Marketing is the core component of a successful business. If you want to increase your sales and build your brand, it is not just essential, but inevitable. It should be an important part of building your business. There is an audience you want to reach online and a reputation you can build through your presence. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to market your business.
Marketing is a concentrated effort to spread your brand across a variety of platforms and hope it resonates well with your customers. A strong marketing campaign will connect you with the right customers, get your business talked about, get your product or service noticed in the media, and help your business achieve financial success. However, careless marketing can also have the opposite effect. Marketing mistakes can cost your business quite a bit in lost revenue and other expenses. In some cases, marketing mistakes can even cause a public relations problem.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when marketing your business.
Ø Ignoring Blog Content - There are more than 1.8 billion websites on the World Wide Web. About 500 million of them are blogs, but in total less than 200 million websites are active. An active website is better for your marketing. But having an active blog on your website is critical. Businesses that blog generate an average of 70% more leads per month than those that do not. If you include a consistent blog in your content marketing strategy, you'll reap the rewards.
Ø Not knowing who your customers are - There's only one thing worse than not knowing what your brand is about: not knowing who your target audience is. Oftentimes, business owners fall into the trap of assuming that everybody is their customer. But in truth, "If everybody is your customer, nobody is your customer." When marketing, always keep an eye on your customers and track your analytics to see whose attention you are attracting. Do not try to push an idea or product on someone if it's useless to them. There's no easier way to annoy and alienate potential customers than to appeal to the wrong interests.
Ø Ignoring the competition - Chances are, there's someone else out there offering the same thing you are. Do not pretend they do not exist. Instead, find a way to stand out from the competition. Figure out what makes your brand unique and highlight that on your website and other marketing collateral. It should be clear on your marketing channels what sets you apart from the competition.
Ø Ignoring SEO - Startups and small businesses are in a great position to leverage SEO, but so many are putting this strategy on the back burner. The beauty of SEO is that there is so much information about it these days that you can easily do it yourself. You can read a beginner's SEO guide to learn the basics, and then pick up more advanced techniques over time, such as attracting high-authority backlinks.
Ø Avoiding self-promotion - You may think you can get away with not using social platforms. If you have a great product, you need to promote it. People will not know about your product if you do not enable it. This is a critical way to convert leads into customers. You can promote your business online by spreading your content, reaching your audience, and engaging with users. An online presence is a proactive way to promote your business, and it gives prospects and customers the opportunity to learn about your business and offerings whenever they want.
Ø Ignoring Sales Funnels - No matter what industry you are in, no matter what stage your business is in, having a clear sales funnel will help improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. In fact, building a sales funnel should be an exercise that must happen before your marketing, so that when you do commence your marketing activities, there is a clear pathway for you to filter your leads, push forth your flagship offerings and upsell when the time is right.
Ø Neglecting email and SMS marketing - A successful email marketing campaign can help you build a large subscriber base so readers remember your brand and service.
Achieve higher email open rates by:
Optimizing your emails for mobile devices.
Include multiple CTAs in your content.
Use custom links to social media.
Write meaningful subject lines.
Use SMS marketing in addition to email marketing.
Ø Publish irrelevant content - Even if you take the time and effort to create well-written articles based on credible sources and optimized for SEO, your content marketing strategy will fail if you do not know your audience. It's not you, but your readers who decide whether your content is good or not. If you want your audience to click on your content, you need to consider their preferences. Let them read and engage with the content. For example, a blogger writes an article about a smoothie recipe on a website that deals with customer service. This will negatively impact your website and lead to negative results. Let content developers take the time to understand their audience and they can create quality content that not only fills a page but leaves a lasting impression.
Ø Lack of a strategy and vision - Without a plan and vision, there is no growth and success in your business, which is often a waste of time. To be successful, you need a solid marketing strategy. Be flexible about it. It is a serious mistake not to change it when needed. A flexible marketing approach makes marketing more effective and allows for better profiling of the message or even long-term planning. Make sure you have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. Start building your marketing strategy by defining your target audience, setting reasonable goals, being clear about what you need to achieve them, and keeping track of your progress.
Ø No tracking or use of analytics software - You need to monitor and document your social media activity. You need to update it constantly. To do this, you need to be able to see the impact of your past actions. From the results, you can see what you did in the past, and the results you got from it will help you plan for the future. Look for a good tracking analytics tool that will help you understand key marketing insights and evaluate the performance of your social media. By tracking your analytics, you can better develop targeted marketing strategies that improve the quality of your brand's following. Monitor your customers' engagement, conversions, purchase trends, and your growing influence in your eCommerce niche on social media.
Ø Lack of consistency - The image of the company and the actions taken must be coherent and consistent. Therefore, the flexibility mentioned above is important. This is the only way to anchor the brand image in the minds of customers. The results can be really great if you are able to consistently implement your well-crafted marketing plan - regardless of various changes and issues. Your message must fit your industry and target audience. Stick to what has worked in the past, but be open to innovation.
Ø Missing Proofreading - Proofreading is the process of finding and correcting errors in written text. SEO proofreading includes checking for common language errors such as grammar, spelling, typos, and punctuation, as well as an additional SEO optimization step such as checking for keyword usage and topic coverage. Depending on the company, proofreading can be done by an SEO editor or a dedicated proofreader. It is helpful if your proofreader has a content optimization checklist. The goal is to identify errors in your website copy that could affect your ranking and improve the quality of your website. You can do this manually or automatically with proofreading software like Frase or Grammarly. For marketing texts in particular, it's important that your company sets up a process to ensure that proofreading is taken seriously and done properly.
Ø Ignoring the Call to Action (CTA) - When developing any type of marketing strategy or tactic, always try to convince your audience of something. The goal of any marketing material is to persuade your prospects or customers to take a certain action. A call to action is a series of words or phrases that persuade people to do something. CTAs are often clickable, embedded elements in an ad, email, or on website. A poorly designed and executed CTA can result in inferior marketing performance, while a good CTA can play a positive role in your company's bottom line. A CTA can be as simple as a single word, like "Buy!" or "Subscribe," but effective CTAs tend to be a bit longer and more specific. You need a compelling call to action (CTA) to attract your customers and steer them in the right direction.
Ø No discounts and promotions - Offering discounts, implementing a loyalty program, or developing marketing strategies for promotions can benefit your business in good times and bad. Consumers are attracted to discounts and tend to pass them along through word of mouth. This is an effective way to reach new customers and increase your brand awareness. When you promote a special offer on social media, via email, through display ads, or through referrals, you will almost certainly drive additional traffic to your website, which can lead to more sales, more leads, and more visibility for your brand. Your messages will be both compelling and personable, improving the overall customer experience.
All in all, marketing is a complex process that for most businesses involves a series of trial-and-error moves. However, when you have a system in place, no matter how crude, to direct your marketing efforts, you will reap its benefits in terms of sales conversions. When marketing is done right and followed up with a solid sales process, it can be a powerhouse for your business.