It’s Not Always a Good Idea for Small Businesses to Act BIG
One of the benefits of working with lots of small businesses is that we begin to see trends. To be fair, some of them are good but most of them – not so much.
So I’m going to use this article to outline some of the ways small businesses are getting their marketing wrong.
Table Of Contents
Trying to look too-big
Before I start this section off, let me just point out that this isn’t entirely their fault – ever since the internet was created, it kind of levelled the playing field for all businesses to compete. No longer was it evident that those with the largest pockets won. The reason for this is down to the fact that, as a small business, you can make your website look exactly the same as a large corporation. And, for many years, this was great! Whether you were a small taxi firm, a 1-person accounting firm or landscaping business, it was nigh-on impossible for consumers to be able to tell the difference between a small business and a large one.
From memory, in the early days, there were still a few businesses getting this wrong as they continued to display their mobile number as the main contact number. Now, as you can appreciate, it doesn’t matter what your website looks like and how professional it feels; one of the main giveaways of being a small business is displaying a mobile number as a contact number. Suffice to say, they slowly got better over time, especially with the emergence of VOIP numbers which are Voice Over Internet Protocol numbers. In essence, they allow you to rent a local number which is basically an internet number, then simply forward your calls on to your mobile or call centre. With this distinct advantage, the vast majority of all small businesses started to try to look bigger than they actually were.
To be clear, this isn’t a massive problem and, if they continue to do this, it shouldn’t cause them too many problems. However, looking at how consumers engage and interact on social media, we’ve noticed that the vast majority of people prefer to deal with smaller companies with the higher probability of speaking to the same person the next time they call.
The “About Us” Page
Too many small businesses out there are refusing to add this page (so they can look larger than they are) or they write it in such a way as to make it look like they’re a large corporate enterprise.
In my opinion, this is a huge mistake. Going forward in 2018, I recommend to all small businesses that you include an “About Us” page and really tell the story of who you/the owners are, how long you’ve been in business, it/your major milestones (you get the idea…).
I also recommend that you use your real names on the “About Us” page and, depending on the size of your team, list each of them down including their full name and exactly what they do for your business.
Whether you like it or not, these days people want to deal with people and they try to avoid dealing with a large corporation – this is where you can use your small status to your advantage.
Behind the scenes
To really drive home the advantage of being small, which might encourage all the small businesses we work with, to both film and document behind the scenes of their business.
For those who aren’t comfortable filming, the bare minimum would be to take pictures to place on your website.
As I mentioned, because people like dealing with people, a lot of times they really want to get to know the owners of the business and there’s no better way of doing this than to show how your business operates and actually see the people who are running it.
Virtually no content
One of the main problems I have with website builders and providers like Wix, etc. is the fact that they encourage you to place as much content on one page as possible instead of having multiple pages with your content.
For SEO purposes, this is a really bad idea – you want to get into the habit of producing a separate page for each service that you offer. Even if you only have a few paragraphs of content on that page, I’d still recommend each service that you offer having its own page.
Granted, this is going to take a little bit more work, but with the emergence of new voice search technology, the search engines want to show the most relevant content possible and they generally reward pages that are specific to a particular subject or niche.
For example, if you are a landscaper, the services you offer might be lawn fertilization, tree and shrub pruning, lawn renovation.
What I’ve seen so far (especially new businesses) is that they are trying to cram all of their services on one page instead of listing them separately on their website. This is really not their fault and I really can understand why they choose to do this (especially if they’re building the website themselves and not using a professional). However, it’s my opinion that doing this can actually hurt your business in the long run because a website that isn’t structured properly, doesn’t get any love from the search engines, which makes it a lost opportunity.
As a small business, the vast majority of staff wear multiple hats. But, one of the things that shouldn’t be overlooked if they’re trying to market your business is content marketing.
The more information you provide for potential customers and clients and the more you personalise that content to show how small you are, the better.
In some cases, you’ll find that a few small businesses are trying to get larger contracts and, if this is the case, I completely understand trying to look larger than you are – though, for most businesses in the current climate, this is a mistake.
As you’re probably well aware, there are many social media platforms for you to market your business on and for the longest time you were constantly being beat over the head to embrace and market on all of them.
To be clear, you really don’t need to do this… Unless you have just set up and have no idea who your customers or clients are, I would recommend concentrating in your efforts on two of the most effective social media platforms. Especially if you don’t have a dedicated person within your business to do this for you (which is normally the case).
Broadly speaking; if you’re marketing your business B2B, then Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are your best bets and if you’re marketing your business B2C, then Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter would probably be a good fit.
Only you know which are the best networks for you to market your business on. There’s just no need to market and post content on all of them. Go where the market is hanging out…!
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.