Most Common Mistakes To Avoid In Online Marketing
If you’re like most marketers, you want your digital marketing to get better, not worse. Unfortunately, there is a whole host of marketing mistakes that can result in some negative outcomes. From taking on too much to neglecting to do your research, it’s easy to make inadvertent slip-ups that send your success rate down rather than up.
Learning from other marketers’ mistakes is always better than making your own. This information presents ten all‐too‐common marketing mistakes businesses of all sizes make and how to avoid them so you can keep your sales and marketing efforts on track. With all this in mind, consider reviewing your tactics with our list of the top ten common digital marketing mistakes to avoid.
1- Making assumptions
Assuming that you know your customers, their preferences, their loyalty to you, and the competitive environment in which you operate is one of the most costly mistakes you can make. In most cases, you’re likely wrong.
With all the research and feedback tools available today to help you monitor the voice of your customers and their real needs and attitudes, there’s no reason to ever assume anything. Regularly survey your customers to see what they like and don’t like about your brand, your products, and your service.
Do surveys to update your Net Promoter Score (NPS) as well. During transactions, ask for individual feedback and engage in social listening. Analyze results to identify trends and things you can do to maintain and increase satisfaction.
2- Ignoring customer complaints
With all the social media channels available, unhappy customers can share a bad brand experience with literally thousands of people in a matter of minutes. In addition to their Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts, they can quickly post negative reviews about you and/or your products on Yelp, Google, Amazon, and other sites that masses of consumers browse daily.
Whenever this happens, and it will, respond immediately on the site the customer used for the complaint, and let the unhappy customer and others know that you care about each customer and ask what you can do to make it right.
3- Faking popularity
Just like all the “fake news” on social media channels, there’s often also a lot of “fake likes.” Just look at your Twitter messages; chances are you have an offer from someone trying to sell you “followers.” Like fake news, this isn’t acceptable by any business standards because you’re portraying your brand as more popular and successful than you are and misleading consumers about your market position.
4- Using dirty data
Nothing’s quite like getting a great offer from a brand you’ve been loyal to for years only to find out that the great offer applies only to new customers! When this happens, it’s often the result of a brand not cleaning up its data to sort out prospects and customers. With all the customer relationship management (CRM) and data management systems available today at many price points, there’s no excuse for this anymore.
Customers expect personalized communications about their relationships with you and rewards for their loyalty, and when, after years of giving you their business, non‐customers get a better offer than you’ve given them, you can damage that relationship beyond repair.
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5- Competing on price
Discounts and price cuts have their place but only temporarily, such as when you’re trying to stimulate first time trial and build a base of customers for future email or social media campaigns.
Keeping prices low for an extended period of time or offering low prices frequently just puts customers on notice to hold off and never pay full price. You quickly position your brand as the budget option, which limits your appeal, and once you lower a price, you’ll have a hard time ever raising it again. Although reducing prices to meet sales goals may be tempting, keep in mind that repeated price promotions can erode brand value and create fickle customers who abandon you for the competitors’ promotions.
6- Ignoring the emotional drivers of choice
90% of people’s thoughts and behavior are driven by their unconscious minds. People respond more to dopamine rushes that make them feel euphoric and unbeatable and oxytocin that makes them feel connected, accepted, and loved than they respond to clever ads or blow‐out pricing specials.
When you tap the emotional drivers that influence how people feel about themselves and the world around them, you influence behavior. All you do should be based on creating positive feelings and on building trust. Without trust, you can’t tap into much of anything else.
7- Forgetting to edit
If your letter, email, website, print ad, sign, or billboard has a typo in it, people remember that goof and forget the rest. Not only can sloppy mistakes make a bad first impression among prospects, but they can also make people question the amount of attention you pay to detail when producing your products, managing your invoices, and executing on customer service.
Edit carefully and get someone else to look over your shoulder to make sure nothing slips by. Your brand is only as good as your reputation.
8- Offering what you can’t deliver
When you make promises you’re not sure you can deliver on, you put yourself in the category of bad salespeople who can’t be trusted. In addition, if you try to roll out a product that doesn’t work yet or before you’ve worked out all the details for execution, service, and troubleshooting, you set customers up to have a bad experience with you.
Either way, you lose trust and potential sales. In most, if not all cases, those disappointed customers can find another supplier from whom to purchase and to whom to assign their loyalty.
9- Treating customers impersonally
Every customer is a person who likes to be treated as such. No one likes to be a number. Today, with all the CRM technology, you can usually identify who is on the other end of a phone call. When you can, you should address that person by name, thank her for her business, and ask if you can do anything else to make her happy.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and take a hard look at all your customer interactions. Are they as personal as they should be? If not, invest in better list‐checking, a central database of customers, training in how to pronounce customer names, and whatever else it takes to allow your business to treat all customers like important individuals.
10-Blaming the customer
It’s easy to think that an irate customer is out of line and overreacting. But regardless, you need to take the high road and let the customer be right — within reason, of course. As Neiman Marcus is famous for stating, “The customer is always right” when it to comes to how the customer feels, how they should have been treated or the quality of product they thought they were buying.
This doesn’t mean you have to let people take advantage of you. But when someone has to vent, listen. Try to offer a solution that you both can live with. Whether you work it out or not, you need to remain professional, reasonable, calm, and courteous. If you don’t and even if you were justified, the customer can easily smear your reputation online, and that’s a risk you can’t take.
11-Taking On Too Much, Too Quickly
Digital marketing takes work – a lot of it – and it’s tough to be successful if you’re taking on too much all at once.
While things like content creation, SEO, and social media are all fantastic tools, they quickly get overwhelming unless you go into them intentionally, and have a plan in place to disperse the work load.
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12- Neglecting The Sidekicks Of Digital Marketing
While digital marketing is by far the most buzzed-about type of marketing in today’s climate, it’s not the only one that matters, and it can’t exist on its own.
Because of this, marketers who forget to focus on other pursuits, like advertising and print marketing are likely to miss out on a large potential segment of clients.
13- Not Developing A Clear Marketing Plan
Digital marketing only works as well as its blueprints, and a streamlined plan is essential to keep everything running smoothly. This plan should include details ranging from which social platforms you intend to use, to how much content you plan to publish and when you’ll distribute it.
14- Putting Out Lots Of Low-Quality Content
While it’s understandable to want to populate your social profiles, blogs and websites, you’ll end up paying a high price if you do this with forty low-quality blogs rather than ten great ones.
15- Curating Content Poorly Or Randomly
Curated content can (and should) play an important part in your digital marketing strategy, but you need to approach it carefully. Sharing irrelevant content just because it’s popular online won’t get you anywhere, and it will likely drive your existing audience away.
With this in mind, curate only the content that’s relevant to your audience, and personalize it by adding a preface or commentary.
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16- Not A/B Testing Your Campaigns
If you’re not A/B testing, you’re missing out on conversions. With this in mind, A/B test all of your campaigns to ensure that the one you settle on is the most effective and efficient.
17- Focusing Too Much On Keyword Inclusion
Keywords are still an important component of digital marketing, but they’re far from the whole picture. Avoid focusing too intently on keyword inclusion and instead pay attention to things like relevance and intent.
18- Optimizing Your Site Too Much
While optimizing your site is a good SEO tactic, over-optimizing it will damage your rankings and drive away your customers.
19- Neglecting Paid Search Advertising
While organic search is important, paid search can help you rank and produce results quickly, which is great for a growing company.
20- Forgetting To Disperse The Load
To put together a great digital marketing strategy, you need quality help. While many brands attempt to go it on their own, this only leads to burnout and sub-par results.
21- Little To No Work Involved
This may come about from the idea that there is little physical labor or that you are working in a virtual environment using the power of the Internet. However, as any business owner will tell you, running your own business always takes a lot of work to start and much more work to maintain. If you are getting into IM to make money, consider it a full-time job to start.
22- It’s Easy Money
Making money on the Internet is easier than doing manual labor. However, the number of hours you have to devote to learn the ins and outs is not limited to a 40-hour workweek. Can you make easy money? Yes, but often this takes years of steady progress before you realize that dream.
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23- Anyone Can Do It
Anyone can hop online and build a blog, but it’s not as simple as writing and attracting an audience. You will want to take the role of the learner in this endeavor and seek to upgrade your skills and knowledge to exploit the power of the Internet. It’s not a birthright that everyone has just waiting to be put to use. You have to make a conscious decision to work at it and to keep learning.
24- You Can Make Tons Of Money In One Shot
It may come as a surprise to many people that the “tons of money” actually comes from a number of diverse online ventures. You probably won’t make tons of money on just one blog, although that does occasionally happen. Instead, if you concentrate on building multiple income streams from a variety of websites, products, and services, you’ll have a much better chance of striking it rich later on.
25- Not Enough Research Before Starting
If people fall prey to any of the unrealistic expectations we’ve discussed, the outcome is that they don’t spend enough time researching and planning their online activities to make them a success. Instead, they’ll think it’s just a matter of slapping a website up and putting a shopping cart on it to get orders.
That couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. You have to start by knowing what niches are hot online and how you plan on attracting people to your site. Even if you managed to get a huge traffic stream, do you know enough to convert those visitors into leads or customers?
This is where people fail miserably when they could have improved the chances of success simply by taking some extra time upfront to research and learn how to implement a successful online business.
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26- What Is Your Hot Niche?
Typically, people can get carried away with a specific, personal passion that they instantly focus all their energies on marketing it, thinking that customers will be equally enthralled with this topic. That’s a poor way to establish a business online, especially with so much information online about what people are actually buying, searching for, or talking about. Why not market something that everyone already has an interest in and that doesn’t need to be convinced to buy?
One thing to remember when working out what niche you want to target is that they can be dependent on world events. Right now, the recession has made some niches more important than others.
Finance is always a hot niche, but the influence of the recession means that there is less interest in the stock market and housing and more interest in debt management and consolidation. Or, you might find a sub-niche like “gold mining stocks,” which weren’t very popular before the recession, but that now have numerous investors flocking to them.
27- Fuzzy Branding
Fuzzy branding can apply to multiple aspects of your online business. It can be as obvious as a bad domain name or it can even be how poorly you’ve designed the site. It’s any fault in your site that is an Internet faux pas that makes it difficult for your visitors to associate your name with the brand of product or service you’re offering. Instead, they’re left scratching their heads trying to figure out what your site is all about.
28- Poor Traffic Streams
The site is now up and you’ve done your research to optimize it for success, but you’ve noticed that it isn’t getting enough traffic. Why is that? Many Internet marketers think that putting up a fantastic website is all that you have to do to attract traffic.
There are millions of people on the Internet, so it seems a fair assessment that getting a thousand eyeballs a month is not a big deal. Actually, the most successful Internet marketers adopt promotional strategies to maximize their traffic streams and to make their websites a success.
The main way to increase traffic is to find sites that already have a large audience and to siphon off some of those people back to your site. There may be rules about what types of links you can post and how to do this, but it’s basically the same process.
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29- Inability To Convert Traffic To Customers
Even if you manage to attract gobs of traffic, the real goal of any Internet marketer is to sell or make money. You have to monetize that traffic in order to achieve your dreams of success. If you aren’t aware of the strategies to convert traffic to customers, you will let many valuable opportunities pass you by. Worse, you will feel as if you are working your tail off for few rewards. Always keep in mind that it isn’t enough just to have a popular site; that site has to produce income, one way or another.
Some of the faults may lie in poor website design, like poor advertisement placement or inefficient payment processors. However, there are other ways that people fail to plan to convert traffic to customers. They don’t plan ways to make money with the site and assume that only putting out a few products will create income. This is one way to make money, but not the only way.
30- Not Planning Ahead For Sales
The whole point of Internet marketing is to sell online. It may come as a surprise then to find out that many Internet marketers fail to plan their sales funnel ahead of time. Doing things by the seat of your pants may work to make a few sales here and there, but to really exploit the power of the Internet and make a living doing Internet marketing, you must plan ahead for sales using a carefully thought out sales funnel.
31- Lack Of Automation Tools And Services
At first, the temptation for most Internet marketers is to do everything manually to save money. This will quickly become unmanageable as your lists get bigger and your product line becomes more varied.
Add a few extra sites to manage multiple income streams, and you can quickly become confused or overburdened with the multiple minute details of operating several Internet commerce sites. The solution is to start automating things before your business gets too unwieldy and you lose customers.
32- Failure To Track And Test Results
After a failure to plan ahead for sales, one of the biggest faults that young Internet marketers tend to fall into is a failure of tracking and testing results. They may not even be aware that there are techniques, like split testing, that can help them to define why one sales campaign works better than another.
It might even be due to something simple, like a different headline in the sales copy that can generate 50% more sales, but having done no split testing, they will never figure that out. It’s very important to continually track and test the results of different sales campaigns and strategies to see which ones work for you and which ones yield poor results.
33- Failure To Meet And Exceed Customer Expectations
It’s not enough to just give people a good deal these days. It has to be a great deal that is perceived to be of such great value that it would be a shame if they lost out on the opportunity to buy. One of the ways to create value packages like this is to understand your customer’s needs and then exceed their expectations on what they think they can get for their money. This is a strategy that is becoming necessary as the recession wears away people’s discretionary income and people are buying based on perceived value.
34- Poor Backup Systems
If your site goes down, do you have a mirror site or backup strategy to get back up as quickly as possible? If the answer is no, then as Murphy’s Law suggests, this will happen at the worst possible time – mostly when you are rolling out one of your hottest, time-sensitive campaigns for the entire year.
The impact will be immediately felt in lost sales. If you continue to have problems like this, you will also lose customers who will judge your online business based on the fact that you offer spotty service.
Always Back Things Up
It sounds cliché, but this advice is often ignored at the peril of the online business owner. How many Internet marketers have busted their butts to put up large amounts of keyword-rich content, sales promotions, and image-laden pages only to have the entire site crash afterward? If the site is not backed up online, they will have lost months of work, lots of sales, and a few customers too. Always back things up.
So… here’s the Most Common Mistakes To Avoid In Online Marketing. I hope that you all like this article and got some good advice out of it. Feel free to comment and share this post.
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