Halloween is the one time of year when people actively seek out thrills and embrace the experience and sensation of feeling afraid. But between the ongoing pandemic and the myriad of social, political, and economic challenges sweeping the United States and countries around the world, this Halloween season already feels frightening enough for many ‒ small businesses especially.

To help Main Street businesses forge ahead in these scary and uncertain times, NEXT! Ad Agency is here to dive into the top three digital marketing mistakes you should avoid in the coming months and years ahead.

Are you ready to kickstart your company’s marketing strategy and give your small business the results-driven upheaval it deserves? Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our digital marketing team, or read on to discover more!

Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Target Audience

Far too many small businesses make the mistake of assuming that they should target everyone and anyone. No matter how diverse and widespread your consumer market may seem, narrowing down your target audience is essential to driving new sales and building new customer relationships.

It’s a mistake to assume that your target audience has remained the same since your company’s inception. While you may have a loyal base of customers, keep in mind that the world as we know it has changed dramatically, especially in the last couple of years.

Ways to Better Understand Your Target Audience

Here are some ways you can re-familiarize yourself with your target audience:

  • Increase communication and improve relations between your leadership and client-facing employees. This will help you gain insight into your current and prospective customer base.
  • Perform backend analytics on your website. Which keywords are landing users on your website? What are your best-performing web pages? How long are users spending on your website? Where are your users located? You can find tons of information about your target audience’s demographic this way.
  • Pay attention to what your target audience is talking about on niche-specific social media pages or online forums, such as Quora or Reddit. What types of questions are users asking in these forums? How would you answer their questions? What are the solutions you can provide them?

Getting to know your target audience can be tricky if you’re not familiar with marketing analytics. NEXT! Ad Agency is here to help with all of your digital analytics and provide a comprehensive evaluation of your current online presence. Get in touch with us today.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Negative & Neutral Reviews

Reputation management is pertinent to maintaining and building your online presence and helping you avoid digital marketing mistakes.

When it comes to negative reviews, approach these as opportunities to rectify poor experiences with unsatisfied customers, win them back, and demonstrate your commitment to improving your business as a whole.

Neutral reviews are valuable to your audience because they show two sides of the customer experience, both the positive and negative. They typically provide the constructive criticism your business needs to improve, so pay attention to them!

How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

Here are some ways you can successfully respond to online reviews:

  • Always thank your customers for leaving a review, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Respond quickly to negative feedback, acknowledge the customer’s complaints and experience, and be empathetic to their needs and concerns.
  • Don’t argue. Take responsibility for your part and invite the customer to contact you directly. This is a strong way to reinforce your company’s quality standards.
  • Make it right by offering a refund or a discount on future services.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your online reviews. By getting into the habit of routinely checking them and responding to them, you can maintain a healthy online presence, no matter how challenging a particular customer experience may be.

Mistake #3: Inactive Social Media

In today’s digital and multi-generational consumer market, it’s almost better to have no social media presence than to leave your existing social media pages abandoned and inactive.

Modern consumers are likely to give a business with no social media presence the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re new, or they’re so established that they don’t need to attract customers from Facebook or Instagram.

But whether your target consumer is a Baby Boomer, Gen X’er, Millennial, or Gen Z’er, in their eyes an idle social media presence equates to slow-growing, poor quality business that isn’t current with the times, doesn’t perform well, or worse, no longer exists.

Social Media Practices to Build Your Activity & Followers Base

You don’t want your inactive (or non-existing) social media pages to mislead prospective customers and leave them with the impression that you’re inactive or unwilling to communicate. Here are some easy-to-adopt practices that will help you build and maintain a stronger social media presence and avoid digital marketing mistakes:

  • Post a minimum of once a week, but aim to post more frequently!
  • Diversify your social media presence. Create pages for your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn if you haven’t done so!
  • Remember that users have short attention spans. Create more visual content in the form of photos, infographics, and videos. Make sure your text-based content is digestible, skimmable, and optimized with 3-5 hashtags.
  • If you’re going to create video content on Instagram, make sure you upload with Instagram Reel instead of posting a regular video (doing so appeals better to Instagram’s algorithm.)
  • Run social media advertisements. More consumers are shopping online via social media nowadays, especially with the holidays approaching.
  • Respond to user comments, reviews, and engage more with your followers. Converse with them and personalize your messages to them.

As a small business owner, you might not always have the time to manage your company’s social media pages. NEXT! Ad Agency’s social media coordinators will work closely with your account manager to understand your short and long-term goals and personalized a social media strategy that will drive sales and boost customer engagement.

Avoid These Scary Digital Marketing Mistakes in 2022

The times may feel scary and uncertain for businesses of all industries and sizes, but by avoiding these digital marketing mistakes, you can forge ahead through all of the challenges and come out successful in the end.

From everyone here at NEXT! Ad Agency, we wish you a Happy and Safe Halloween! Stay tuned to our blog for more digital marketing news and tips, or contact us today.

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