10 Common DIY Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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With limited budgets, many small or new businesses assume that they need to DIY their marketing efforts rather than pay for an outside expert. And while this seems like it’s saving money, the mistakes made along the way can often waste money. 

So here are some common DIY marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Not Doing Your Research

A great marketing strategy begins with great research. However, many business owners are tempted to jump right into marketing without doing any research beforehand. This is definitely not the right approach as it could lead to you wasting money. 

Instead, you need to conduct thorough research before beginning your marketing journey. You first need to research the market, in general, to understand what people are looking for and how you can set yourself apart from the competition. You then need to research your target audience to figure out who they are and how you can reach them. 

Mistake #2: Not Focusing on the Buyer

Speaking of your audience, this is another mistake that’s commonly made through the “DIY marketing” approach. While it’s tempting to focus on your business — especially one you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into — you need to focus on the buyer instead. 

Every aspect of your marketing strategy needs to cater to potential buyers. Think about what they need and how your business can meet those needs. One of the best ways to do this is to come up with a unique selling proposition

Also known as a USP, this statement describes what problem you’re solving and how you solve it better than anyone else out there. 

Mistake #3: Not Having a Plan

Once you have the basics down, it’s time to really get into the nitty-gritty of marketing. Before you randomly launch marketing campaigns without any set goals, you first need to come up with a plan and a strategy. What do you hope to achieve through your marketing efforts? Are you looking to build brand awareness, earn new customer conversions, or cater to existing customers? 

Your marketing strategy will look different depending on what stage your business is at. For instance, if you’re just starting out, you may need to build brand awareness before trying to convert. 

On the other hand, if you’re a more established business, you might be able to jump right into conversions. 

Mistake #4: Not Utilizing Multiple Channels

Another important aspect of your marketing plan needs to include what channels you’re utilizing. There are so many different channels you can use to promote your business when it comes to marketing. However, many business owners tend to focus on maybe one or two different channels when employing the “DIY marketing” approach. 

The best approach involves utilizing multiple different channels to reach the greatest number of people. Depending on your business and who you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts, you want to market on different channels. This includes social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat; as well as other channels like Google, Amazon, SMS, and email. 

Mistake #5: Being Too General

Even though you definitely want to reach the greatest number of people when marketing, you may not want to take an overly broad approach. This is another mistake that businesses tend to make when DIY marketing. Instead of trying to reach everyone, you need to focus on reaching those that are likely to make a purchase. 

Not everyone needs your product, so you need to utilize targeting mechanisms to reach those within your target audience group that you determined in the beginning. You can target people using demographic indicators as well as past behaviors. 

Doing so helps you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to marketing. 

Mistake #6: Neglecting Your Existing Customers

Many businesses falsely assume that marketing has to be all about finding and reaching new customers. However, your marketing efforts also need to involve your existing customers. Not only does this help you save money, but it also helps you build relationships and loyalty with your existing customers. 

There are several different ways that you can do this. Perhaps one of the best ways is to launch something like a customer loyalty program and use your marketing efforts to promote it. This allows you to reward your loyal customers with things like birthday gifts, special discounts, and early access to sales. 

Mistake #7: Not Investing Enough Capital

It’s said that you have to spend money to make money — and this statement is definitely true when it comes to marketing. And while it may be tempting to skimp on your marketing efforts to save money, you need to think of it as an investment. Yes, marketing is expensive at times, but you can do things to maximize your return on investment. 

For instance, you can focus your efforts on underutilized channels with less competition for more favorable rates. You can also target the right people to promote conversions. Generally speaking, you should aim to spend around 7 to 8% of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin is between 10 and 12%. 

Mistake #8: Not Testing Your Content

Now that you have a better idea of what your marketing content should look like, you still need to test it before you launch. While performing testing can be time-consuming and expensive, it actually helps you save money at the end of the day. 

Strategies that involve A/B or split testing help ensure that you’re spending money on campaigns that are actually effective rather than wasting money on ineffective campaigns. 

Mistake #9: Not Tracking or Monitoring Your Efforts

Many marketing novices assume that their work is done after they’ve launched their campaign — however, this is definitely not the case. Instead, you need to consistently track and monitor your marketing efforts throughout the entire span of the campaign. 

This is because sometimes, no matter how much research or testing you do beforehand, your campaign just doesn’t seem to hit the mark. In this case, you need to be able to identify the problem and address it before you waste any more money. 

Mistake #10: Not Outsourcing When Needed

Finally, the last mistake that is made within DIY marketing is not outsourcing when needed. While many take the “DIY marketing” approach to save money, outsourcing may be able to help you do just that. This is because marketing professionals have more experience and expertise to help you maximize your return on investment. 

Take Greg Gillman, for instance. Through omnichannel growth strategies, Greg Gillman has helped his clients generate more than $4 billion in annual revenue. He has worked with big brands like Adidas, Goop, Petco, Ring, and Theragun but still understands what it’s like to be a small business trying to grow through marketing. 

Wrap Up on Marketing Mistakes

Although there’s not a single formula for successful marketing, there are things you can do to promote success. One of the best things you can do for your business is to work with the best. So reach out to Greg Gillman today to see how he can help grow your business! 


How to Define Your Target Market | Inc.com

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Definition | Entrepreneur

Marketing Channels: Which Are the Right Ones for Your Business? | SmallBizAhead

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