Reached a brick wall with your online marketing? Not seeing the results you need, and uncertain about your next steps? It could be because you’re making one of the mistakes that are oh-so-common in 2014. Here, we outline the things that you should be avoiding, to help you get back onto the right track.
Not knowing your audience
Once of the basic principles of marketing is that you should know exactly who it is that you’re targeting. Who is that needs your products or services? What problems or worries are they facing? Where do they spend their time? Where can you get ‘in front’ of them online? Before you carry out any marketing whatsoever, it’s vital that you get to grips with these questions. Sit down and brainstorm your ideal customer, and collect as much information as possible. It’s only when you really get a feel for who they are and what they need, that you can craft messages that inspire them to take action, and place them in the right areas so they’ll see them. It’s basic common sense when you think about it, yet it’s something that so many business owners neglect.
Not recognising the necessary investment
Marketing takes time and money. Yes, there are many free tools out there, like social media, but it’s always worth assessing what the real cost it. Even if there’s monetary investment required, you’ll have to put aside chunks of your time to learn how to use the tools to their full potential, then put your learnings into practice. Realistically, it’ll take hours and hours of your time if you’re serious about marketing your business effectively. Of course, there’s always the option to outsource. This comes with a price tag though, so be sure that you know exactly how much you’ll be paying, and what your return in likely to be. If you’ll be paying £1000 for a social media manager to run your campaign, for example, how many new customers would you have to attract to make it worth your while?
Giving up before the magic happens
So many people start a marketing campaign then give up because they don’t think that it’s working. The truth is though, marketing is all about building relationships and gaining trust, and this doesn’t happen overnight. Research shows that it takes 3-27 marketing ‘touches’ before you even register on someone’s radar, so don’t give up too soon. Think about it this way – you start to build a relationship with your potential client, they’re starting to listen to what you have to say, but then all of a sudden, you seem to disappear. They’re convinced that they need your products or services, so they go off in the direction of your competitors. If you’re going to run a marketing campaign, make sure that you’re in it for the longer term.
Not having a sales funnel in place
Marketing speak aside, a sales funnel is simply the route that your potential customers take when they first find out about what you do. It has to make sense, and it has to build trust and follow a logical order. So, for example, you wouldn’t expect someone to stumble upon your website and immediately make a £4000 purchase. Instead, it’s more likely that someone will hit your website, be tempted to join your mailing list, then perhaps make a few smaller purchases before looking at your bigger buys. It pays to have this process clear in your mind so you can effectively map out your marketing activities and progress your buyers from one level to the next.
Focusing on vanity metrics rather than real results
An increase in website traffic and social media followers is all well and good, but if it doesn’t translate into an increase in the bottom line of your business, it’s pretty pointless. Rather than getting caught up with vanity measures, make sure that you look at what really matters. How many new customers have you attracted? How much did they spend? These are the things that you should be monitoring.
Are you guilty of making these mistakes? What actions can you take in your business to remove them from your marketing plan, and start focusing on the activities that will drive your business forward?