For small business owners, the low costs associated with digital marketing can be very attractive. However, if you’re not careful, you may end up reaching the wrong people or even harming your brand. There are resources available in Wyoming to help you get the most out of all your marketing efforts, but let’s first take a look at three digital marketing mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Broad Target Audience

If you are creating a digital advertisement on Google or Facebook, you may be surprised to see that you can reach thousands of people for a few dollars per day. Practice caution here, because these numbers likely include a very broad target audience. Instead, you need to identify potential customers currently in the market for your specific offering.

The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network offers free market research to help you zero in on the audience that is most likely to respond to digital advertisements and purchase your product or service.

With Wyoming’s low population, nationwide companies may overlook our state and instead decide to focus their efforts on highly-populated metropolitan areas. Less competitive audiences are generally cheaper to reach — which is an advantage for small business owners who are targeting our local communities.

Mistake #2: Poor Social Media ScheduleOne Third: Promotional - Create posts about your products, upcoming sales/events & your business' brand. One-third: Educational - Share news, resources & tipos that are relevant to your business and your audience. One-third: Interactive - Get to know your audience by posting entertaining content and encouraging them to interact.

A strategic social media schedule can help you determine the right number of posts to make per day, the time

your audience is most active and the type of content you should share. You want to keep your social media pages active, but not overbearing. Thorough market research can help you determine the right amount of posts to make and the right time of day to publish them.

I often come across social media pages that are over-saturated with self-promotional posts. Obviously you want to promote your business, but you also need to build your brand and engage your audience. Try starting with the Rule of Thirds which suggests evenly breaking up all your posts as follows:

  • Promotional content about your products or discounts.
  • Educational content about your industry that would interest your audience.
  • Interactive content that is fun and entertaining.

Mistake #3: Too Much Text

I see this mistake happen across all marketing channels. The average attention span is now about eight seconds long. However, with a highly-targeted audience in hand, you can create a short message with an effective call to action.

For social media, avoid text-only posts and use pictures, graphics and video to engage you audience. Make sure you online advertisements are extremely relevant to your audience by focusing one message at a time. For blog posts, get the most out of search engine optimization and keep your audience’s attention by sticking to a single topic in less than 1,500 words.

Help is Available

If you would like to improve your digital marketing results or learn how to begin growing your brand online, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor by clicking here. Our no-cost, confidential services are offered at locations throughout Wyoming and are available to entrepreneurs in every industry.

About the Author: Jake spent 12 years working in television news before crossing to the other side of media as Director of Public Relations for Idaho State University’s health care programs — which make up one third of the university. In his current role, Jake oversees the statewide marketing efforts for the Wyoming SBDC Network. When he’s not in the office, Jake enjoys road trips, going to the movies and tackling new home renovation projects with his wife.

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