In this article, you’ll discover five common pitfalls that can hamper your online marketing success. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid these pitfalls and optimize your campaigns for higher conversion and lower refund rates.
Let’s get started.
Pitching the Wrong Customers
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is trying to market their products to the wrong audience. This is a common mistake because we usually judge a book by its cover. When you’re in the middle of a sales process, you can’t tell whether or not a customer is the right fit for your product without actually selling it to them first. When you send the wrong pitch to the wrong audience, you’ll likely end up disappointing your customers and possibly even losing a sale.
One way to avoid this pitfall is by matching your offers to the right audience. If you’re using email marketing to attract and engage customers, you need to make sure that your emails are relevant and interesting to each individual subscriber. Consider what your customer wants and needs rather than just assuming you know what they want based on the industry or category of product you’re promoting. The better you are at matching your offer to the right audience, the better your chances of converting them into customers and retaining them as such.
Content Is King
Another big mistake businesses make is relying solely on the content of their website to draw customers. If your site contains great content that is relevant and well-written, you’ll likely see an increase in traffic and potential customers. However, making money from content alone is difficult because people are distracted by shiny objects and clickbait.
To make money from content, you’ll need to consider the following two pillars of marketing:
- Attracting and engaging customers via content (blog posts, product descriptions, FAQs, etc.)
- Generating revenue via a sales process (upselling, cross-selling, etc.)
To put it simply, content is king because it can do the following:
- Attract customers to your website (landing pages, social media, etc.)
- Generate interest in your product or service (FAQs, how-to guides, etc.)
- Establish credibility (guides, reviews, etc.)
- Build customer trust (security, privacy, etc.)
- Generate demand (coming soon pages, etc.)
- Include keywords in content (searchengineoptimization)
The last point is very important because unless you have a relatively large following, it’s difficult to gain trust and confidence from customers that you’ll never meet in person. With that being said, content without a sales process is worthless because you’ll never know how or if that content will impact a customer’s purchase decisions. Without a sales process, creating compelling content is very difficult.
A common mistake that businesses make is over-stuffing their websites with keywords. You’ll often see SEO and digital marketing campaigns aimed at boosting a business’ search rankings and drawing in more traffic with the use of lots of keywords. While this might seem like a simple and popular marketing technique, it’s very poor form because
Over-stuffing your website with keywords will likely do the following:
- Reduce your website’s trustworthiness
- Narrow your target audience
- Impact your website’s overall performance
- Decrease your conversion and retention rates
Remember, you’re selling a product or service to another human being, and as such, you’ll need to have an understanding of how buying decisions are made. Keyword stuffing creates a lot of noise without contributing to that decision-making process in any way. To create a positive effect, consider using keywords sparingly and in conjunction with other marketing techniques.
Not Diversifying Your Income Streams
Another mistake businesses make is relying on one source of income to fund their operations. This could come in the form of retail, online marketing, or a mixture of both. If you’re not diversifying your income streams, you’re putting your business and financial health in jeopardy. Consider the following:
- Retail: Customer traffic is always a great way to attract more customers to your platform. In addition to driving traffic, you can use retail to showcase your latest products and promote discounts and sales.
- Marketing: With the right marketing plan and the right strategy, you can use online marketing to get the word out about your business. Consider email marketing, social media, and online display advertising to name a few.
- Combination: If you’re using retail to attract customers and you want to build a following on social media, you’ll need to consider a combination of the two to see the best results. You can use social media to attract followers who will purchase your products from your retail stores. There’s a myriad of ways to make money from retail and marketing, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Taking the time to diversify your income streams will pay dividends down the line. When you do, you’ll have the opportunity to see how each component of your marketing plan performs on its own as well as in combination with the others. This will help you identify the most effective strategies and the best ways to apply them. In essence, diversifying your income streams allows you to see the forest for the trees. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s essential for long-term profitability.
Not Testing Your Marketing Strategies
Another mistake businesses make is not testing their marketing strategies. It’s important to constantly be evaluating your plan and determining how you can make it better. This is especially important if you’re driving traffic to a website or social media platforms through paid channels like ads or sponsored posts. Consider the following:
- Performance: It’s never easy to determine the effectiveness of a marketing campaign without any previous data to compare against. Luckily, you can find out the performance of each of your marketing channels by making small modifications to your plan and testing out each variation. In Google Analytics, you can set up a special filter that will show you the performance of each individual channel. For instance, you could look at the CTR (click-through rate) for the content on your site or the ROI (return on investment) for your online marketing efforts. You can also look at the performance of your social media posts with the help of a tool like Hootsuite. Simply set up a custom view that sorts your content according to the channels you’re using and compares it to the overall performance of all your content.
- Variety: Just because you’ve had some success with a particular channel doesn’t mean that it won’t be beneficial to try something new. If you’re driving a significant amount of traffic to your site through Facebook, why not try out some of the new feature developments or the Instagram Stories format? This could result in a rise in organic traffic and interest in your products or services. To determine the best places for your product or service, you’ll need to consider the demographics, psychographics, and digital behavior of your ideal buyer.
- Cost: If you’re regularly testing new approaches and trying out different channels, you’ll inevitably find yourself at the computer screen submitting expense reports to your accountant. While it’s great to see the results of your experiments, the number cruncher in the office isn’t likely to see the benefit. Consider alternative ways to measure the success of your marketing plan. If you’re looking for a way to track the ROI (return on investment) for your digital marketing efforts, you can use the analytic tool Google Analytics to determine the value of each individual channel. The beauty of this measurement is that you can track it back to the original source of the traffic. This allows you to easily isolate the success of your paid and organic marketing efforts. As a business owner, it’s your job to find the most effective mix of marketing strategies that suit your circumstances. While it might not be easy, keeping a detailed record of your trials and errors can go a long way to helping you determine the best ways to apply this to your business.
- Time: The short and the long of it is that if you want to get things done, you’ll need to set aside some time for it. Just because you have a business doesn’t mean that you have all the time in the world to dedicate to it. Especially if you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll need to consider how you can best utilize your time so that you can maximize your productivity. Working through these five common mistakes will give you a better chance at ensuring your online marketing efforts are meeting your expectations.