At the core of every successful brand, today is an effective marketing plan that has helped them to connect with their customers, attract new leads, and stand apart from the competition. It does not matter what sort of business you run – whether you sell hats or you run a clinic for pregnant women – you need to master the marketing side of your business.
However, this can be a lot easier said than done, and mistakes can easily be made along the way. This is why we are going to take you through some of the common marketing mishaps that business owners make so that you can avoid making the same errors at your business.
- Not embracing different content types – The written word is powerful. There is no denying this fact. However, you cannot simply rely on blocks of text when it comes to marketing your business effectively. You need to consider other content forms, such as audio, infographics, and video production. Video marketing especially is highly beneficial in today’s modern marketing world. This is because video can convey concepts in an easily digestible manner, and they also evoke emotions with greater ease when compared with other forms of marketing. Plus, all of these content forms benefit one and other; they work together to help you reach your ultimate goals, so don’t neglect them.
- Using black hat SEO techniques – This is one of the biggest mistakes that we see people make when it comes to online marketing, and we cannot express how bad it is. Sadly, there are some companies that end up signing up for marketing services and end up being subject to penalties because the agency has been using black hat techniques without them realizing it. So, this is something we will explore in full to give you a better understanding. Black hat techniques are those that violate the terms and conditions that have been implemented by Google and the other search engines. They cheat the system, so to speak. White hat techniques are organic; they build your search engine presence in a natural and organic way so that it can be sustained, and you can enjoy more and more visibility for many years to come. There are a lot of different types of black hat techniques that businesses may use. This includes keyword stuffing, as well as incorporating keywords on a page in white text so that users cannot see them, but the search engine bots pick them up. You may think this is simply clever, but it goes against what Google stands for. Google wants to provide its users with the best possible results based on their search, and so they want to select companies and websites based on what they genuinely offer, rather than sneaky marketing touches. This is why websites are penalized when they are found to use black hat techniques, and yes, Google will find you! These sorts of penalties can be hard to overcome, and some websites can find themselves being removed from the search engine results altogether, so this is something you really do need to take very seriously. Now, a lot of companies will outsource their SEO, so you need to make sure you find out what sort of strategies the company uses. No SEO firm is going to outright say that they use black hat techniques, so you need to read between the lines. Make sure you discover the different elements of your SEO strategy and the approaches the company is using. Furthermore, if an agency promises to get you to the top of Google within a certain number of days, you should avoid them. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to search engine marketing. It needs to be built organically, and so promises like this are hopeful at best, or deceiving at worst.
- Expecting results overnight – This leads on from the former point. While we all want to get instant results from our marketing efforts, the truth is that it simply does not happen like this. Building your brand and reaching more people takes time. You cannot simply click your fingers and expect miracles to happen. If a company promises you quick results with its marketing efforts, you should be cautious. Yes, you want a company that works efficiently and is going to get started on marketing your business right away. However, results cannot happen overnight, so honesty is important.
- Failing to put in the groundwork with your research – Aside from the errors that we have mentioned so far, another mistake that we see a lot of businesses make when it comes to online marketing is failing to put in the research that is needed to devise a winning strategy. You cannot simply dive right in and start marketing without any plan. You need to understand your audience. You need to learn about what they want and need, and what is going to speak to them. This is something that takes extensive research. We would recommend building customer personas, as this can help to enhance your campaign. In addition to this, you should spend some time researching your competition as well so that you can see what they are doing from a marketing perspective. You can figure out what they do well and where they are going wrong so that you can make sure your business does better.
- Being unwilling to change and adapt – In addition to the points that we have mentioned so far, another mistake that we commonly see is that businesses are not willing to adapt their marketing efforts and techniques. Instead, they are stuck in their ways, and they keep going with marketing messages and strategies that simply are not working. You need to be willing to change because the online world is changing all of the time. The way we consume products and how we interact with brands is continually changing, and the most successful brands are those that adapt.
- Not tracking your performance – This is one of the most frustrating mistakes that we see a lot of people make. After all, if you do not track your performance, how are you going to know where improvements should be made? Analytics and tracking software makes it easier than ever before to understand how effective your marketing techniques are. You will be able to find out what is working and what isn’t. You can really get into the nitty-gritty of your marketing efforts so that you can continually refine and hone your strategy for better results. From finding out when the best time to post on social media is to discover what causes people to leave your website, there are so many interesting and powerful elements of your online marketing efforts that you can delve into that can help you to gain a better understanding of your customers and what they want so that you can deliver this.
- A lack of consistency – Aside from the errors discussed above, a lack of consistency is something else we see with a lot of brands today. Consistency is key because it ensures that your brand and your brand message are clear. If you do not have a consistent brand, it is only going to confuse people, and this will make your brand forgettable, which is the last thing you want.
- Failing to reply to reviews – We recommend that you reply to reviews, whether they are good or bad. If someone leaves a nice comment about your business, it makes sense to show your gratitude, and thank them for it. At the same time, if someone leaves a negative comment, you should also respond, even if you do not want to. There are a number of reasons why this is important. The first reason is because you could end up turning an unhappy customer into a loyal one by trying to resolve whatever issue they had with your company. In addition to this, every time you post something online, including a review reply, you are building your online presence and boosting your SEO strategy. Furthermore, even if you do not get a reply or a positive response from the unhappy customer, you have gone out of your way to message them and try to resolve the issue, and this is something that other people will see when researching your business online. This will show that you genuinely care about your customers and making sure they are happy.
So there you have it: some of the most common errors that business owners tend to make when marketing their companies today. If you can avoid the marketing mishaps that we have discussed, you can give yourself a great chance of ensuring you market your company effectively and stand out from the crowd.
However, you do need to remember that marketing is not a one-time thing. The industry is developing all of the time, so you need to do everything you can to make sure you keep your finger on the pulse and wow customers with your marketing efforts.