The business world is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. In order to be successful, you must learn how to keep up with the latest trends and consumer patterns. Part of this means staying relevant by continuously putting effort into your marketing strategy.
Even if you have the best products or services in your industry, it doesn't mean anything if you're not connecting with consumers. Roughly 20% of small business startups fail in the first year. Only half make it to year five.
The key is learning how to avoid common advertising mistakes. We're going to help you wade through the murky waters of marketing to make sure your business is set up for success. Keep reading for the top seven marketing mistakes to avoid in 2021.
1. Not Establishing Your Brand
What is branding? We hear about it all the time and associate it with a company's name and logo. But a brand is so much more than that.
A brand is a reputation, a message, a feeling, a purpose, and more. Above all, your company's brand is your identity. It represents both your company and your customers.
Therefore, establishing a strong, recognizable brand is vital for thriving as a small business. This means identifying your niche.
What specialty do you have in your industry? What makes you unique, better, or different than your competitors? What makes you a better choice for consumers?
2. Not Knowing Your Target Market
One of the biggest marketing strategy mistakes business owners make is failing to identify their target market. Instead, they take the one-size-fits-all approach when marketing to consumers. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of wasted time, energy, and money.
Instead, use your niche to determine what type of people will most likely benefit from your products or services. Then, design your marketing message to speak directly to that audience. Address their fears, concerns, wants, and needs.
This is key to connecting with your audience. Publish articles and other content created specifically for this demographic of consumers to build credibility in your brand. The more they grow to relate to you and trust you, the more likely they'll be to buy from you.
3. Having a Poorly Designed Website
One of the most common and detrimental marketing mistakes is relying on a bad website to generate leads and make sales. In the digital era of business, your website is the face of your company. If it doesn't create a fantastic user experience, you're not going to be successful.
Your website has to engage visitors and encourage them to stick around. They should be enticed by captivating article headlines and constantly directed to product pages.
Just as importantly, the website has to be user-friendly. Close to 82% of Americans own smartphones and will use them to visit your website. This means it must be optimized for mobile devices.
Lastly, make sure your site loads quickly and is easy to navigate. The more intuitive your site is, the easier it will be to keep users engaged.
4. Not Researching Effective Keywords and Other SEO Strategies
One of the most important marketing mistakes to avoid is not understanding search engine optimization. SEO is the fundamental source of organic website traffic for any small business. SEO refers to the complex coding used by search engines to find appropriate websites based on keyword searches.
When consumers search for products, services, or information pertaining to your company, your website's SEO will dictate how quickly they find you, if at all. Research effective keywords in your niche and industry. Avoid using short-tail, overly-used keywords that will get lost in the SEO crowd.
Additionally, look into SEO services that can help you boost your SEO ranking. If you are building your own website, make sure you include internal and external links and get backlinks from other sites.
You should also use different forms of media embedded with SEO coding. These include pictures, graphs, videos, titles, and headers.
Finally, each page needs to have a purposeful and engaging metadescritpion. These are the small blurbs listed under websites on search engine pages explaining what the article is about.
5. Being Unengaging on Social Media
Next, avoid the common advertising mistake of neglecting social media. Focus on only one or two platforms at a time. For example, we suggest starting with Facebook.
Facebook is an incredibly popular social media platform where you can promote your products, publish articles from your site, connect with potential customers, and grow a following. You can grow your profile organically by constantly engaging with your followers and encouraging them to share your content.
You can also use paid social media ads to expand your reach to more people in your target audience. You can decide who sees your ads based on age, gender, location, and more. If you're new to social media or marketing, we suggest hiring a social media marketing strategy specialist.
6. Not Investing in Effective Paid Marketing Techniques
As a new small business, your marketing strategy needs to include paid advertising. It takes time to build an online presence. People aren't going to automatically be driven to your website as soon as you put it up on the internet.
In the meantime, you need to continue making sales to grow your business. We recommend using PPC and SEM to boost your visibility and generate more leads.
Pay per click advertising is when you post an ad on someone else's website. This could be another blog or another local business page. In return, you pay the host site for each click your ad receives.
Search engine marketing, on the other hand, is when you pay a search engine site for the privilege of ranking at the top of search results pages. Your website will appear at the top of certain keyword search results. And again, you'll pay the search engine for each click your website gets.
7. Not Giving Marketing Strategies Enough Time to Work
Lastly, don't make one of the worst marketing mistakes of pulling the plug too soon. As a business owner, we understand that you want to limit how much money you're spending, even on vital operations like marketing.
However, if you're going to invest time, money, or energy in a marketing strategy, you need to give it a fair amount of time to work. Typically, you should give any marketing campaign at least three months to determine whether or not it's going to be effective. If after three months you're not getting a return on your investment, look into other options, or find out why it isn't working.
Looking to Improve Your Online Marketing Strategy?
Learning how to perfect your marketing strategy is all about trial and error. Every business is unique, as is its target audience. Take time to learn what they respond to and what they don't.
Most importantly, be consistent with your marketing efforts. And if you need more help, consider working with our agency. We would love to help your business generate more leads and make more sales.