Top Small Business Marketing Challenges


Christine Lee

Aug 14, 2021


category folder



Did you know that half of all small businesses fail within the first five years? Even if you have an excellent product or a service that never fails, you may not be able to keep your business afloat, especially without marketing. However, what are the top small business marketing challenges facing businesses today?

To avoid the biggest small business marketing challenges, we've found a few of the most common reasons that get in the way of campaign performance and bring down your revenue.

Top Small Business Marketing Challenges‍

Stressed woman thinking about marketing

If you want your marketing campaigns to perform well, you should always start with one or two goals, then build your strategy and tactics from there. As many of today's digital marketing consultants will tell you, it's also about understanding key performance indicators and researching your audience.

However, some marketing challenges arise because of challenging markets. In these cases, you need to know how to get around these challenges quickly and get back to earning revenue.

These challenges below also come with a few tips to overcome so your small business can continue to grow.

1. Poor Lead Generation‍

If you lack leads because you're not able to find the right people, you're not alone. One study found that inadequate lead generation is difficult for small businesses. It’s the most significant marketing challenge.

Most businesses are reliant on sales. While many companies are setting up online stores with quick checkouts to generate sales quickly, other sales teams depend on leads, mainly if you are in high-end products, SaaS, manufacturing, or B2B markets.

However, all businesses can use a terrific lead generation campaign to increase sales and revenue. To get the best leads, you'll want to pull in qualified leads by targeting audiences or personas who are more likely to interact and purchase. One-size-fits-all lead generation never works.

2. Customers Don't Know You = Poor Visibility‍

Google search in a tablet

How are prospects finding your business? Is it easy to see your products in Google search, or do you find your business on the third page of Google? In this case, you'll need to improve your marketing presence and build your reach.

Facebook ads are a great place to start for targeting advertising if you have specific audiences in mind. If your audience is more prone to using Instagram or Pinterest, you may want to audit social channels for the most extensive reach.

Google Ads and display networks can also boost your visibility. However, SEO will help the most in the long term, and organic search is best to grow if you don't have advertising budgets for paid media.

3. Marketing Your Business on Your Own‍

Small businesses and start-ups have a similar problem. They typically operate with a small crew, where multiple people wear multiple hats. That includes your operations manager sometimes running marketing campaigns, or maybe you've asked your web administrator also to take on SEO.

When you don't have a marketing team, it's harder to launch campaigns. You won't have the best strategy, and it may take longer to make decisions that can help your business.

In this case, you should start researching and look at as many [digital marketing guides] as possible.

You may also want to hire a marketing consultant to help you build a plan or look into agencies with packages for small businesses.

You must work with experienced marketers who will help your business grow and provide you with a clear path forward through inbound marketing, lead generation, eCommerce, content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, and many other strategies that may be suitable for your business growth.

4. No Budget for Marketing‍

Budget and money

A lack of budget happens to many businesses that have spent a lot of time on products and operations. You have a fantastic product or service with a sales team and a beautiful website, yet you're not getting any traffic or likes on your social media campaigns. What gives?

In this case, your problem comes down to a lack of visibility. Maybe you don't have the budget for paid media, but you can still work with influencers or try SEO to bring in traffic. Micro-influencers may provide reviews and exposure just for sending new products or offering free services.

SEO provides you long-term, meaningful ways to use your content to generate traffic without having to depend on a daily or monthly advertising budget. Instead, your website consistently builds traffic to your top pages based on keywords and relevant content that audiences search.

5. Not Enough Time‍

Tired woman with a big clock

Marketing campaigns do require a significant amount of research, strategy, and implementation. All of that requires multiple weeks of planning typically. If you don't have the time to set up marketing, you'll need to give it to another stakeholder in your business, hire someone, or try marketing automation.

You may want to delegate tasks to someone else while taking on marketing challenges in your business first. If you need someone to create social media content, it may be as simple as getting an intern and showing them how to create engaging posts for your social channels.

With marketing automation, you can also create consistent messages to send to your audience at the right touchpoints. For example, email marketing programs can nurture leads for you, setting up your lead generation and sales team for success.

6. All of the Above‍

If marketing is just the one challenge you can't get past, it's time to hire someone. Whether you choose in-house, outsourcing, or an agency, you want to pick the right person or team for what you need.

In many cases, small businesses need to partner with an agency to develop a strategy that syncs up with their marketing vision. If you're constantly looking for new ways to gain visibility and traffic but with no results, it's time to work with a marketing partner who can help you grow your business.

Ready to Grow Your Business?