If you've been busy wondering whether your use of your brand has been a bit erratic or regretting your last low budget print job then hopefully our last instalment has inspired your approach to your marketing.

Here's for a few more thoughts on how small business can avoid some of the major marketing faux pas...

6. A website that doesn’t reflect you in your best light

Websites are important. Often overlooked in favour of Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and Linkedin accounts. A decade ago businesses were investing heavily in their new shop front, but like most things that become mass market, websites have become horribly commoditised. With the development of Wordpress, DIY tools and design templates, just about anyone can build a website. But is it just me? Do they all look very similar, fail to communicate any kind of meaningful brand story and quite honestly just feel a bit amateur. It’s time for the website revival. Websites don’t want to be sat on the commodity shelf anymore. If you feel like you’ve seen it before it’s because you probably have. It’s time to launch a new probe into cyberspace and create some new territory. Apologies for the bad analogy, it just felt right!

7. Out of date of old information

How many times have you visited a website and the latest blog was written in 2012. Or there are testimonials dating back to 2009. Old news. Actually its not, it may still be very relevant. But it looks like you haven’t updated your content for quite some time. Which is probabably true. The moral of the story a) don’t date things that don’t necessarily have to go out of date, b) keep your content fresh. Even if it’s just a quick share, comment or blog once a week.

8. Items not fit for purpose or appropriate for the media

A double page spread will not condense down into a Facebook post. And ideally don’t use your business cards as posters.

9. Small and often

So many of us are becoming disillusioned with marketing, whether it’s using social media, local press advertising or a well developed website. But if you only put 1 ad or post up once in a blue moon, it just won’t have any impact. Use your budget and your time wisely. Small and often will go a lot further than few and far between.

10. Looking small

There are a number of things that can immediately make you look like you’re working out of your garden shed. And if the artisan, personal touch is what you want for your business if could be a very powerful marketing strategy. However for everyone else, avoid over personalising with pictures of you and lots of personal references, things can be done cost effectively but they don’t have to look like they were done on a shoe string.

11. Listening to everyone other than their target market

When working with a manufacturer of heavy industrial machinery, we had arrived at a brand expression that everyone felt was right. That was until the CEO announced, ‘I showed this to my 18 year old daughter who’s doing textile design at university and she hated it .’ Oh dear, that’s a shame. But it’s not a problem. Why? Well there are several reasons, perhaps too many to mention but primarily: you can’t please all of the people all of the time. And if you try to you won’t please anyone. It’s not necessarily what you or anyone else likes. It’s what your audience will love, respond to and remember. So before you ask your cousin’s, girlfriend’s, boss’s chiropractor what he thinks about your concept for a new teenage clothing brand, find out if he’s a 16 year old girl interested in fashion.

So if you think you might have unwittingly fallen into any of these tricky marketing traps then give Nimble a call. We would love to have a chat and we might just have a few ideas.

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