Nearly every successful business nowadays is present online in one way or another, because that’s where their target audience is—even in the case of brick-and-mortar stores and local companies. And while the Internet allows you to promote your product as much as you like, there’s an awful lot of noise and competition, and that of course means you need to have a good marketing strategy in place in order to reach your customers.
But simply having one is not enough.
According to research done by HubSpot, marketers who set goals are 429 percent more likely to find success than their competitors who don’t, and out of first bunch, as much as 81 percent do manage to reach their business goals. On top of that, those who document their strategy are 538 percent more likely to succeed.
Documenting your marketing strategy and processes is crucial, because not only will you be able to single out the tactics that have worked, but you will also be able to prevent yourself from repeating the same marketing mistakes all over again. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers continue to make them, which cost their businesses money, as well as market share. With that in mind, here is a short list of five most common marketing mistakes which you should try and avoid at all costs:
1. You haven’t implemented an SEO strategy
Having a website is a necessity for any business, which should go without saying, but it’s not enough if you want to make your business successful. Sure, your content may be great, but if it’s not optimized for search engines, it probably won’t help you reach your target audience. Search engines can’t understand human speech, but if you implement on-page and off-page SEO practices such as focused content, keyword research, subheadings, title tags, and high-quality backlinks, you will help them decide where to put your website when it comes to ranking.
SEO becomes even more important once you find out that 46 percent of all Google searches are local, which means that a lot of people are looking for businesses in their area, according to Ryan Cooper, head of marketing for Brillassignment.co.uk. It doesn’t matter what your business niche is—SEO is a must.
2. You’re choosing the wrong channel to reach your audience
The good news is that there are plenty of marketing channels through which you can reach out to your potential customers, such as social media, email, PR, affiliate marketing, and so on. However, just because all those channels are available for you to use doesn’t mean that you should reach your audience through all of them. Not only is this time-consuming and expensive, but it’s also impossible to get in front your intended audience through certain marketing channels, no matter how many marketing dollars you spend.
This is where understanding your audience comes into play. For instance, if you are trying to sell your product or service to an older audience, social media may not be the best channel for it, simply because a of older people don’t use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. But, stats do show that about 5 billion people in the world have a mobile phone, which means you are much more likely to reach an older audience via SMS marketing.
3. You’re not consistent
Consistency is one of the key components of every marketing strategy. What kind of consistency are we talking about here? Well, it pretty much applies to everything. For instance, if you have a blog through which you publish high-quality content in order to help your readers and establish yourself as an authority in your field, you will only be able to achieve that if you are posting on a regular and fairly frequent basis, as opposed to publishing a handful of random articles every now and then.
The same goes for the overall look and feel of your brand. If your website features very specific design and visuals, then your social media channels, marketing materials, and even your product packaging should reflect that as much as possible. Your brand’s voice should also remain consistent whenever you are addressing your target audience.
4. You hire in-house marketing staff early on
While marketing is arguably the most important activity for your business, it is not the only one. Producing a great product or providing an outstanding service is what will keep your customers around and hitting your financial and business goals is what will keep your company running. Investing in those is just as important. However, a lot of companies, encouraged by successes which were the result of good marketing, decide to hire in-house marketing experts early on.
That’s a great thing to do, but only in theory. While it’s undeniable that expert in-house staff is a guarantee you will have the best possible marketing strategy every single time, since they will have a deeper understanding of your brand than external associates, they cost a lot of money which could be better spent elsewhere. You should look into this option only after you have exhausted all others, such as working with marketing agencies or freelance marketers.
5. You’re not measuring the results of your campaigns
In 2018 alone, businesses are projected to spend over $457.6 billion dollars on marketing, which is an insane number. This is not lost on your competitors either, and if they decide to boost their marketing efforts and investments, you will have to as well. However, simply spending more money on marketing without keeping track of where it goes and how it is performing is one of the common mistakes in the industry.
In order to measure your marketing ROI, you should monitor analytics data, conduct surveys with your audience and ask what prompted them to choose your business, and create custom URLs and unique phone numbers for your print ads, for example. All of this is there to help you connect each of your customers to a particular campaign. Only then will you be able to see how effective your marketing strategy really was.
These five marketing mistakes are not only common, but they are also very costly and cause countless businesses to burn cash which could have been spent on something more useful. Now that you know what you should not do, you can focus on getting ahead of your competition and boosting your bottom line.