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  • Writer's pictureTangelo Media

Eight SMB Marketing Mistakes and Tips to Avoid Them

Small Business Marketing Tips
Helping Small Businesses Thrive

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) play a crucial economic role. 33.2 million small companies across the U.S. employ more than 61 million people—however, 20% of new businesses close within the first year. One of the possible reasons could be their need for more effective marketing. In this blog, Tangelo Media explores some of the most common marketing mistakes that SMBs make and tips to avoid them. Understanding these pitfalls is vital for SMBs looking to improve their outreach strategies and boost their chances of success in today's competitive marketplace.

1. Don't Neglect the Power of an Online Presence

According to research, at least 27% of small businesses in the United States don't have a website. And for those that do, many put something together that does not showcase them effectively like a basic landing page. Neglecting your online presence in an increasingly digital world can be a significant competitive disadvantage, especially with younger buyers. Even if you don't sell online, most people will check out a company's website before determining whether to do business with them. And 38% of users will stop engaging with an unattractive website.

Tip: Invest in an intuitive, visually compelling professional website that tells your unique story. And ensure your business is easily discoverable in search results by investing in professional SEO services.

2. Focus on Mobile Optimization

Over 55% of traffic to a website comes from a mobile device, and that's higher if you are targeting a younger audience. However, the number of companies that don't optimize their website for mobile is staggering, and a bad experience will cost you dearly. Most web platforms claim to be mobile responsive, but they are usually not turnkey. It can require hours of tweaking by a professional to make it visually appealing and intuitive.

Tip: Invest in a professional website developer and ensure that their costs include mobile optimization and that your site loads quickly. Your website is the most significant showcase for your business, regardless of whether you have a brick-and-mortar presence. It has to be professional, intuitive, creative, and fast. 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won't load or take too long, and 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Neglecting mobile optimization can result in a poor user experience for a significant portion of your audience.

3. Be Consistent in Social Media Engagement

A study by Buffer found that 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing is somewhat effective or very effective for their businesses. Yet, SMBs often make the mistake of being inconsistent with their social media presence and ignore its value in attracting and engaging prospects.

Tip: Develop a consistent social media strategy, engage with your audience regularly, and use social platforms to build brand awareness and connect with customers. To jumpstart your followers, consider a small advertising budget to promote your post to a larger audience and make sure to engage your employees. They can be your best brand ambassadors when they follow, comment, and share your company's social media posts.

4. Prioritize Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B content marketers and 76% of B2C content marketers reported using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy in 2021. Still, content marketing is often undervalued by SMBs.

Tip: Invest in high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your audience. Blog posts, videos, and other forms of content can help establish your expertise and significantly improve your SEO. Google rewards businesses that create content demonstrating expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to benefit their customers.

5. Leverage Customer Feedback

95% of customers read online reviews before buying a product, and 94% say negative reviews have made them avoid a business. If you are not encouraging your customers to write testimonials or reviews and not actively monitoring them, it could end up costing you sales and valuable insights that can help you improve.

Tip: Emphasize to customers that they can always contact your business directly to resolve a problem writing a bad review. However, if you do get a negative comment, don't ignore it. Contact the client immediately to explore how you can improve your products or services. Clients can be very forgiving when they feel like they are heard. And don't ignore the positive comments, either. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and promptly respond to both positive and negative feedback.

6. Measure ROI

HubSpot's State of Marketing Report in 2021 found that 40% of marketers said proving the ROI of marketing activities was their top marketing challenge. Measuring marketing ROI is essential but not necessarily easy, especially goals are unclear or measurement tools are not in place.

Tip: Before you can gauge the effectiveness of your marketing, you have to establish clear and reasonable goals. Study research for your industry to estimate the type of growth that is practical for companies of your size and with the same number of years in business. Then, you can Implement tracking tools, regularly analyze the data, and adjust your strategies based on what works. Remember that marketing is not just about a final sale but about measuring interaction at all stages and don’t dismiss the value of building brand awareness.

7. Don't Overlook the Marketing Funnel

Most customers don't buy immediately, especially with a higher-priced product or service. According to Digital Strategy Consultants, online shoppers make an average of nine visits to a retailer's site before they buy. So, it's essential to understand the buyer's journey and market to them throughout that process. A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 61% of the most successful B2B content marketers have a documented audience persona strategy.

Tip: Create buyer personas that consider demographics and psychographics. For example, what need are you fulfilling, or what problem are you solving and for whom? When you understand your prospect's mindset, it will be easier to determine the best marketing vehicle and the most appropriate messaging. Then, develop a marketing strategy that engages customers through all five customer journey stages, including awareness, consideration, conversion, engagement, and advocacy. Remember that once you convert a prospect to a sale, you then want to ensure they are a brand advocate who will recommend you to others.

8. Don't Underestimate the Power of Visual Content

The right visuals and creative can make all the difference in whether a prospect will engage with you. Tweets with images receive up to 5x times the engagement of those without. Articles with visuals receive 94 percent more views. And while video is becoming increasingly popular, don’t forget the value of infographics and photos. Stock photos are fine, just ensure they look natural so they will resonate with the prospect.

Tip: Use multiple types of visuals and hire a professional to weave them into your marketing messages. Visuals are important, but the key is using the most attractive and eye-catching visuals in the right environment with the right messaging. Skimping on creative can make you look unprofessional and won't effectively showcase your product or service.


Marketing is a vital component of success for SMBs, and using these tips can significantly improve your chances of thriving in a competitive business landscape. By establishing a robust online presence, embracing social media, investing in content marketing, leveraging customer feedback, and measuring marketing ROI, you can enhance your marketing strategies and drive sustainable growth for your business. There's a reason that the largest brands in the world continue to market even after they are household names. Competitive advantages only last if you constantly innovate on your products/services and on your marketing.

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