Investing huge amounts in online marketing with little to no returns is frustrating. You worked hard to get your business online, but despite your best efforts, you are not getting the results that you want.
The truth is that there are some common errors that most businesses make when they start building their online marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, these same errors can actually hurt the outcome of whatever you do. Fortunately, with knowledge, comes power over mistakes.
In other words, here is a quick tip on how to avoid common but deadly mistakes that lead to wasted time, effort, and money in your online marketing endeavors.
Spending money on marketing when you don’t know who your target audience is.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to spend money on marketing when you don’t know your target audience. You might think that you know your market, but do you really? Are you sure?
If you haven’t done the research and figured out who your ideal customer is, then how can you possibly expect to create a marketing message that will resonate with them?
That’s why it’s crucial that you first identify two or three key buyer personas (your ideal customers). Then, once you’ve created these personas, start researching their online habits. This will help you to determine which marketing channels are best for reaching them.
When you are marketing online, you have to know who your target audience is. If you miss this crucial step, you will find yourself spinning your wheels and feeling frustrated that nothing seems to be working.
The first thing you need to do is look at the product or service you are marketing. Who would benefit from having it? Who would want to buy it?
Then consider other things about your target audience. What gender are they? What age group? Are they married or single? Do they have children? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What type of job do they have? What hobbies do they enjoy in their free time? How much free time do they have?
You can find out a lot about the people who buy your product by asking existing customers a few questions. The most important of these questions is “Who else do you think would benefit from this product?”
You can also learn quite a bit by reading forums or social media posts where people discuss topics related to your product or service. You might even be able to reach out directly to some of them.
Ignoring the competition
It’s easy to ignore the competition when you’re working on your business. You’re busy with a million other things and probably assume there are bigger players who are doing just fine and don’t need your business.
But you need to pay attention to what your competitors are up to. Here’s why:
Your competitors can be great teachers. If they’re doing something right, it’s important to know what it is so you can adapt their success for your own business.
Sometimes the best way to discover what you should do more of is by evaluating what others aren’t doing. A lot of times, this means seeing the holes in their marketing campaigns or product descriptions that you can fill with your own efforts. It’s also worth finding out where they’re failing so you can learn from their mistakes and make sure you don’t fall into the same traps that they have.
Your competitors can spark new ideas for innovation. Let’s say you notice that a competitor has a good idea, but isn’t implementing it properly or not using it to its full potential. With a little bit of tweaking, that idea could be something that sets your business apart from everyone else’s.
Relying on one type of marketing
It’s a mistake to rely on one type of marketing. Relying on one type of marketing is risky. If a business relies heavily on social media, it’s at risk if that platform changes its rules/algorithm or dies completely. And what if a competitor does social media better than you? It’s better to diversify your marketing so you are not at the mercy of anyone’s platform.
When it comes to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter they have the power to change their algorithm whenever they want and it can have a huge impact on your business. You could have thousands of followers and be getting great engagement, but then they change their algorithm, and all of a sudden, you’re only reaching 2% of your audience! Imagine how bad that would hurt if you’d been relying on that for all your sales.
A lot of businesses rely on one type of marketing, such as direct mail or online ads. Or they invest in a single channel, such as social media. The problem with this approach is that you are putting all your eggs in one basket.
By engaging in multiple marketing activities at once, you can build a stronger brand presence overall. You can make all those channels work together to achieve your goal, whether it be conversions or sales or leads, or any other KPI that means something to your business.
Buying emails lists
Buying an email list seems like an easy, low-cost way to grow your business, but it is actually a huge waste of money. Buying an email list is not a good idea because:
You are buying bad emails: Email lists for sale are often of bad quality. They are filled with spam traps, hard bounces, and invalid addresses. If you send your campaign to these bad email addresses, you will get lots of spam complaints, bounced emails, and IP address blacklisting. That’s why purchasing an email list is not recommended.
You may get lucky and enjoy a few conversions from your purchased list; however, if you look at the bigger picture, you’ll notice that the people on the list lack engagement with your brand and offer. Keeping this in mind, when they see an email from your brand or company in their inboxes, they’ll most likely unsubscribe or mark it as spam.
There are many ways to build lists organically through gated content offers on your site, social media contests, or even by hosting special events for potential subscribers. This way, when people join your list you know they actually want to hear from you.
Making the Goal be All About Sales
When you focus on sales, your mind starts thinking in terms of short-term results. You want to make a sale today, so you take any action that will get someone to buy from you today. You don’t think about the long-term consequences of those actions, and some of them are really bad for your business.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore sales. It just means that your goal shouldn’t be to hit a certain number of sales. Instead, your goal should be to get your product in front of the right audience. The more people who see your product, the greater chance you have of making those sales.
The best way to do this is through a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is one of the most important pieces of your business’ marketing plan because it’s what builds trust and relationships between you and your audience. It helps you build brand awareness and credibility, educate your customers so they’re better prepared to make a buying decision, increase sales and revenue, get more traffic to your website, educate prospects about the benefits of your products or services and close more deals.
After all, is said and done, if you learn from these mistakes and avoid them in your online marketing efforts, you’ll be on your way to a successful campaign. It’s better to try and fail than to do nothing at all, so don’t be afraid to experiment with various options. What might not work for one company or brand may work perfectly for another, so take what you learn here and apply it to your own online marketing endeavors.