and fonts in line with your brand for all of your current marketing materials. You can even create branding guidelines to keep all of your future marketing materials consistent.

Read our blog post on branding to learn more about creating a consistent look and feel for your company.

4. Not focusing on quality over quantity

While it’s important to stay active on social media and put out new information consistently, don’t force irrelevant content, and don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. If you can only write two high-quality posts per week, that’s better than bombarding your followers with ineffective or unimportant information every day.

Check out our social media blog series to learn more about creating a social media strategy for your business.

5. Not focusing on retaining customers

While reaching new customers is certainly important, so is retaining current customers. Therefore, some of your focus should be on brand loyalty as well. You can retain more customers by creating a loyalty program or sending occasional discounts to your email list. Get to know your customers, ask for reviews or referrals, and make sure you’re really listening to their needs and concerns. Showing you care will help you stand out from competitors and keep your customers coming back.

Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Building a Customer Loyalty Program from Hubspot so you can start retaining more customers.

If you’ve made one or more of these mistakes in the past, it’s not too late to start or improve upon your marketing strategy. Make it a priority to review your current strategy, website, and branding by the end of the year so your business can benefit from it next year.

Creative Spot is a full-service marketing and advertising agency in Columbus, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your organization with strategic marketing, please contact us.