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For the past 10 years I’ve been a marketing consultant focused on helping clients grow their businesses.

In working with over 200 clients in 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to see and work with a lot of successful businesses. But I’ve also seen some businesses make some not-so-successful choices.

With life, there are no guarantees; except death and taxes as they say. The same can be said about online advertising and online marketing in Calgary. Because there are no guarantees, as a business owner you need to try things out to know whether they will work for you or not.

Here are  5 of the most common mistakes I’ve personally seen small and medium sized businesses make with their digital marketing and digital advertising in Calgary.

#1. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

Diversify, diversify, diversify!

Picture your business and think about the front door where your customers walk in. If you don’t have a brick and mortar location, think about the phone number a client uses to call you to inquire about your products and services.

Now, imagine you have an additional five doors at your location that customers can come through or an email address where they can reach you. Wouldn’t you want as many ways for potential clients to reach your business as possible?

This is what inbound marketing is all about. You want your business and its advertisements to appear in as many places as possible to convert potential buyers that are looking for your products or services.
As a business owner, you need to identify what the most effective place to advertise your business is. Whether it’s on your website, your Facebook, or even on Google with a search engine marketing campaign.

Tip: Try as many forms of digital advertising in Calgary as the budget will allow because everyone searches for businesses in different ways. But don’t forget, they are all doors into your business and at the end of the day, a customer is a customer!

#2. You Reap What You Sow When it Comes to Digital Marketing in Calgary

With digital marketing, you can only get out of it what you put into it. As a business owner, it is in your best interest for your ads to convert into leads and create a good return on investment.

If this is your goal, then you need to be fully engaged with your online marketing in Calgary. There’s no beating around the bush on this one. I’ve seen so many businesses pour thousands of dollars into their digital advertising, but they either have no clue what the results from the ads are or they simply keep investing in something that isn’t working for them. After all of this, they then wonder why their digital marketing campaigns aren’t producing the results they are after..

Tip: If you are a business owner, be 100% interested and engaged in your business. If you are going to be running a digital advertising campaign or building a website, make sure you’re involved in creating the content for your company and determining how you want your business to be portrayed. Get back to your marketing team or agency in a timely manner in terms of offering feedback for your marketing strategy.

Above all else, make sure you run digital advertising campaigns that are trackable and measurable, so you will know how your ads are performing. You bought the cow, so make sure it’s producing milk. By being a very engaged business owner, who knows, your cow may even produce some cream for you.

#3. Don’t Count Your Chickens

Let’s say your digital advertising campaigns are going really well. You’re receiving more customers and more business from the campaigns and you want to expand on this. The natural thought process may be to double your Calgary inbound marketing budget in order to take things to the next level.

Before you double your budget or increase your investment, hold your horses and wipe the dollar signs out of your eyes. You need to take a step back and look at the internal structure of your business.

Do you have the internal infrastructure to sustain an increase in clientele? Do you have the manpower to service an influx of new customers? What kind of experience will my customers have? These are all very important things to consider before just suddenly deciding to expand your business.

In my experience, the businesses that grew too fast before thinking these things through first, lost their clients just as quickly, unfortunately. These businesses decided to expand, but didn’t consider what would happen to their business without the proper infrastructure or manpower in place to handle an influx of new customers.

Because these businesses were so overwhelmed, they had a hard time keeping up with their own demand, their customers were experiencing very poor customer service and not coming back. A situation like this can leave a lasting negative impact on the reputation of your business.

Tip: As a business, grow gradually. Make sure you have the staffing and changes in place to take on new clientele, so your customers remember why they came to you in the first place. This will keep your customers coming back and recommending your business. As a business owner, you know the value of repeat business or word of mouth referrals. It’s like gold!

#4. Keep Your Friends Close, Keep Your Critics Closer

One thing I’ve come across a lot during my time in the industry is business owners receiving negative customer feedback and not doing anything about it. Leaving a negative review un-responded to is a big no-no!

In this day and age where reviews can make or break your business, there’s nothing worse than having a negative review live online for the rest of its days without doing anything to acknowledge or resolve it.

I’ve had many of my clients ask me if there is a way to delete a negative review from their Google reviews or their Facebook page and the answer is no. The best way to deal with the bad is to accept it and respond to it.

We all know that no one is perfect and neither are our businesses. Sometimes, as hard as we try, some customers are really hard to please.

Tip: There’s nothing worse than receiving a negative review about your business and then not responding to it or trying to make amends. Even if you’re fully aware of what happened and don’t agree, you can agree to disagree because the intent in responding is not to have a war of words, but simply that you understand where the customer is coming from and showing you care enough to respond.

Remember, you can attract a lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Who knows, you may even get a second chance with that customer if you handle their negative review properly. If you can show that you care about the customer, that you acknowledge their needs and feelings, it looks a lot better on your business as a whole.

#5. Patience Is A Virtue

Now I know being patient isn’t always the easiest thing, especially when you have thousands of digital marketing dollars on the line and all you want is just one, two or ten more customers to come through the door.

Take it from someone who has gone through the same pain points with my clients, as business owners like you, advertising really is worth the wait and is rarely a waste of time.

At the very least, when running ads, you get your business and brand out there to increase the exposure of your brand. If the ads do not work, at least you know that moving forward you can make wiser and more educated decisions for your business’ digital advertising needs.

All too often, I have seen many customers cancel their inbound marketing in Calgary during a slow economy or because they didn’t have the patience to wait and see what would come of their digital advertising strategies. You lose any momentum you have built by just canceling your advertising, and that I think it does more harm than good.

Economies will always rebound eventually. Imagine you’ve been steadily marketing your business through slow periods in the economy. When the economy does recover- and trust me it will- think about how far ahead your business will be versus a business that has no digital advertising at all. People will associate your business name when they are ready to make a purchase.

Tip: Don’t cancel your online marketing when times are tough. The economy will recover, and when it does, customers can’t choose your business if it’s nowhere to be found. It would be like starting from scratch again as a new business.

Ultimately, out of sight and definitely out of mind, especially if your competitors’ ads are much more visible and readily accessible.

Looking to expand your business, convert lookers into buyers, or maybe a new strategy for inbound marketing? Come chat with us at Konstruct Digital for all your Calgary digital advertising needs!

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Amanda Thomas

Managing Partner

Amanda is passionate about business growth through digital marketing. With an entrepreneurial background, Amanda has spent time in the trenches running consumer businesses and understands the unique challenges they face. Whatever your sales or growth goals are, she'll find ways to blow them out of the water. She is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Konstruct Digital.