Digital Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make when Expanding

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So, you want to expand your business to the new market? Congrats! This means that your client base is rising and your cash flow is satisfactory. Most importantly, with the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, putting your brand in front of new customers is now simpler than ever. 

However, growing your small business is not all rainbows and butterflies. To target the right market segments and get yourself noticed, you need to have a solid digital marketing strategy to support you. And, if you don’t plan it strategically, your bottom line may suffer.

Here are a few common digital marketing mistakes small businesses make, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

1.      Not doing market research

Parallel with your growing business, your customer base also changes. And, if you believe you can use your existing tactics to market to new audiences, you’re wrong. Even if a certain marketing strategy works perfectly for one group of people, it doesn’t mean it will resonate with your new customers, too.

Define the market you’re entering.

To create content that engages and build stronger relationships with your new customers, you need to feel their pulse. You need to know what their needs, expectations, and worries are and tailor your approach to them. Some of the most important factors to consider when segmenting your target customers are:

  • Their demographics (age, gender, occupation, income, education)
  • Their psychographics (attitudes, values, hobbies, lifestyle, preferences)
  • Their location
  • The major problems they face
  • The solutions to their problems your product offers

Test the profitability of your new market.

Before you start promoting your product to your new audiences, you first need to validate your idea and see whether there is a place for it in a target market. There are a few factors you need to consider, including:

  • Does the problem your product solves exist in a new market? Conduct social media polls, phone interviews, and email surveys to see what your target customers think of it.
  • Does your product solve a certain problem successfully? Test your product with a group of your target customers and track their feedback. Your goal is to get people to talk about your product and its competitive features. This is where social media listening may help you.
  • Is the market large enough to tap into? Use tools like Google Trends to assess people’s interest in your product in a certain location.
  • Building a digital marketing campaign costs and, before you start investing in it, you need to know whether your target users are ready to pay for products like yours. Do a brief competitor analysis to see whether people are buying their products. If they are, nothing prevents them from investing in your business, too.

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2.      Not knowing how to position themselves in the digital sphere

To set yourself apart from your competitors in a new market, you need to decide how you’ll position yourself. This helps you build a recognizable and memorable brand image and build a loyal customer base. Most importantly, you will be able to create an engaging story around your brand and become a trusted online resource over time.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself when determining your position in the new marketplace:

  • What does my business offer?
  • Why does my brand exist?
  • Who are my customers?
  • What are my target customers’ expectations?
  • How will my product change their lives?
  • Does my product have any innovative and authentic features?

No matter how simple these answers look, you need to conduct solid research to answer them. And, you need to pay special attention to a competitor analysis. You need to assess their branding and marketing practices to see what works for them.

3.      Not estimating the costs of reaching out to new markets

Growing your business doesn’t mean giving up on your current operations. Instead, your company needs to adapt to the growing demands of your new, larger market. This means you’ll have to refine your marketing strategies, increase the productivity of your teams, and even automate certain processes to get things done on time. In other words, with the expansion, your marketing costs will also grow.

Your goal is to ensure that they won’t hurt your bottom line, especially if your small business’ budget is tight. Namely, statistics show that 82% of businesses fail due to poor cash flow. This is why you need to secure the additional financing options to support your marketing efforts. Financing options like business factoring or bootstrapping are a safe choice, as they don’t include taking out risky loans.

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4.      Not using the right promotion channels

To grab new customers’ attention, you need to promote your business extensively. This is why you need to map out your customer journey from beginning to end and boost each point of your interaction with your target audience.

  • Build an online community with social networks. As most of your customers are on social networks, not using them means missing out on a great share of traffic. Social networks give you the opportunity to humanize your brand and take your customer interactions to the next level. Most importantly, they let you track your customers’ interactions, see what they feel about you, and interact with them in real-time. This is why 60% of respondents emphasize that being present on social media is critical for SMBs.
  • Optimize your website. Did you know that 34% of people don’t want to buy from a business without a website? Your site is the first point of interaction between your brand and your target audience. It lets you present your brand effectively. Precisely because of that, make sure it is responsive, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines. Start by updating your keywords, as your focus will change as your business grows.
  • Content marketing boosts your online reputation and helps you position yourself as an authoritative online resource. Most importantly, it keeps your customers engaged, evokes their emotions, and keeps them loyal to your brand. Now, one of the most common mistakes marketers make is writing content just for the sake of SEO. Spamming your articles with a bunch of keywords won’t take you anywhere. Instead, make sure you bring value to those people reading it.
  • If you’re moving globally, translating your content into another language is not enough. Just remember numerous unfortunate brand translations, such as Pepsi’s famous “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” slogan that was translated into Chinese as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave.”

You need to understand the new market you’re entering and fully adapt your online channels to it. This is why translation goes hand in hand with localization and helps you boost people’s experience with your brand.

Over to you

Digital marketing lets you grow your business faster and target the right groups of people. This is why you need to build your campaigns strategically and go the extra mile in adapting them to your new customers’ demands. Hope you’ll manage to avoid the mistakes mentioned above and use these tips to refine your approach.