10 Marketing Challenges For Small Businesses In 2024

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that approximately one in five small businesses in the United States don't make it past the first year and end up failing.

The main culprit – lack of marketing! 

No matter what type of business you run, marketing is important if you want to attract customers.

Without proper digital marketing, people will not know about your brand, and this can directly impact sales.

However, marketing your products and services is not easy, especially if your small business is growing.

If you don’t have the necessary knowledge or time to focus on marketing, outsource these services to Digital Marketing Agency Sunshine Coast. Their team of experts can help you create marketing strategies as well as implement them to drive results.  

In this article, we are going to discuss the 10 most common digital marketing challenges faced by small businesses. 

1. Lack of marketing knowledge

Marketing for small businesses is not just about advertising your products and services. It includes many different things like – search engine optimization, email marketing, social media marketing, etc. 

top marketing challenges

Most small business owners lack knowledge about different types of marketing strategies. If you don’t have a basic understanding of these things, you won’t be able to market your brand.

For example – If you're a local bakery owner without much knowledge about digital marketing, your business might be missing out on reaching potential customers online. 

Without a strong online presence, you could lose business to competitors who are already using use social media and website presence to sell more. 

By acquiring basic digital marketing skills, you can improve your bakery's visibility and even reach out to more people. This way, you can easily compete with others in the area. Top of Form

2. Understanding target audience

Before you begin any type of marketing for small business, it is important to identify who your target audience is. This can be tricky since your audience might include various groups with different preferences. Identifying your audience is not just about knowing who they are but understanding what they want, need, and expect.

If you don’t know who your target audience is, you won’t be able to attract visitors. The content that you share and publish should be as per your target market and audience. Your entire marketing strategy depends on it. 

It's important to share content that resonates with your audience, even though not everyone will engage with every piece of content. This is where having a content marketing strategy becomes important.

share content

To be effective, though, you must know your target audience. Sharing irrelevant content won't benefit your brand. So, how do you understand your audience?

Ask questions and invite customers to take surveys and seek feedback. Engage with them on social media. These are ways to get to know your audience better. Once you understand them, use this knowledge to create meaningful, relevant content. In short, listen more than you speak.

3. Building a website

When a business decides to go online, the first challenge is creating a user-friendly website. Many small businesses take help from professional web designers who can create visually appealing sites with a great user experience (UX).

How your audience interacts with your online presence greatly affects your marketing success. If you don’t have a website or if your website has a bad design and interface, people will jump to another site. 

A poorly designed website can harm your reputation and your brand's authority. About 75 percent of customers evaluate a business's credibility based on its website design.

Even small mistakes in your website design may make visitors see you as an untrustworthy or spammy site. Imagine visitors wanting to find your blog. If they struggle to locate it, they won't stay. There are plenty of other businesses online they can easily find.

People will also leave if your site doesn't look attractive. In fact, 38 percent of users will discontinue engaging with a site if it looks unappealing. Fortunately, for small businesses with a tight budget, there are affordable options for building and maintaining websites. 

4. Small marketing teams

Marketing is not a one person’s job; it is a team effort and takes time. If your in-house team is small, they won’t be able to handle everything on their own. No matter how versatile and skilled the team is, overburdening them will do you no good. It will only slow down your marketing efforts. 

Balancing numerous marketing tasks with daily business operations can lead to frustration and disappointing outcomes. Remember, marketing isn't effective when treated as a side project. For example – if your marketing team is already busy optimizing your website, they can lose potential leads from social media channels. 

Outsourcing tasks can be the solution to turn brand awareness into sales. You can get help from freelancers or digital marketing agencies. These workers can assist temporarily or on a project basis to keep things progressing.

5. Keeping up with trends

When you have limited time for marketing, keeping up with trends can be tough. In digital marketing, new technologies keep emerging. While you don't need to follow every trend, some can make a big difference. 

For instance, those who adopted email marketing automation early now provide personalized customer experiences, giving them an edge.

2024 trends

This applies not only to digital but also to traditional marketing. Do you know the latest practices for mailers or the typical costs for sponsoring events? Limited time makes it hard to stay updated, so consider consulting a specialist or doing research before diving into anything.

6. Lack of marketing budget

Small businesses often use limited budgets for marketing. It is a common mistake to set aside funds specifically for marketing. Some believe that marketing in the social media age is entirely "free," leading to the expectation of acquiring customers at no cost.

However, in reality, nothing comes for free, especially in marketing. Even if you don't plan to invest money in advertising initially, remember that time is valuable, and marketing takes time. 

Whether you're handling marketing tasks yourself or assigning them to someone alongside their other duties, it means diverting time from other business areas. Make sure to allocate a budget for the time spent on marketing efforts.

7. Generating high-quality leads

The main aim of marketing for small businesses is to generate more leads and convert them into customers. A visitor reading your blog clicks on a call to action (CTA) at the end of a post – this is lead generation. 

When they click the CTA, they go to a landing page, where they fill out a form with their name and email. Now, they're a lead, and you add their info to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

CTA Buttons that convert

However, it's not that simple. In fact, a report by HubSpot found that 61 percent of marketers see generating traffic and leads as their top challenge. Small businesses, in particular, struggle with this because creating lead-generation campaigns and content is time-consuming.

But if you outsource services to a digital marketing agency, it makes running campaigns easier, helping you capture more leads. 

8. Creating valuable content

Even if your small business has a nice-looking website, lacking valuable and informative content means your marketing won't get the results you want.

Content that speaks directly to your target audience can attract the right visitors to your site. Ideally, creating and editing video content, maintaining a regular schedule for your blog, and producing shareable social media content are important.

However, creating all this content is a significant task. This also demands a considerable investment of time and resources, which not all small business owners can afford.

To tackle this challenge, many businesses opt to hire professionals for content creation. Outsourcing content creation can relieve the burden on a small business team. 

9. Handling social media channels

Social media has become an important platform for businesses to promote products and services. However, many small businesses don’t take full advantage of these networks.

Simply creating social accounts for your business is not enough. You need to create engaging content and post it regularly to attract more people and make them interested in your brand. 

Then, there is influencer marketing that’s trending on social media. By hiring micro-influencers, you can easily get more customers. Unfortunately, most small businesses often leave social media out of marketing and lose potential clients. 

10. Checking the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns

If you are running a marketing campaign for your small business, it is important to evaluate its effectiveness from time to time. This helps you to understand what’s working and what needs to change. By making regular changes, you can make the campaign successful.

Manufacturing analytics

Google offers analytics tools to help you check different metrics and understand how well your marketing efforts are working. It helps you to calculate your ROI

However, many small businesses don’t really use analytics or bother to check how the campaigns are working. This leads to a waste of time, money, and effort. 

Conclusion

These are the 10 most common digital marketing challenges faced by small businesses. If you want to face the competition and perform better than others, it is important to look for solutions for all these challenges.

For businesses that don’t have time or funds to handle all the tasks on their own, it is advisable to hire a marketing agency. You can outsource your digital marketing services to the experts and focus on your core operational activities. 

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