Marketing is one of the most important parts of your business – it is, in the long run, what will determine whether you are successful or not. Mistakes are more frequent than not, though, especially among small businesses with equally small budgets. But not having a multibillion-dollar campaign does not mean that you are bound to commit major faults; it’s all in the way you administrate your strategy.
The most important thing to keep in mind during any marketing approach is that you have to know who your target is. You cannot make a campaign for the whole world, simply because there are too many types of audiences, and directing your product to all will be a waste of time, money and precious resources.
Here are another ten mistakes that you can easily avoid making:
Not having a steady marketing strategy: It’s normal that you want to impact as many people as possible, but when you don’t have a marketing strategy, you will most likely shoot in every direction, and that won’t do. Why? Well, if your team is small, they might feel overwhelmed – there is only so much they can do in one day. To avoid that, focus on one project at a time.
The social media trap: It’s more or less the same thing as the error above, but important enough to gain a bullet point of its own, because the temptation is high: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, Vine, blogging, e-mail marketing – the options are endless. It’s a myth, in the marketing world, that you need to use them all. If you can manage a few of them with high frequency, that’s more than enough.
Not caring about the ROI: The Return on Investment (ROI) is a form of measuring how much profit your investments are making. Just doing the marketing thing and neglecting the ROI results means that you don’t know what works and what doesn’t – you might as well be throwing your money in the trash. To avoid that, do a monthly review on analytics; look at the channels, the content, the engagement, and compare it with the quarter-over-quarter revenue to have an idea of what was a good idea and what was not.
Being impatient about the results: No program works overnight. You have to know that your marketing strategy, as good and well-thought as it is, will take some time to show the proper results. The advice is that you commit to it for six months; if after that there was no satisfactory response, then leave it and start something new.
Not being attentive to e-mail marketing: The newsletters you send must be consistent with your brand – that means the tabs, the colors, the fonts, and the general design, they must all be in accordance to the visual character of your brand. It can’t be very long, and it can’t be an e-mail that does not call for action (the intent is to engage people). A good idea is to hire a designer who can create custom templates for your e-mail. It will cost you, but only one time (after that you can use the same template for some time, changing only the content in it).
Misunderstanding the concept of blogging: If you want to talk about your brand, you must do that on your website, but never on your blog. To be make your blog a successful one, ask yourself: “Will my ideal client find this information useful to his personal or professional purposes?”. Remember that you are writing for them, not for you. They need content, not promotion (for that they go to the website or the social media channels).
Not being open to new ideas: A marketing campaign that repeats itself (like using the image of a sun wearing sunglasses for summer deals) year after year will not only become predictable, but disappointing too. People like to see and hear and watch new things, and your marketing strategy needs to take that into consideration. A good idea might be to do a quarterly brainstorm meeting with the company employees so that they can suggest ideas that may lead you to think outside the box. Be open to that.
Forgetting your brand: The more people see the logo of your brand, the more they will create a visual identity around your product, and the more they will make assimilations that lead unconscious thinking back to your company. Most entrepreneurs don’t realize that, and forget to publicize their logo when posting on social media or other media vehicles. Show off your logo as much as you can, everywhere where the opportunity exists, with the highest possible frequency.
Making assumptions on your audience: Deciding what your audience would like to see based on what you think they will like to see is a common but non-excusable error. You may know them well, but assuming you do may be a mistake, because if you’re wrong and don’t realize that, you’ll only lose money. Rely on data and research to support your ideas. Always.
Listening to everyone: When you’re insecure about your marketing strategy, you might feel inclined to follow everyone’s lead; either by doing something because someone told you it worked for them, by taking everyone’s opinion as an order, or by trying to please the whole population. Don’t execute every suggestion, idea or order. However well-intended they are, they can be wrong too. At the end of the day, the safest bet is to do what fits the most with your market target and ideal clients.
Marketing is a serious and often misjudged business. More than that, it is extremely volatile and faulty. The general rule of thumb is to remember to always promote your brand, and at the same time, deliver relevant and pertinent information to the client, while engaging them with your product. A tricky business. But a challenging one, too. Don’t let that scare you – especially now that you know the ten most frequent mistakes made in the trade, and how to avoid them.