Insights on How to Purge Harmful Online Marketing Habits
So many companies keep repeating the same marketing mistakes trying to cut corners, it’s time to purge harmful online marketing habits, starting now.
Your company’s marketing output is key to its reputation. Utilized well, it can elevate your brand, boost revenue and maximize your online presence. Used poorly, however, it can create the wrong impression and damage your company’s good name.
Here are some of the most common online marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them.
While it’s tempting to cheat the system and gain top search engine rankings by hiring companies who use ‘black hat’ methods to get results, this will not do you any favors in the long term. Google and other search engines design their systems for a reason and spend millions every year on making sure that people play by the rules.
Once Google realizes you have cheated the system, you will be penalized so heavily that you may as well scrap your website and start over. Damage like this to your website’s ranking and reputation and can be extremely difficult or even impossible to recover from. Don’t take the risk, just play by the rules. With the right strategy, it’s easy to use these ranking systems to your advantage anyway.
Marketing to Everyone
Very few businesses have something relevant for every single person on the planet. And whilst casting your net wide by making your website and marketing content appealing to as many people as possible may seem like a good idea, it will ultimately harm your brand.
Focus your efforts on attracting the right traffic and the right customers for your business. This doesn’t have to be one specific age group or location, but rather a type of person who will engage with your product.
Before you design your website or create your content, really think about who you are trying to speak to. Think about the questions they will have and consider things from their perspective. This will help you make your content relevant and engaging for your desired customer base.
For example, if you’re an upmarket menswear clothing brand, you should focus your efforts on men of a certain age. Furthermore, if you’re looking at creating specific social media campaigns around your men’s clothing range, you could explore also targeting certain demographics of women who may wish to buy clothes for their partners. You could have two different campaigns with separate landing pages for each target group.
You could also run different campaigns at different times of the year like around Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Although the products may stay the same, each campaign will be different and the most successful ones will be targeted towards a specific audience.
You should always have a plan for your marketing output. Whether it’s for the next five years or the next three months, you should be planning your marketing schedule ahead of time and be sticking to it. Going off-piste will almost certainly result in diminished results. Whether you do it yourself or outsource the work to a team of digital marketing specialists, take the time to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it before putting the wheels in motion.
Assuming All Marketing Is the Same
Digital marketing is a giant, ever-evolving beast. New technology and trends are emerging all the time and there are endless areas of digital marketing that require specialist knowledge. Don’t assume that one person will know everything about every different type of digital marketing.
To maximize your results, you should engage different specialists for different types of campaigns. Outsourcing your work to a large digital marketing company is often the easiest and most cost-effective way of doing this as they will have experts and specialists across various fields all under one roof.
Ignoring Customer Needs
We now live in a world where customers expect round-the-clock service. If they have a question about a product, they want to be able to easily reach someone and receive a prompt response, no matter what time of day (or night) it is.
We also live in a world where every customer can make a public complaint that could reach millions of people at a click of a button. If a customer has a bad experience, they can tweet about it or share their experience on Facebook and it can very easily go viral and create significant and potentially irreparable damage to your company’s reputation.
Ignoring customer complaints and requests or not having the means to receive and deal with their concerns will diminish your customer experience and ultimately harm your brand.
This doesn’t just mean sending too many e-mails. It also applies to your website.
Although you want to alert users to special offers and encourage them to sign up for your services, don’t overload them with pop-ups or too much information. Today’s users are sophisticated. They can see right through a hard sell and will most likely be put off. They are also likely to leave your website if you put too many obstacles between them and the reasons they clicked on your website in the first place.
Have you ever clicked on an interesting article on Facebook but then closed it after the first paragraph because you received three pop-ups asking you to sign up for a newsletter? Give your users time to breathe and enjoy the content you provide. Find the sweet spot between encouraging them to engage with your site and allowing them to simply browse at their leisure. You can monitor this by tracking your website’s bounce rates and average time on page. If users are clicking on your article and then leaving the site soon afterwards, then you’re clearly doing something to put them off!
Digital marketing provides infinite opportunities to boost your brand and increase customer engagement. Take your time to plan your marketing efforts properly and don’t cut corners. Focus on your customers’ needs and desires and make your content and marketing campaigns as targeted and relevant as possible.
Keep an eye on key performance indicators like bounce rates, conversion rates and average times spent on your pages to monitor how users engage with the material and don’t be afraid to change things when they’re not working.